A couple of years ago when I first heard that Google had acquired Aardvark, it was immediately apparent, at least for me, that it would not be long until yet another start-up would be swallowed by the all mighty Matrix, stripped of its soul and purged into the oblivion!
A bit overly dramatic, but the point is, nowadays big companies do not seem to be shopping around for technology anymore. In fact, companies like Google, Twitter, Yahoo could not care less about the underlying technology of small companies.
The product itself is seen as nothing more than a showcase for the Human potential behind it, as the probability that any small enterprise can become a real threat is very slim, not because small organizations cannot triumph, but because it is increasingly more challenging for them to resist the temptation of selling out when that ever so tempting big pay check is put in front of them.
This is part of a wider challenge in the industry.
It is ever so common to see start-ups that aim to get sold at some point, and this is by far one of the biggest threats to innovation that is plaguing entrepreneurship. Starting something with the intend to sell it further down the line diminishes the level of commitment that is required to truly move something forward.
This stales innovation as anything with the potential of creating disruption gets absorbed into a larger organization, that ultimately, is not very interested in radical change.
Most of the established successful companies made it because they were lead by founders that truly believed in what they were building, they were passionate, obsessed and resilient to anything that got in their way. Once they finally made it, they understood the power behind sustained focus, which is why these companies actively pursue and any pocket of innovation that might be rising around them.
Companies like Google know this too well, afterall, they were born out of these seeds themselves and they know that if given the right time, their most fierce competitor might be born out any of these small pockets of innovation.