Probably it was a decent idea:
- Andy Rubin was one of their most talented and innovative senior executives. He gave them Android.
- He moved over to own ‘robotics’ at Google.
- Time matters. Build vs. buy. Clearly, a decision was made to buy a bunch of start-ups and companies to get their faster rather than build everything from scratch. This always, and knowingly, comes with a trade-off. Whatever you buy is compromised, built by different engineers, with different goals, different hacks, different trade-offs that you’d pick, etc.
- Presumably, Boston Dynamics was one of the best “targets” and ideas for getting there faster, even if a defense-related business model made no sense. You make a Target List in M&A when you want to enter the space, and force rank. All targets have flaws, but presumably, Boston Dynamics was high on the list.
But … then Andy Rubin left, for whatever reason. Then — it becomes a distraction.
Get rid of distractions.