Why startups should look to Google, not Facebook, as a role model

Technology is advancing so rapidly that most of today’s industry leaders will slip into oblivion by the end of this decade. The only companies that will survive are those that invest heavily in research — and take big risks. Nothing illustrates the difference between companies better than Facebook and Google. Google is exploring uncharted territory and staking its claims to the next trillion-dollar market opportunities, while Facebook is mired in the past and squeezing every penny it can out of its customers. Unless it happens to luck out by buying the right company, it seems to me, Facebook is doomed.
I expect that, within a few years, my Tesla electric car will drive by itself, using Google software. Yes, I am talking about the self-driving, autonomous vehicles that we have seen in science-fiction movies: Google is making these a reality.  Its autonomous cars have already driven half a million miles on California roads—without a single accident—and will soon transform transportation in cities all over the world.
Thanks to Google Fiber, my house may one day have 1000 Gigabit Internet.  Google’s Wi-Fi balloons, called Google Loon, could provide me with connectivity when I go hiking in the mountains.  I expect that a successor to Google Glass will replace my laptop, iPad, and TV; incorporate voice recognition and gestures; and provide me with an immersive 3D-viewing experience.
Google already reads my emails before I do, and, by analyzing what I search for on the Internet and which Web sites I visit, knows what I am thinking.  It “knows” what other people think about me.  If my friend and noted futurist Ray Kurzweil succeeds in his mission at Google, it will understand my wants and needs too.  It will predict what I want to search for, where I want to go to, and what I want to eat. It will understand how my brain thinks and become my personal assistant.
Yes, these are technologies that Google will likely deliver during this decade.  It is doing the type of research that Xerox PARC was famous for.  It is thinking even bigger than Apple.