Thursday, November 29, 2007

Is Google tilting at windmills?

BloggingStocks (a TWX company!) has a post by Zac Bissonnette that touches on three of my favorite topics: Google, Enron and mission creep (also known as management hubris; see: Climateer Investing).
Peter Lynch called it diworsification: the hubris that overtakes a management team that has been successful, and convinces them that they can achieve similar success by branching into new industries. For Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), we can just call it "renewable energy".

According to the New York Times, Google will be spending hundreds of millions of dollars to hire engineers and energy experts. This raise three important questions: What the heck? Why are they doing this? and What are they thinking?

I don't mean to be an alarmist, but this is sort of reminiscent of Enron. While that company will mainly remembered for the lessons it taught about accounting fraud, internal controls and the importance of investor skepticism, Enron's descent into fraud began as a business failure....MORE