Google University v. Amazon U

Big Tech’s Big Plans for Higher Education

Editor’s Note: In writing today’s post it appears I've made the rather classic mistake of mixing up the registrar and registrant fields associated with domain registration and it's entirely possible the domains discussed below were purchased through Google, but not by Google themselves. Leaving the post up for transparency.


Here’s a fun one for you...

If you work in edu you’ve no doubt been inundated with coverage about big tech’s big plans for our industry.

Whether it’s Google’s recent announcement about their new six-month certificate program, Amazon’s recent backend bootcamp partnerships with Lambda School and Kenzie Academy, Microsoft’s launch of their global skills initiative, or Facebook’s launch of Oculus Education, every aspiring futurist (present company included) can’t seem to stop talking about how big tech is poised to disrupt the education industry. 

But what are these titans of technology actually planning to do?

Is there a realistic scenario where Google or Amazon might actually build their own university? 

Well, early in my career I was taught that if you want to see into the playbook of a company don’t just listen to what they say, but rather watch what they do when it comes to their competition. 

So on a recent restless afternoon when I was hunting for just about anything to distract me from tackling my To Do List, I started to dig. 

Searching ICANN’s WHOIS Directory

Using ICANN’s WHOIS domain directory, I began to guess and search for education-related domains that contained trademarks of the Big 5 tech companies.

And this is what I found...

Google has been actively buying Amazon domains that contain education keywords 

Specifically…

On August 9th, 2020, Google LLC purchased the domain name amazoncollege.org

And previous to that, on October 10th, 2019, Google LLC purchased the domain amazoneducation.org

Make of this small finding what you will, but it’s worth asking if Google wasn’t planning on building their own university, why on earth are they so worried about Amazon doing it?

And as a budding futurist passionate about peddling projections, I have to say, this simple discovery gave me pause enough to step back and wonder if...

Google University may be closer than we think


Editor’s Note

Kanahoma is an education marketing agency based in San Diego, California. We live, work, and play at the intersection of beautiful brand creative and effective direct response marketing. 

You can learn more about what we do and how we do it at Kanahoma.com.

Wishing you all the best,

Seth