John Borthwick, an investor in Twitter, sees Twitter’s real time search as the stone capable of slaying Google the Search Giant.
Reflecting on a three-day training session at AOL back in the day, Borthwick writes:
He (Clay Christensen) said time and time again disruptive business confuse adjacent innovation for disruptive innovation. They think they are still disrupting when they are just innovating on the same theme that they began with. As a consequence they miss the grass roots challenger — the real disruptor to their business. The company who is disrupting their business doesn’t look relevant to the billion dollar franchise, its often scrappy and unpolished, it looks like a sideline business, and often its business model is TBD. With the AOL story now unraveled — I now see search as fragmenting and Twitter search doing to Google what broadband did to AOL.
It’s an interesting insight into Twitter’s future, but it’s also overstated. Google is the source for indexing Web pages. Twitter wants to be the source for indexing Web conversations. Both are needed. And there’s room for both. Perhaps, Google will find a way to offer contextual search and edge Twitter out. It’s hard to say, but my guess is both companies will do exceptionally well for years to come.