Google vs. Indonesia

IndCoup points out an interesting fact: Google is worth more than all the companies on the Jakarta stock market. Here’s Google’s key statistics.

IndCoup says that this shows brains are more important than resources, I’m not sure about that, seeing as countries like Saudi Arabia have done pretty well on one resource. The things about having a monopoly on a resource is, people have to come to you to get it. That’s kind of Google’s gameplan for the internet, when you want to find something, you have to go through them.
I guess the problems for Google would be essentially they are a ‘middle-man’, they serve up link suggestions for customers looking for websites. A middle-man’s postion is always the most precarious. Having a natural resources mean you are the producer.
Anyway, Google is a fabulous company, and as IndCoup says, with no ‘inventory’ they have created something of super value, not just for themselves, but for all parties involved. When an advertiser uses Google AdWords, it gets affordable, targeted traffic. The third party site that hosts the ads earns some revenue, and the customer browsing the web gets ads served up in the same context as the text they are reading. For example if you browse a site talking about camping, Google Ads will place camping products and service on that page.
IndCoup further says that Indonesia does not do anything to help stimulate economic growth through attracting foreign intellectual capital. That’s probably true. The visa situation over here, plus the ‘permanent probation’ that all foreigners are on, doesn’t make on relax. Many people live here for years and still have to get visa extensions, leave the country, fill out police forms anytime they have a guest stay etc.
Most countries try to encourage foreign investment with their department of trade. Indonesia tries to, then makes the investor jump through whole bunch of hoops, that they wouldn’t in other countries, almost defeating the purpose. They can’t let go of the control mentality and that hurts them. The government mistrusts foreigners because they can’t totally control them.
The information age is a tremendous time for economic growth and some countires will see that. I don’t think Indonesia is one of those countries.