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Google is more like a cocky yet insecure teenager--always looking over its shoulder for the next threatening rival.
It wants every move on the Internet to go through its disarmingly simple home page, period.
Google has devised ways to make billions by linking advertisements to such queries. And to old-line industries, Google is scary in a Wal-Mart kind of way.
"The sense that Google can do everything well has been tarnished," said Joe Kraus, who co-founded and then sold Excite.com, which pioneered computer search in the early 1990s. "They've made people say, `Wait a second, not everything coming out of Google is amazing.'"
While the company started with a run of blockbuster hits--search, maps and Gmail--it hasn't had one since.
Aren't maps and Gmail recent compared to search? In fact, they are both (Gmail 2004, Maps 2005) newer than froogle (2002), which they are considering to be one of the recent flops.
Successful companies have flops, that is how you find the winners. And with Google, those flops don't have to be total flops either. They can be like open source project that can sit on a back burner (back server?) for a while to see if they take off or not.
I love Gmail, and their map product is great; the spreadsheet and calendar is not too shabby either.
As far as them being an Internet 'Wallmart', I probably can't agree, and would more likely put Microsoft in that category (they try but they haven't succeeded yet).
They can't hide behind time this time (no pun intended). Two years or even a year with the exposure they got is good enough to see if the public in large embraces them or not.
The funny part is that Google, with mediocre services might win 100 000 users at a time, and in the end they all add up. in 5 years, they'll have something that appeals to everyone--provided resources are not taken from search. We hear of diversified companies selling this and that to focus on their core businesses so we have to see how Google manages that.
Then one day, the power has arrived an,,,,,,,
Think historically, remember before our time certain
Anyway, I am a great admirwer of googles technique , if only there was a way to spread their talent an ability,,, ahh some people in years past had solutions
It is just a quickly tossed together mix of Google's aggregating software. They already had all the data they needed, so they just put it together in an attractive format. Then they added their Google Groups software to it, to give it the appearance of competing with Yahoo.
This caused Yahoo to scrabmle to restaff Yahoo! Finance, and fix all the bugs that people had been complaining about for years. Yahoo couldn't get a free ride anymore.
Then Yahoo!, in a fit of passion, went too far and did a "New Coke". They changed their message boards to behave more like Google Groups. The problem was that most message board *posters* and active users liked the format of the old Yahoo! message boards much better.
Those users went elsewhere to look for a place they liked better. For most of them, it wasn't Google for the message boards, because Google's message boards suck too. They mostly split off ont about 3 other boards.
How did google win in this case? A bunch of those users use the lsick Google finance front page for their stock tracking, while using the discussion boards on other sites. Sites that are not a direct competitor in Google's other money making areas.
They made Yahoo! spend money on developer time AND lose traffic.
Personally, I doubt that google has any developer time assigned to this "flop", but if anyone wants to spend their 20% play time on it, they can feel free.
Even if he didn't use any of the interview he did with me, this would have been an interesting angle to cover. It should have been part of article three which really seemed very abridged compared to the other two articles. Maybe they thought this part of the story would have been too esoteric for the average Tribune reader.
It really doesn't say much, or offer any new insights, aside from a few tidbits, like the fact that they discovered they weren't spending as much time on their cash cow and core product (search and adsense) as they thought they were.
Instead of Gspace, or something REALLY amazing that takes the online world by storm and is the most visited destination in North America in only two years, they are putting out Google calendar.
Thats what we really need - another online calendar!
The Microsoft example is rather typica. They created a sustained appearance of innovation and rapid growth primarily through the shrewed use of sharp elbowed business tactics. Nearly all of their important product successes were attributable to the liberal use of cash, not creativity. Think of all the corporate acquisitions, "me too" product rollouts, packaging and bundling efforts, massive marketing campaigns, etc. That's where their continued success comes from, much more than from their actual ability to innovate in delivery of ground-breaking new products.
Most newspaper publishers didn't lead the way in radio and TV broadcasting, or cable TV systems, for that matter. Coal mining companies didn't pioneer the oil industry. Railroads didn't pioneer the trucking industry. And so forth.
Its unrealistic for anyone (Google's leaders included) to expect Google to profitably expand far beyond their existing, core focus in search and advertising. The more Google chases peripheral products and markets (e.g. Google calendar, GoogleSpreadsheet) the harder it will be for them to continue to te their core markets. Google has a huge headstart in both search and ad distribution; that lead won't last forever if Google's leaders get too bogged down chasing other rainbows.
It is also worth remembering that even their most noteworthy successes, like Google News, GoogleMaps and GoogleEarth aren't necessarily profitable. Anyone with a couple of billion dollars in the bank, and a willingness to spend some of their cash hoard can occasionally make a splash.