Adam Bosworth leaving Google was interesting news, but somehow not surprising. I’m not sure why, but it struck me that Adam was never that engaged. He was the man behind much of Microsoft’s future OS plans, he came to Google, and then he ended up…working on Health? Seemed like a parking spot on the way out, in retrospect.
Now comes rumors that Google might buy WebMD. If I were writing two years ago, I’d say no way. Google isn’t in the content/customer service/editorial business. But now, well, I guess I could see it. Things have changed. YouTube was a major move to the “we’re a media company” hoop. Though it was entertaining to hear Rishad Tobaccowala, CEO of ad consultancy Denuo, and David Lawee, VP of Marketing at Google, debate the issue on stage at the CM Summit yesterday (David insisted Google is a technology company, Rishad dismissed the claim with a flourish. Or two.)
So why not buy WebMD? The company can afford it. Microsoft bought Medstory. Google’s own plan for health, which Adam outlined to me months ago, is quite interesting, but might benefit from some built in content.
Strikes me, though, that in the end this would be a bad move. Why not just partner? And if you can’t partner, and feel like instead you have to buy, it might be time to step back and ask – what is it that makes you not able to partner? In the end, you can’t buy everything…