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

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...

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TOPICS: Google
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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.


Topic: Google

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3 comments
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  • Failure maybe

    As far as I know Google has obtained plenty of users through their side projects.

    Besides I think it's more reasonable to accept the possibility of failure (on should not be afraid to fail?), especially with so many projects, rather than spending a ton of marketing money on them.
    kjetil_h
  • Failure is good

    Google is the now the second biggest IT company in the world and growing. Why? Because it reinvents itself over and over again around its core competence.

    Please do not underestimate the power of the engineering culture of Google. Evolution has show us that failure is good and I think Google understands that. And without us engineers there is nothing to bring to market.
    bbrinkhus
  • Another Google failure

    They'll add it to the heap of other faiolutes as well as some to come [such as Google+].
    Gisabun