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Google, the Internet giant, is turning into Alphabet. On Monday, August 10, co-founder and CEO Larry Page announced that Google will be split from its many other ventures, like the awesome self-driving car How Self-Driving Cars Work: The Nuts and Bolts Behind Google's Autonomous Car Program How Self-Driving Cars Work: The Nuts and Bolts Behind Google's Autonomous Car Program Being able to commute back and forth to work while sleeping, eating, or catching up on your favorite blogs is a concept that is equally appealing and seemingly far-off and too futuristic to actually happen. Read More . All of these ventures, as well as Google itself, will become subsidiaries of a new company called Alphabet.

Page will become the CEO of Alphabet, his Google co-founder Sergey Brin will be the President, and Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt will become Alphabet executive chairman. Meanwhile Google, now a subsidiary of Alphabet, gets a new CEO: Sundar Pichai, current head of Android, Chrome and Apps.

Why Is Google Becoming Alphabet?

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The short answer: it’s just business. Under the “Google” brand, Page and Brin were looking to do several things to change the world More Than Search: 5 Things Google Has Done For The World More Than Search: 5 Things Google Has Done For The World Google has come a long way since starting up as a rinky-dink search engine that played second fiddle to what Yahoo! had to offer. If you’re the average person, you’re probably using Google in some... Read More , like self-driving cars, the famous Google Glass project Google Glass Review and Giveaway Google Glass Review and Giveaway We were lucky enough to get a pair of Google Glass to review, and we're giving it away! Read More , glucose-sensing contact lenses, and even the search for immortality.

From a business perspective, it’s difficult to justify each of these and other research projects to shareholders and future investors. But by separating core Google projects from these other projects, Larry Page and Sergey Brin can continue to be innovators while Sundar Pichai, who lives and breathes Google, can continue to grow the core products.

“Sergey and I are seriously in the business of starting new things. Alphabet will also include our X lab, which incubates new efforts like Wing, our drone delivery effort,” Page said. “We are also stoked about growing our investment arms, Ventures and Capital, as part of this new structure.”

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In essence, the new structure of the company frees up the “Google” brand from having to be a part of every project, while still remaining the core offering. This could enable the company to make good products which don’t have the ultimate aim of serving Google’s search interests. A recent example of one such failure is the decline of Google+ Google's Plus: The Latest in Long Line of Social Flops Google's Plus: The Latest in Long Line of Social Flops Google's history of launching social network is a series of failures. Read More , a product that didn’t even get a mention from Page in his letter.

“(Google+) died, in part, because there was too much pressure on it to serve the search business,” writes Felix Salmon at Fusion. “In future, if Alphabet buys a social network having failed to build one itself, you can be sure that it will be kept separate from Google.”

What This Means For You

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For the consumer, hardly anything changes. Heck, even if you are an investor, Alphabet will continue to trade under “GOOG” on the stock market. The company will become Alphabet later this year — it hasn’t been disclosed when this transition will happen.

As far as actual products go, so far, according to Marketing Land, here is what the company’s restructuring looks like:

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Page and Brin won the Internet search wars A Brief History of Search and How Google Came Out on Top A Brief History of Search and How Google Came Out on Top After a half dozen (or more) unsuccessful attempts over the years to find a better alternative, it led me to try and decipher what makes Google better than competitors in this space. Read More , it’ll be exciting to see what they do next. As Page recalled from their original founders’ letter: “Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one.”

No .Com, No Twitter

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Yes, Google is ready to become Alphabet, so you would expect the company to own the name Alphabet.com, right? After all, this is the Internet’s biggest organization.

Nope! Alphabet.com is owned by BMW, so the new Alphabet organization will host at abc.xyz. The Internet’s leading company doesn’t feel the need for a .com any more!

Meanwhile, the poor guys at BMW’s Alphabet Fleet Management site faced an onslaught of visitors after the announcement. The result was predictable:

Alphabet also does not own the Twitter handle @alphabet. That honor goes to Chris Andrikanich of Cleveland, who earned the nickname “Alphabet” in college because of his complex last name.

Andrikanich said his Twitter mentions have been going nuts since the announcement, and he thinks it’s best to just switch them off for a while so that he can actually start using the social network normally again, he told Buzzfeed.

He hasn’t been contacted by Alphabet about handing over or buying the handle, but he would be open to offers. “Everyone thinks I’m going to get rich,” he said. Let’s hope Andrikanich doesn’t end up with a serious case of identity crisis on Twitter They're Not Who You Think: 5 Twitter Users With An Identity Crisis They're Not Who You Think: 5 Twitter Users With An Identity Crisis What happens when a person gets the wrong Twitter name? That's life of some Twitter users. Thankfully, most of them have a sense of humour about it. Read More .

A Parting Shot

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In the blog post announcing the new restructuring, Googlers didn’t shy away from poking fun at their own Silicon Valley culture — culture that they had a hand in creating. And they did it by referencing the new TV show Silicon Valley, one of the best television shows for geeks Geek TV: 18 of the Best Television Shows for Geeks Geek TV: 18 of the Best Television Shows for Geeks There have been countless geeky television shows produced over the years, but which are the absolute best every self-respecting geek should have watched by now? Read More .

In the show, a fictional tech giant called Hooli is seen as the big bad corporation, an embodiment of everything that is wrong about the startup culture. Google loves its Easter Eggs Ten Google Easter Eggs You Missed Somehow Ten Google Easter Eggs You Missed Somehow While technology is cold, it's still made by humans. Where there's a human, there's a sense of humor. Often, engineers slip a fun secret into their code — an Easter Egg. Read More , so Page and Brin couldn’t resist:

“Alphabet”? Really?

Alphabet seems like a weak, uncreative name — definitely not a distinguishable brand name like “Google” is. You can probably do better, right? If you were in Larry Page’s shoes, what would you have named this new entity? Let brainstorm.

Image Credits: rvisoft / Shutterstock.com, Google, Leszek Soltys / FreeImages, DWilliams / Pixabay, OpenClipArtVectors / Pixabay.

  1. fcd76218
    August 12, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Looks like Google is trying to insulate itself from possible product liability suits when the self-driving car is released to the admiring public. With its recent spate of accidents and the lack of security, and Google's deep pockets, it will prove to be a bonanza for product liability lawyers and ambulance chasers.

    Cynical? Yes. Good business strategy? Definitely! If I ran Google, I would put couple more layers of shell companies between it and the self-driving cars and other potentially harmful technologies.

    • Mihir Patkar
      August 13, 2015 at 10:20 am

      Enh, I don't see how that helps Alphabet avoid those lawsuits, and they will have those same deep pockets.

  2. Chris Collins
    August 12, 2015 at 4:49 am

    Alphabet for Google seems kind of silly at first, but when you think about it, it makes perfect sense.

    Google: Ads, Blogger, Chrome, Drive, Earth and so on, and so forth.

    Android: Alpha, Beta, Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Kit-Kat, Lollipop, and the new Android M (yet to be officially named)

    Alpha-Bet: The better bet, the dominant bet

    Alphabet comes before Apple in the dictionary

    Covers all things A-Z, in other words, the Alphabet. This goes towards Google's history of experimenting with many projects and products.

    None of these may have anything to do with why Google is going with the name Alphabet, but it's something to think about anyway.

    • Mihir Patkar
      August 13, 2015 at 10:21 am

      Ha, that's a pretty cool observation, Chris.

  3. Tom Willoughby
    August 11, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    I think that Alphabet is an interesting name, with potentially some big meaning. The alphabet contains all letters, and (almost) all ideas are made up using the letters of the alphabet. It could be saying that Google is aiming to create a company that is aiming to be a part of everything.

    • Mihir Patkar
      August 11, 2015 at 6:10 pm

      Larry's words, from the original blog post: "We also like that it means alpha-bet (Alpha is investment return above benchmark), which we strive for!"

      Silly Larry is silly.

  4. Jude Dunn
    August 11, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Paragraph two, last sentence: "Meanwhile Google, now a subsidiary of Apple,"….

    Now that's an amazing typo.

    • Mihir Patkar
      August 11, 2015 at 5:52 pm

      Hahahaha doh! I'll change it, thanks!

    • Jude Dunn
      August 11, 2015 at 6:27 pm

      Aw, shucks. I know it's the right thing to do, but I would have enjoyed the fun leaving it as is would have sparked.

      "Mr. Cook, can you confirm…."

      ^_^

      Good piece, btw. Thoughtful and well written.

      • Mihir Patkar
        August 11, 2015 at 6:30 pm

        Haha thank you!

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