Is Koogle's successor the key to Google's future?

I can hardly imagine Google making the kind of money the investor community is anticipating without getting scores of unhappy users. Granted, Google is still far from Yahoo!'s misplaced and annoying advertising, but in the end how can anybody make that kind of money and remain Mr. Nice?

First off, how many people recall Koogle? He used to be Yahoo!'s CEO before Semel. Yahoo! needed a Semel to graduate from the do-only-good on the internet stage and start delivering the type of ROI the Street had been waiting for. Will Google's management and don't-be-evil philosophy change in time? Let's see: Eric Schmidt had given us a taste for how well he could maneuver a corporate entity, at Novell. Wasn't he the one who, among other things, sold SCO-Unix, yet later Novell bought SUSE-Linux? If Schmidt is replaced by a Semel's equivalent, people will talk about Page&Brin as they do now about Filo&Young.

So far, Google's achievements are:
  • Made most happy internet users;
  • Built one (of the most?) extraordinary internet infrastructures on commodity equipment;
  • Perfected an (IBM/CMU?) search/ranking algorithm for web pages to the point advertising subsidizes their turning upside-down business rules for ISVs;
  • Bought a few start-ups and released their nice technologies for free;
  • Seduced the Street into getting a $7Bn cash advance;
  • Created a supposedly phenomenal working environment at a larger scale;
  • By and large, lived by its don't-be-evil philosophy.

How far and where can Google grow from here?

I think most speculation on this is, to put it mildly, unwarranted. I'll leave it to those who need to trade such things. What we may anticipate is that an advertising-subsidized internet can become as Orwellian as they come. There is no such thing as free lunch, and those who expect it should reckon the difference between HBO and the big 4-5 major TV networks. The only problem is going to be the multiplicative factor of the internet.

Who should be afraid of Google?

IMO, its first casualties are going to be those businesses, targeting consumers, that don't understand simplicity commands a premium. More on this here--see the CHI Triad. Conversely, when companies are thinking too much in terms of closed-platforms, or closed-specs complements for their products and technologies, the inherent complexity is discounted. It is as if Microsoft or Intel started with the idea of a platform in mind, or DRM was contemporary to the first Walkman. So, when "new" at Microsoft is an extension of one of its platforms, and Intel tries to go with its first Itanium, they are not as mindful of the customer as they were when their success was growing. In these cases, the novelty is called Google, and AMD, respectively.

Another category that is living under potential threat would be our very selves--the users of Google technology. Indeed, the potential for Google's misusing personal information is so huge that one may want to pay just to be free.

Personal note

As far as I am concerned, my interaction with Google has been allright. While I have not received any discounts to the things I enjoy via Google, the little experiment I run with the smallest Google ad-box to the right of this posting is behaving. The displayed ads match the contents of this page anywhere from 45% to 85%. Yet, I have seen much worse on more popular pages...

Thank you for your attention and comments!


Anonymous said...

this is a link worth checking out by y'all:

fch, good posting, i am scared by google too!

Anonymous said...

Here's how Semel decided to sell principle for cash: "Yahoo!, for instance, recently assisted the Chinese authorities in tracking down a journalist who dared to email information about censorship to a New York-based website. He got 10 years in prison."

Shame on you Mr. Semel!

Will Google ever turn this evil?

Anonymous said...

More to the previous message, how far can Google be?

October 4, 2005
Taiwan Tells Google It Is Not a China Province

Filed at 6:24 a.m. ET

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan's government has asked Web search company Google Inc. to stop calling the self-ruled island a ''province of China'' on its Google Maps service, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

China views Taiwan as a breakaway province and has threatened to attack the island of 23 million people if it pushes for formal statehood. The two split in a civil war ended in 1949.

Taiwan maintains it is a sovereign, independent state that is officially called the Republic of China.

``It is incorrect to call Taiwan a province of China because we are not,'' foreign ministry spokesman Michel Lu said. ``We have contacted Google to express our position and asked them to correct the description.''

The foreign ministry has not received a response from Google.

The small pro-independence Taiwan Solidarity Union has urged the public to write a protest email to Google, demanding the search engine describe Taiwan as ``an independent state in Asia.''

Taiwan is recognised by only 26 states in the world and has no seat at the United Nations.

fCh said...

Financial Times Deutschland refers to as "Orwell's Search Engine." In Chinese, "Kou tou" describes an act of deep respect bowing the head in reverence to touch the ground. In western usage, however, kowtow connotes scraping servility. German newspapers have taken the events in Peking as Google's betrayal of western values.

For more on this, click here to go to Spiegel Online