Google? Innovators or acquirers

Almost every important Google product, execs at Google bought outright. For their own, homegrown products, Google execs have bought other firms to make their products work. 
  • YouTube came from YouTube for $1.65 billion
  • Blogger came from Pyra Labs
  • Android came from Android for $50 million
  • Motorola Mobility (cell phones) came from a spin-off of Motorola for $12.5 billion
  • Picasa came from Picasa 
  • Picnik came from Picnik
  • Maps came from Where 2 Technologies
  • Earth came from Keyhole
  • Latitude came from Dodgeball
  • Panaramio came from Panaramio
  • Docs came from Upstartle's Writely
  • Spreadsheet came from 2Web Technologies' XL2Web
  • Sites came from JotSpot
  • Feedburner came from Feedburner for $100 million
  • Google Analytics came from Urchin Software
  • Offers came from DailyDeal for $114 million
  • Voice came from Grandcentral for $45 million
  • Groups came from Deja News
Primarily, Google is an electronic billboard advertising business. Everything that goes into Google's key business would not exist and could not work without acquisitions. 

AdSense, a key product offering, came from a mash-up of Applied Semantics, Sprinks, dMarc Broadcasting, Adscape, Teracent, Invite Media, Admeld.  Google's billboard model came from Doubleclick on the desktop and Admob for mobile.

YouTube couldn't run without key acquisitions of YouTube itself along with On2, Omnisio, fflick.

Almost everything that goes into G+ to make it cool has been acquired by Google execs. 

  • GTalk voice came from Gizmo5 for $30 million
  • Hangout came from Marratech
  • Hangout also came from Meebo for $100 million
And now Google has swallowed well-liked and easy functioning 

Google is more like Berkshire Hathaway rather than an inventor and seller of products. It is hard to make the case that a couple of grad school nerds who hit life's lottery and became billionaires are innovators.