Since he wrote The Search (a whole book on Google, it’s competitors and the search industry, which I used extensively for reference for my paper on them), I’m inclined to believe he’s right. Although for me, the reasons stretch beyond the $100k prize.
1) We don’t have a university environment like Larry Page and Sergey Brin had at Stanford. Our universities are too academic based. Also, I sure would like to see a school here letting students use their resources for a project like that!
2) We don’t have investors who are comfortable with investing $25m to develop the engine to take off.
3) I’m not sure we even have the people who can write the search algorithms.
4) Finally, as my Strategy professor says, there’s a reason why Creative from Singapore developed the mp3 player, and then let Apple take that away.
5) As a tongue-in-cheek point, Singapore’s too obsessed with efficiency to pay attention to things like culture (and free food!) the way Google does. From the visit to their office in New York, I can safely say that that sort of focus on having a happy work environment, doesn’t exactly exist here.
What do you think? The next Google or something like it originating from our tiny island?