Google plans to sell Boston Dynamics robotics division - report

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 38
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Why did they BUY it? What did it DO for them? So glad to see them sell it, though. BD does some great work and I didn’t want that in the hands of Google.
  • Reply 22 of 38
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,278member
    sog35 said:
    sog35 said:
    LOL.

    but, but, but, but, Apple Watch is a failure.....only sold 12 million units in its first year.....

    Another multi-billion loss for Google.  Add this to the Motorola disaster and soon to be Nest disaster.
    How do you figure Motorola was a disaster? They developed some amazing models at fair prices, creating another major and more importantly, pure, Android handset manufacturer. And if you think the price they paid was to much, just do the maths - they took several billion in cash, several billion in deferred taxes, sold off a couple of divisions for a couple of billion, kept the patents and sold it for the balance. They buy companies, try some things, sometimes keep them and sometimes don't. Look at some of the successful ones - Youtube, Picassa (now Photos), Keyhole (became Earth then Maps), Android, Waze. I wouldn't say Google is a company like, e.g. HP or even Microsoft that overpays then writes them off a couple of years later.
    LOL.

    Google bought Motorola for $12 billion.  Sure they got some tax advantages from the losses but many of those losses were transferred when they sold Motorola. You also say Motorola had cash. But they also had liabilities on the books and unpaid debts.  And that does not even count the expenses to buy Motorola (lawyer fees, paid severance, brokerage fees) and then paid those fees again when they sold Motorola.  So far those patents only yielded Google less than $50 million, LOL.  And Google has already written off $4 billion in the Motorola purchase and will write off another $2 billion in the next few years.  At a minimum Google lost $7 billion on the deal.  This is not counting all the time they wasted and opportunity cost.

    Last year Google lost over FOUR BILLION DOLLARS on non-Google companies (Nest, Google Fiber, GoogleX, Car, Boston Robotics, ect).  The last 4 years they probably lost close to TEN BILLION on those loser companies.  Now add the $7 billion loss for Motorola and you are getting close to $20 billion in losses.
    I'd guess Apple has lost billions themselves over the years on projects that didn't pan out revenue wise. At the same time something valuable was probably learned from each of those efforts. As a result Apple and the rest of the tech industry is better off for it today so it seems like it worked out OK despite the losses. I think it will work out OK for Google too and the larger tech segment in general if they gamble on some projects. Big gains don't come without risk. 
    edited March 2016 singularity
  • Reply 23 of 38
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,141member
    I have to admit I have been hoping for some far better advances in robotics by now ...



  • Reply 24 of 38
    vvswarupvvswarup Posts: 330member
    sog35 said:
    LOL.

    but, but, but, but, Apple Watch is a failure.....only sold 12 million units in its first year.....

    Another multi-billion loss for Google.  Add this to the Motorola disaster and soon to be Nest disaster.
    How do you figure Motorola was a disaster? They developed some amazing models at fair prices, creating another major and more importantly, pure, Android handset manufacturer. And if you think the price they paid was to much, just do the maths - they took several billion in cash, several billion in deferred taxes, sold off a couple of divisions for a couple of billion, kept the patents and sold it for the balance. They buy companies, try some things, sometimes keep them and sometimes don't. Look at some of the successful ones - Youtube, Picassa (now Photos), Keyhole (became Earth then Maps), Android, Waze. I wouldn't say Google is a company like, e.g. HP or even Microsoft that overpays then writes them off a couple of years later.
    Maybe the OP is being a bit too liberal with the English language, but Google doesn't deserve an ounce of praise from the media (which it got) for the acquisition. To begin with, Motorola wasn't an acquisition. It was a shakedown. Motorola was losing money on smartphones-everyone but Samsung and Apple was. Then-CEO Sanjay Jha was looking for his red carpet exit. At the time, the patent wars were in full swing and Apple, Microsoft, and Oracle had their sights set on Android. Motorola threatened to ally with Microsoft and Google couldn't have that. Motorola had some valuable patents and was a well-known Android OEM. Sanjay Jha made Google cough up billions for the money-hemmorhaging Motorola. Motorola wasn't some "moonshot." It was a distress buy.

    Again, the OP was probably exaggerating. But I think the OP was poking fun at the media's attitude regarding Google's M&A strategy. The media praises Google's M&A strategy to a point that it says Apple should emulate it. You say that "they buy companies, try some things, sometimes keep them and sometimes don't." This is true when a company buys a startup that's testing out a prototype.That's not the type of companies Google is buying out. A company worth billions of dollars has a product on the market. At that kind of valuation, we're talking about revenue streams. Companies don't buy revenue streams just to "try some things." For some reason, the media thinks it's a great thing that Google buys revenue streams just to dabble. 

    macky the mackycornchip
  • Reply 25 of 38
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,114member
    Aw! They could have stuck the mythical jet pack on it and slapped a few ads on the side...
  • Reply 26 of 38
    Google gets praised for everything it does and I really don't quite understand why. They've had their share of wins and losses the same as Apple. It's as though Apple has some of the most pessimistic investors around. Every company has its ups and downs and when a company is up as high as Apple is you'd think investors would be smart enough to know they can't get huge revenue jumps like they might get from a smaller company. No company can keep coming out with one hit product after the next but yet Apple is filled with investors who think this is possible. I'm just happy to see upgraded products and Apple holding on to a steady customer base. I don't know why this isn't good enough for Wall Street but I guess greed is something that can't be satisfied. It's still doesn't completely explain why Apple's share price barely moves and the P/E stays as low as it does when rivals whose revenues and profits are as high take huge jumps in share price gains. Apple is certainly doing as well as or better than Microsoft and yet Microsoft has a P/E of 38. That's just crazy.
    badmonk
  • Reply 27 of 38
    clemynx said:
    FAIL 

    Google is becoming worried that their revenue isn't solid enough. 
    I'm sure Wall Street will overlook the loss and the share price will go up based on future projects paying off big.
  • Reply 28 of 38
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,836member
    clemynx said:
    FAIL 

    Google is becoming worried that their revenue isn't solid enough. 
    I'm sure Wall Street will overlook the loss and the share price will go up based on future projects paying off big.
    Of course. Eric Schmidt will guarantee it now that he's "advising" the Pentagon.
    cornchip
  • Reply 29 of 38
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,545member
    gatorguy said:
    sog35 said:
    LOL.

    Google bought Motorola for $12 billion.  Sure they got some tax advantages from the losses but many of those losses were transferred when they sold Motorola. You also say Motorola had cash. But they also had liabilities on the books and unpaid debts.  And that does not even count the expenses to buy Motorola (lawyer fees, paid severance, brokerage fees) and then paid those fees again when they sold Motorola.  So far those patents only yielded Google less than $50 million, LOL.  And Google has already written off $4 billion in the Motorola purchase and will write off another $2 billion in the next few years.  At a minimum Google lost $7 billion on the deal.  This is not counting all the time they wasted and opportunity cost.

    Last year Google lost over FOUR BILLION DOLLARS on non-Google companies (Nest, Google Fiber, GoogleX, Car, Boston Robotics, ect).  The last 4 years they probably lost close to TEN BILLION on those loser companies.  Now add the $7 billion loss for Motorola and you are getting close to $20 billion in losses.
    I'd guess Apple has lost billions themselves over the years on projects that didn't pan out revenue wise. At the same time something valuable was probably learned from each of those efforts. As a result Apple and the rest of the tech industry is better off for it today so it seems like it worked out OK despite the losses. I think it will work out OK for Google too and the larger tech segment in general if they gamble on some projects. Big gains don't come without risk. 
    “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,”

    Most of Apple's buys have been for specific technology and IP, an advantage to Apple to increase its stack, or to increase its ecosystem. By that measure, Apple differs from Google's past penchant for "moonshots".

    I can't speak for Alpha_ets direction, but I'm guessing "moonshots" are less desirable than they were.

    badmonk
  • Reply 30 of 38
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    But but but Giggle is building robots and extending life!!!

    -fandroid in YouTube comments.
  • Reply 31 of 38
    CMA102DLCMA102DL Posts: 121member
    If I had the funds, i would buy it. The coolest thing at Google.
  • Reply 32 of 38
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 770member
    They need to stop bullying the robots by hitting them with sticks.  They will get their revenge.

    Maybe the quadripeds would be of interest to the military if they had a louder shriek and carried bombs like killer boars.
  • Reply 33 of 38
    CMA102DLCMA102DL Posts: 121member
    sog35 said:

    Last year Google lost over FOUR BILLION DOLLARS on non-Google companies (Nest, Google Fiber, GoogleX, Car, Boston Robotics, ect).  The last 4 years they probably lost close to TEN BILLION on those loser companies.  Now add the $7 billion loss for Motorola and you are getting close to $20 billion in losses.
    Google should buy VW ;)
  • Reply 34 of 38
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    CMA102DL said:
    Google should buy VW ;)
    And make their own television sets.

    What other low margin industries can we entice them into entering…
    cornchip
  • Reply 35 of 38
    CMA102DLCMA102DL Posts: 121member
    CMA102DL said:
    Google should buy VW
    And make their own television sets.

    What other low margin industries can we entice them into entering…
    Solar farms.

    Google could invest or buy SunEdison.
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 36 of 38
    vvswarupvvswarup Posts: 330member
    If Google is starting to pay more attention to the time-horizon needed to realize revenue from its projects, then that represents a big change in attitude. In the past, Google proudly trumpeted its projects in the lab. It took pride in the fact that it spent billions on dabbling. 

    If Google's plan to sell Boston Dynamics does indeed represent an attitude shift, it remains to be seen how investors view Google's stock. Google's board of directors was always a paper tiger but that wasn't enough for Google's founders. They shamelessly proclaimed that in order to protect themselves from shareholders, they would create new class of shares that didn't have any voting rights, effectively giving the founders absolute, unchallenged authority. In spite of this, Google's Class C stock (non-voting) doesn't trade at that big of a discount to the Class B stock (old share class). 

    Investors have cited Google's penchant for making long-term bets as a reason for believing in the stock, despite the founders having free reign to throw money on pet projects without any thought to how the company was going to make money on it. What do they say now?

    cornchip
  • Reply 37 of 38
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,278member
    vvswarup said:
    If Google is starting to pay more attention to the time-horizon needed to realize revenue from its projects, then that represents a big change in attitude. In the past, Google proudly trumpeted its projects in the lab. It took pride in the fact that it spent billions on dabbling. 

    If Google's plan to sell Boston Dynamics does indeed represent an attitude shift, it remains to be seen how investors view Google's stock. Google's board of directors was always a paper tiger but that wasn't enough for Google's founders. They shamelessly proclaimed that in order to protect themselves from shareholders, they would create new class of shares that didn't have any voting rights, effectively giving the founders absolute, unchallenged authority. In spite of this, Google's Class C stock (non-voting) doesn't trade at that big of a discount to the Class B stock (old share class). 

    Investors have cited Google's penchant for making long-term bets as a reason for believing in the stock, despite the founders having free reign to throw money on pet projects without any thought to how the company was going to make money on it. What do they say now?

    First: It's a rumor
    Second: Boston Dynamics is but one of at least 6 robotics engineering firms under Google's umbrella. 
    Third: Selling BD does not mean Google no longer sees a future in robotics as a viable business. 
    singularity
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