Autocannibalism

Google Will Eat Itself

Just imagine you invent something that gains so much power that it eats itself in the end!?! Not possible? The internet makes it possible!

Google Will Eat Itself (GWEI) is a web project that targets on buying Google with money created by Google’s own advertising program “Adsense.”

The organization states their mission as follows:

“We generate money by serving Google text advertisments on a network of hidden Websites.
With this money we automatically buy Google shares. We buy Google via their own advertisment! Google eats itself – but in the end “we” own it!

By establishing this autocannibalistic model we deconstruct the new global advertisment mechanisms by rendering them into a surreal click-based economic model.

After this process we hand over the common ownership of “our” Google Shares to the GTTP Ltd. (Google To The People Public Company) which distributes them back to the users (clickers)/public.”

Are they serious…

However, is this a serious approach to acquire one of the worlds’ largest, most expensive and above all most powerful and influencing companies? Is it a new innovative niche somebody has found in the infinite vastness of the internet or just a ridiculous effort to attract attention?

In the first quarter of 2011 Google’s international revenues were about $8.6 billion, a share is worth $512 today and with a volume of 322.25 million units it would cost GWEI “only” $82.496.000.000 to buy at least 50% of the business to become the owner. So, how far are they?

Well, at the moment they own 819 shares in total, which means 0.00025 % acquired since march 2005. The “Google Ownership Counter” on gwei.org says 202.345.117 years left until they earn Google completely. Wow… that’s… bullshit! I think the probability “Hitler taking over the world” was much higher (the dimension of these two missions are comparable).

Hans Bernhard, project-founder and artist from Vienna, countered the immense duration, making the plans seeming to be senseless, with the words:

“If 10 million people start doing the same thing we’re doing, then Google would eat itself within a relatively short period of time.”

And indeed, one could imagine if 10 million people would have done the same and handed over the shares to GTTP, the amount of shares would be 819 x 10.000.000. Good point, but there aren’t 10.000.000 million people doing the same, as far as I could find out none.

“The Register” did also some research concerning GWEI and after having done that very detailed, Cade Metz states that the project is presumably just a “hoax,” GWEI will not take over Google one day, even though the creators insist on the opposite.

…or is it Art?

When reading through all the blogs, dealing with GWEI, a lot of times the authors (e.g. boingboing.net, thehighdefinite.com) called it an “art-project” and indeed all the founders are artists focused on networking-art. Consequently I surfed through their website and found “GWEI” listed under the Tab “MORE PROJECTS.” This investigation revealed definitely that GWEI is an art-project. Moreover the inventors say:

“GWEI.org is a show-case and to unveil a total monopoly of information (Google search-engine & added services), a weakness of the new global advertisment system and the renaissance of the “new economic bubble” – “reality” is, Google is currently valued more than all Swiss Banks together (sic). Let’s open their goldmine to the people.”

“Google’s position is predominant in the same moment it entered a new business field with a new service. It’s the Google effect: creating consensus on a new business, even if it instantly got the predominant position. The greatest enemy of such a giant is not another giant. It’s the parasite. If enough parasitites would suck small amounts of money in this self-referentialism embodiment, they will empty this artificial mountain of data and its inner risk of digital totalitarianism.”

It pretty much looks like GWEI wants to proof that Google is mortal and won’t be able to swallow the entire internet and afterwards our whole planet.

Google’s Opinion 

But what does Google think of all that stuff?

Google has written a letter to Hans Bernhard accusing him of using automatic program tools within “Google AdSense,” which is prohibited according to the general terms and conditions. The fact that GWEI is an art-project, does not protect his venture from being against law. What a pity!

In my point of view “Google Will Eat Itself” is a nice art-project showing that even internet giants are vulnerable, even if, in this case, it would take ages to “harm” Google seriously. Unfortunately the whole project is against law. However, I think that this case showed again that there are still attractive niches out there, you just have to find them! Watch the video for more info.

 

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About domwoj

Mid-20 blogger from the heart of Germany, currently studying “International Business Management” in the capital, Berlin. Interested in business sciences and always tries to think globally. Pursuing goals like “finding the answer to the question: What is the meaning of life?” View all posts by domwoj

4 responses to “Autocannibalism

  • Bruce Spear

    What a riot! I’ve VERY much enjoyed learning about this! Thanks! It’s an excellent write up, too, and this is confirmed by the many similar write-ups I found on this topic on the web: you are in great company!

    But this raises the question of your reporting: why not simply point me to what others have written … how many sources have you found? (http://brucespear.com/busapps/smart-blogging-is-passionate/)

    And, since this has been done already: what is your value added? YOU are on to something … you’ve got this great curiosity! So let’s imagine another level: is it an interest in creative stuff, with google at the center? If exploring art projects on Google, well, there are a pile out there, for example, http://nymag.com/arts/art/features/68795/.

    More than “clever niches”: how about “wonderfully creative business models”, or, “spoofs on Google”? How might you clarify your interest?

    Good luck!

    Dr.b!

  • angiethiem

    Wooow!First of all – I understood something, miracle!Really well explained and a reeeeally highly interesting topic!From the headline over to the layout and content – absolut brilliant post!The video cleared my last question marks and out of your other blog post this one really made me get an opinion and view about niche businnes (which is i think a great topic and contents enough interesting aspects… keep it reaaaaal)!
    Thank you!

  • johannpf

    Hey.
    What a cool idea! Using simple mathematics to break google. You did an excellent job of leading us through the different view points, the basic ‘who says what’. I agree with you that it is a beautifully innovative idea and, yes, rather artistic in that. Nevertheless I think that there are rather a lot of greater threats to google ownership than this rather low-scale attempt. (see)
    Good very interesting topic.
    Johann

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