Santa is bringing coal for Google--shoveling up a ton of it

Santa is bringing coal for Google--shoveling up a ton of it

Summary: Can Google reign in its ambitions and slow down its red-shift acceleration in new business launches--and let society catch-up?

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TOPICS: Google
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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 :-)

Topic: Google

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14 comments
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  • Too late

    Google, with its dark fiber and portable data centers is poised to take over the internet (or more precisely, BECOME the NEW internet). Read Cringley http://www.pbs.org/cringely/ if you want to know the "truth".
    Roger Ramjet
    • More "Google Hype"

      This is exactly what the Authour was talking about.
      Too, much, too fast, but no track record in these areas, and not much to show for alot of the talk.

      And thses days, you really can't believe anything as you really don't know who owns what stocks these days. Alot of hype comes from trying to get a big payout from a stock purchase/sale...
      John Zern
  • Never mind the man behind the curtain

    That's exactly how Google is. For every "gee, wow!" that people let out over one of their new "innovations", all I see is a poor imitation of someone else's idea. Google Maps? All they did was improve the UI and add an API to an idea that has been around forever. GMail? Again, all they did was add more storage space to a pre-existing idea, and poorly implemented it to boot (GMail loses email, is slow, and *just now* got virus scanning!). Google Base? Ho-hum knockoff of Craigslist. Picassa? Floundering version of Flikr, does anyone ever use it? Orkut? This supposed MySpace/Friendster killer hasn't been mentioned in months, if not years. Don't even get me started on Google Talk.

    Sad to say, in the free market of ideas, the only product Google has that ever been sucessful with in reality, once the Google Halo wears off, is search.

    J.Ja
    Justin James
  • I disagree

    Google is not moving fast enough in their support of Linux. For example Google Earth and their toolbars.
    Underdog_1
    • Ok - I'm taking the bait

      Simple corporate economics - develop your product for your target group. The larger the group the larger the demand for your product.

      Add to it that Schmidt has been trying to hit Microsoft since Novell was sidelined as a NOS. He learned from the NT days - make your product work with the competitor's service.
      grillin_man
  • Too fast for whom

    Google may have problems managing/integrating/marketing all these products and achieving maximum value for each. I don't see why Google should somehow be obliged to slow down for the good or sanity of society just because some people or sections of society or even the whole of society can't keep up - go Google go go go! Those that can't keep up - well, let them do so in their own good time. If as a result of moving so fast no one can keep up then Google will probably slow down anyway.
    james.love@...
  • are u serious?

    obviously this is why your job is report on what the big shakers and movers are doing, rather than doing the innovating yourself. know your role. god bless google. somebody had to step the game up, else we would be stuck in a Microsoft world. you need to go back to school and study the fundamentals of economics and common sense, the more competitors, the better the product. GO GOOGLE. Santa is a figment of the imagination so him bringing google coal, is like me believing in jesus christ as my lord and saviour. it is not going to happen. happy holidays. merry secular christmas. what a fantastical period of the year. i love it.
    mashama@...
    • How does Google save us from Microsoft?

      "somebody had to step the game up, else we would be stuck in a Microsoft world."

      This is an idea that has been gnawing at me for some time now. Why do people feel that Microsoft and Google are competitors? Google has nothing to do with the vast majority of the markets that Microsoft makes money in. The last I checked, Google does NOT make any of the following products:

      * An operating system
      * A network operating system
      * An office suite
      * CRM
      * Video games (hardware and software)
      * Programming tools
      * Database servers
      * Email servers
      * Other backend servers

      OK, Google and a division of Microsoft compete (MSN), but honestly, is Microsoft actually making money on MSN? Even if MSN is a loss leader, is anyone adopting other Microsoft technologies or paying for other Microsoft products as a result of MSN? I think not.

      MSN was originally a way to help push Internet Explorer, which would help push Microsoft's "embrace and extend" technologies like ActiveX. While Internet Explorer thrived, it was more due to it shipping with the OS than anything else. Heck, you needed IE to go download Netscape. Few people took up Microsoft technologies in a way that made it impossible for non-IE users to work with their sites. The end result? Microsoft never managed to lock users into IE.

      Until the day when Google releases any of the above products, that are substantially different and/or better than Microsoft's existing competitors in those fields, I really don't see how Google has anything to do with Microsoft, or Microsoft's revenue stream.

      J.Ja
      Justin James
      • It isn't Google vs MS

        On this forum it is Linux vs MS, or at least in the narrow minds of the people that post such messages. Fixations with MS seem to be a religion around here.
        balsover
  • Santa is bringing us coal...since the dot-bomb

    No one on the internet is innovating fast enough and also delivering new technologies wholesale. Everyone still can't just express a concept to a search engine and get true relavance (we have to learn its language to get anything close to relavance). There still is no good service for renting software only when you need it and there is still no decent web substitute for Outlook Express (unless you are fotunate enough to get into one of these multi-year betas). Google was the first company to actually allow you to easily find all the "yournamehere" restaurants around you and then made it much easier to zoom and pan the map.

    As a whole, the internet content/services industry isn't innovating, it is like a glacier, moving along inperceptably by its own weight.
    dukemang
  • Slow the Pace of Innovation?

    I believe we all benefit from innovation and we should applaud those who do it well, not punish them.
    croberts@...
  • Define ?cultural sonic boom"

    jimloveuk states it well ?Those that can't keep up - well, let them do so in their own good time?.

    Tom Foremski needs to define ?cultural sonic boom? and give a practical example analogous to breaking windows! That WAS his point. How exactly will slow acceptance cause a sonic boom?
    tipton@...
  • Reminiscent of past MonopolieS?

    It seems some people may have difficulty understanding your point of view on this matter. I've seen all kinds of talkback responses, but most of which are trying to defend and/or encourage Google's rash behavior. I don't recall anything in your article, however, condemning Google for their rave of technological competition of late. I would warn those who attempted to read this article and failed that it is not an issue of appropriate business behavior, but a matter of successful vs. unsuccessful web business. History teaches us that Google's actions will likely have adverse if not negative effects.

    So, those of you who misunderstood this wise columnist, go ahead: go ahead and raise your Google banners high; go ahead and mock my response as you play the role of the noble Google defendant. Just spare us the whimpering and whining when the Google dynasty is swallowed up in the complaints and lawsuits of a society whose panties get wadded up at the mere thought of another company monopolizing the world of personal and business computing...we've all been through that once before...
    PlaidRadish
  • Harm or Benefit?

    I'm not convinced that Google will be a monopoly. MS and others are making plans to compete. The bottom line: will Google's efforts benefit consumers more than the harm they cause to consumers? Don't talk to me about harm to other businesses. I'm a firm believer that businesses that fail to compete should not survive.
    shanedr