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Is Google a failure?

     
8:30 pm on Jun 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Google makes a fortune from search. It didn't happen by design though. An employee suggested the bidding system that makes them their megabucks but before that their likely income would have been a fraction of what they now collect. So, they got lucky.

What else have they succeeded with? Can youtube, which they paid a fortune for, ever make a profit? Will Google Glass ever sell in sufficient quantities to justify the hype? Can the driverless car ever overcome the huge infrastructure cost that would be necessary to make it a serious product? Will the huge degree of diversity in ever more esoteric directions strengthen them or prove unmanageable?

In short, are vast funds being wasted on vanity projects whilst the company struggles to overcome the inevitability of someone coming along with the better mousetrap?
9:11 pm on June 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

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the inevitability of someone coming along with the better mousetrap

While surely inevitable, there has been no better mousetrap designed for 120 years (and counting).

Be careful what you wish for.

...
8:16 am on June 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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No I don't think they are a failure.

What I do think is that they started out as the good guys, and we all bought it. Eventually that changed, and there's quite a bitter taste in a lot of people's mouths as a result.
3:28 pm on June 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Will the huge degree of diversity in ever more esoteric directions strengthen them or prove unmanageable?


Right, and if Google weren't experimenting with other things, people here would be arguing that Google is a one-trick pony.

The fact that Google can afford to invest in what you call "vanity projects" (and what other people might call R&D) answers your question, but probably not in the way you'd like.
4:33 pm on June 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Like any corporation, G must continue to evolve bucks for the stockholders. No more evil than any other corporations out there. Compared to other corps G is still a young thing and, like most young things, has a short attention span and likes to play with pretty things. Whether they score another "hit" or not remains to be seen.
9:23 pm on June 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Right, and if Google weren't experimenting with other things, people here would be arguing that Google is a one-trick pony.


At the moment that's exactly what they are. If you read their accounts you will see that nearly all their income still comes from search.

The fact that Google can afford to invest in what you call "vanity projects" (and what other people might call R&D) answers your question, but probably not in the way you'd like.


I'd actually be quite happy if Google stayed top dog in search (with some good strong competition to keep them on their toes). I've made a lot of money from them over the last decade, far more than I made from Snap, Lycos, AltaVista, Looksmart, Findwhat, Dogpile, Mamma etc etc in the past. Please let us not go back to those crazy days. However, much of Google's diversification is into areas that they have little/no expertise in so perhaps you can enlighten me: which of their projects (most of which they seem to be paying way over the top for) will make decent profits in the future, and how? And, as a matter of interest, what, apart from search, has been profitable for them in the past?

What I see is a lot of hype but no real business plan apart from throwing money at just about everything in the hope that something turns up trumps.
12:59 am on June 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

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with some good strong competition to keep them on their toes). I've made a lot of money from them over the last decade,


Selective quote, of course. Indication that current terrain is okay for you... until it changes. Has changed for others. Won't change for others as well... they have no horse in the race (gov, edu, etc)

But there is no doubt that g is changing the landscape and we need to keep track, see which way the wind blows... and sometimes see it too late... and if you are g only, might wish otherwise because that competition is the one thing that g is squelching day by day.