Edge competencies focused on nurturing networks, markets and communities represent the new sources of value and competitive advantage in the emerging networked information economy. Check out earlier posts here, here and here for background and context.
For a great example of how these competencies are shaping new growth strategies, consider Google's recently submitted patent application for a "flexible communication system and method". As described by TechCrunch and UnWired View:
"…Now imagine that this choice (for connectivity services) was available when on-the-go, and that
you had five service providers to choose from instead of just two. It’s
not hard to imagine that the competition would lead to lower costs and
better service. Not to mention, you wouldn’t get stuck with a crummy
carrier after moving or traveling to a place that has poor coverage.
As Unwired View emphasizes, and the patent outlines explicitly, such
a system would require “a transparent auction marketplace with wireless
providers bidding in real time to provide the communication services to
users.” Google may be well-suited to establish such a marketplace
because of its experience with AdWords and AdSense. The carriers
themselves would resist such a scenario with tooth and nail because
they’d become dumb pipe providers that couldn’t lock users into
contracts any longer.
The patent is part of Google’s broader agenda to get as many people
online as possible with as many devices as possible. Hence the gPhone, its pressure on the FCC, and Larry Page’s bristling
in support of open white spaces. The opening of white spaces in
particular could lead to more connection points for mobile devices,
ones that form an attractive alternative to those provided by wireless
carriers. And Android-powered phones could be among the first to take
advantage of a flexible connections system."
Google is orchestrating and executing a number of strategies to open the "closed" mobile market so that it can accelerate growth in their advertising, applications and search businesses.
Put simply, Google is applying to the mobile space the disintermediating lessons learned in restructuring the advertising industry from a closed centralized model to a vibrant open market oriented one.