The general sentiment towards Google has definitely turned negative lately. It's to be expected, such things come and go, we've seen it time and time again.
The media hoist companies onto a pedestal, write adoring articles, and then kick-in the pedestal. Or try to
The negative sentiment could all just be part of an expected reversal in the media tides, or it could be something more serious. It could be that Google is unable to control its ambitions and is moving way too fast--too fast for everybody's comfort.
In Silicon Valley, Google is thought of as the giant sucking sound [along with Yahoo], sucking in all the cool companies, top engineers, and out innovating Sand Hill VCs' finest portfolio companies.
If you were to take a look at all the products that Google (and Yahoo) have launched this year, you would be stunned. And it is this red shift acceleration in the rate of Google's product/service launches that is going to lead to problems.
It's because culture moves slowly. The reason we have been able to absorb many of the new and novel internet services such as deli.cio.us and many others, is that we had some lag time to catch up with.
I'm talking about a cultural lag time, in that we had spent the dot-bomb fall-out years getting very comfortable with internet technologies. It has all seeped nearly invisibly into our surroundings.
These days, there often feels to be a tighter linkage between the pace of technology change--and our society's reflection of those changes in its speech, mannerisms, and concepts. Even so, culture changes slowly, and a tighter linkage can work in both ways.
A cultural sonic boom
The danger that Google faces is that it is moving way too fast--and it will create a cultural sonic boom that will shatter many windows. And usually, such booms result in protests and the clipping of wings. [As in Concorde--the British-French supersonic airliner.]
Can Google, even let's ask, should Google slow things down? Fiduciary duties to shareholders would preclude slowing things down. And I'm not sure Google can slow things down without damaging its internal culture of innovation.
Which means you should tape up your windows :-)