Google opens 'Wallet' to let users buy content - but is it already a failure?

Summary:Google is terrible at marketing. A new service is accidentally discovered by CNET...

Google will allow people to pay for web content using its Google Wallet service reports CNET's Casey Newton:

The company confirmed today that users will soon be able to pay for Web content using Google Wallet, buying individual articles for an average of $0.25 to $0.99 each. Once users buy the page, they will own it forever, Google said. The project is expected to launch later today or tomorrow.

A draft post announcing the new project appeared briefly in the RSS feed for the Google Commerce blog, where CNET found it. The company later confirmed details of the launch.

But how serious is this effort to help publishers monetize their content? How is it that a launch of this type, potentially affecting thousands of media companies, is announced with an obscure post discovered by CNET?

This demonstrates how bad Google is at marketing its services and why so many of its initiatives fail to gain traction: it doesn't understand how to market anything. It's because the engineering culture abhors marketing of any kind.

Marketing is "fake" in the software engineer culture and that's why many despise Apple and its products, considering them marketing products rather than serious computing devices.

Also, Google became popular without any marketing. When I used to meet with the founders they were proud of the fact that Google didn't do any marketing. Build it and they will come was the attitude.

That works sometimes, often it doesn't. In today's media noisy world even Google needs to do marketing to be seen.

Stick this one on the pile of failed Google ventures. Why does Google bother? It's wasted huge amounts of time from some of the top engineers in the world. The 20%/80% framework of working on new projects has been a gigantic failure.


Topics: Google

About

In May 2004, Tom Foremski became the first journalist to leave a major newspaper, the Financial Times, to make a living as a full-time journalist blogger. He writes the popular news blog Silicon Valley Watcher--reporting on the business of Silicon Valley.Tom arrived in San Francisco in 1984, and has covered US technology markets for leadi... Full Bio

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