when the problem is still the wrong problem

This story is about an amazing group of technologists, who were on a task of solving the hardest problem in the world – Attacking Google at it’s home territory. Let me say that again: Attacking a market incumbent on an area of it’s core strength – It’s hardest in technology companies. Time and again people have tried doing it and failed, and it’s not just about the money. Quoting Paul Graham:

[2] The “next Google” is unlikely to be a search engine, however, just as the “next Microsoft” was not a desktop software company. I used competing directly with Google as an example of a problem with maximum difficulty, not maximum payoff. Maximum payoff is more likely to come from making Google irrelevant than from replacing it. How exactly? I have no more than vague ideas about that. I wouldn’t expect to be able to figure out the right answer, just as I wouldn’t have expected anyone to figure out in 1990 what would make Microsoft irrelevant.

via Birth and Death of Microsoft Bing – myprasanna’s posterous.

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