As I recount in "Google NYC First Look: Top Google engineer talks to NYC software industry,” I had the pleasure of chatting personally with Alan Warren, Google Director of Engineering, while waiting for him to address the New York Software Industry Association last evening.
I good naturedly asked Warren how he could have forgotten to send me a press invitation to the official opening of the NYC Googleplex at the beginning of the month, as I am a prolific NYC writer on Google. No worry, I noted, I scooped the story several weeks prior, see "Google to create Googleplex in NYC."
I also mentioned to Warren that it does not seem that I missed anything by not taking the official Google open house tour of the NYC Googleplex. Press coverage of Google’s show and tell on its second largest engineering site revolved around tours of the Google employee cafeteria and adult play rooms.
I told Warren about the story I did write to mark Google’s official NYC coming out: “Can Google CEO Eric Schmidt make it in NYC?” Here is an excerpt:
New York, New York: If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere! Google, under the leadership of CEO Eric Schmidt, certainly believes its destiny calls it to make it the world over. Wait a New York minute, however.
Google is embarking on a multi-faceted strategic move into the “capital of the world,” as I recount in “Google to create Googleplex in NYC”…
Schmidt addressed NYC publishing execs last June, as I discuss in “Google CEO on ad sales execs: Google ‘targeted ads’ better.” Schmidt extolled the virtues of its self-serve ad system over flesh and blood sales people…
How will Schmidt’s vision be received in perhaps the “capital of the world” for ad sales people”?
I put forth that Schmidt is spurring “Death of a Salesman” 2.0. Google’s aim to displace today’s Willy Lomans of the world via the Google advertising machine is steadily being realized.
Google’s view that its self-service advertising machine will render sales people obsolete is not a universal one, as I discussed with Joanne Bradford, corporate vice president of global sales and marketing and chief media revenue officer at Microsoft, during her Advertising Week keynote in New York City recently.
In “Microsoft to Google: WE love ad sales people,” I recount my exchange with Bradford. I concluded:
It is unlikely that NYC ad sales execs will be happy when Google CEO Eric Schmidt calls on NYC firms with the message that a targeted ad is better than a targeted sales person because, “The ad can serve 24 hours a day, the ad can serve anywhere, and the ad is cheaper.”
At Shop.org last week a major NYC based Google ad account, Travelocity, publicly announced just such a dissatisfaction with Google, as I report in “Tavelocity to Google: Stop dissing multi-million dollar ad clients.”
Jeffrey Glueck, Travelocity Chief Marketing Offficer, put forth a business case for why Google’s keyword-based search advertising 1) embodies the law of diminishing returns, 2) is not self-funding and 3) is not inherently “golden.”
Glueck shared proprietary data on Travelocity’s $25 million annual search advertising spend and put forth to the audience of ecommerce professionals and brand marketers a personal message:
stand-up and let Google know that advertisers demand to be treated with respect! Glueck conveyed his dismay and frustration that as a multi-million dollar Google advertiser, Travelocity is not provided the transparency and respect that common courtesy and standard business practices call for.
Glueck is leading a challenge to Google: treat multi-million dollar advertisers as partners, not merely writers of large checks to Google, or risk losing million of dollars in ad business.
Glueck’s straight forward data-based analysis of “Why Paid Search May Not Be The Best ROI For Your Incremental Dollar,” was compelling but it has apparently not, to date, spurred a Google AdWords client revolt? WHY NOT?
I often put forth at this Digital Micro-Markets Blog that Google search advertisers are operating contrary to traditional, standard media buying best practices. Rather than negotiate down published ad rate terms, media buyers blindly, and willingly, bid up their own keyword costs at Google.
Google advertisers are risking leaving money at Google’s table, according to Google advertiser Travelocity. Glueck said that Google (and other search engines):
push advertisers to continually spend more on paid search by touting “self-funding” and portfolio theories.
Glueck likened such self-centered strategies by the portals to gambling casinos enticing people to “leave your profits at the casino.”
Glueck told his fellow advertisers that if they succumb to Google’s self-motivated sales pitches they may end up destroying shareholder value and end up risking their own year-end company bonuses!”
Why are advertisers not demanding more transparency and accountability from Google with the goal of even higher ROI?
How did the top Google engineer in NYC wow industry insiders last evening while putting forth “The World According to Google”?
Google is believable and people want to believe the Google message.
What were some of Warren’s Google crowd-pleasing messages?
We defy all conventions, we will not be boxed in.
Management gets in the way, we do it the right way.
QA is a bandaid, all Google engineers are quality engineers…
Fellow ZDNet blogger Mary Jo Foley likens Warren’s confidence to Microsoft arrogance:
Bashing Microsoft and praising Google is fashionable these days. But I can't help but notice that if you switched the word "Microsoft" in for "Google" in most of Warren's aforementioned sound bites, the Redmond software maker would be a total laughing stock. Who needs to manage? Who needs to rigorously test code? We're above all that!
Microsoft has — justifiably — been called arrogant. But Google takes arrogance to a whole new level. Microsoft has stumbled and fallen and is now picking itself up to move on. You'd think Google might have learned from Microsoft's mistakes.
Based on Warren's talk last night, I'd say Google is going to be headed for a fall of its own. And perhaps sooner rather than later.
I posted the same this past weekend in “Google love waning: Has Google peaked?”
Performances such as Warren’s last evening, however, suggest it may be later rather than sooner.