wheel - 11:41 pm on Feb 10, 2010 (gmt 0)
The combination of hutcheson & golocal's posts make the most sense to me. Too many people are stuck thinking Google is "just a search engine". This has never been true, even in the beginning.
They want all the world's information. Plain and simple. They are going to create the pipes to allow the information to travel -- and in turn they will advertise and organize -- and millions of people are going to climb on board. It's really that easy (for them).
That's absolutely false.
I understand that's what you think. It's actually what *Google* thinks. What you're missing - and what Google's missing - and what's wrong with this - is that they are in fact a publicly traded advertising agency. 97% of their income comes from advertising on search and adsense.
All this nonsense is fun and games until somebody loses an eye. They can throw their money around like this with complete disregard for anything other than dreams of candybars and rainbows. But all that will stop fast if their advertising revenue ever declines - and maybe even if it just stabilizes. You think the stockholders (everyone's forgetting about them, aren't they?) are going to hold still while Google execs spend money on yet another fruitless project, while ever increasing amounts of money are going out the door.
One of these days, under the pressure of stable or declining revenue, the public is going to get presented with a long list of 'things google does that cost a lot but never make money'. And then all this nonsense goes away.
For me, if I was an ISP, I'd be making some serious inroads into developing a relationship with my clients. Starting with recommending a new search engine.