Here’s a fantastic one on the many tentacled creature which is Google:
Ignoring the comparisons therein to said firm’s possible resemblance to Luke Skywalker’s father, it does prompt an examination of what exactly Google is good at (i.e. where its core capabilities lie).
Is it “enabling efficient information access”? “Data sorting and transformation”? “Communication facilitation”?
Is it something as workmanlike as “server optimisation” or “coding”?
How vague can we be while still assisting strategy formulation: “Opportunity recognition?”
Given their relatively rare (for .coms) ability to actually make money out of all this, principally through advertising, perhaps we should be just as focussed on their “salesmanship”?
These are important, but slippery questions for strategic analysis. As the firm continues to diversify (i.e. build an empire), watch these capabilities develop and morph.