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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Gary Hamel, Google & Hype

I like Paul Kedrosky's take on Gary Hamel's commentary column on Google. Hamel while emphasising that Google's capacity to keep evolving as an organization as an important trait, over does this when he writes :

Google 1.0 was a search engine that crawled the Web but generated little revenue; which led to Google 2.0, a company that sold its search capacity to AOL/Netscape, Yahoo and other major portals; which gave way to Google 3.0, an Internet contrarian that rejected banner ads and instead sold simple text ads linked to search results; which spawned Google 4.0, an increasingly global entity that found a way to insert relevant ads into any and all Web content, dramatically enlarging the online ad business; which mutated into Google 5.0, an innovation factory that produces a torrent of new Web-based services, including Gmail, Google Desktop, and Google Base. More than likely, 6.0 is around the corner

Hardly a thing that one would expect of a management thinker to write like this. While few will be unimpressed by the slew of rollouts that Google has managed in the last few months - its downright silly to think that recent rollouts signify morphing of a new google with it. Sensational writing at its best - not even a Gary Hamel tag is helping to view this as anything else. I had been repeatedly highlighting that Google need to show a clear statement of direction - its factory visit or analyst meet slides not withstanding to be seen as worthy of the multibillion dollar marketcap that it currently commands. We see that when it comes to discussing its future plans, speculation overrides concrete promise. In Gary Hamel's parlance, not until Google 20.0, would one get to fuly understand what it stands for and its uniqueness in pursuing solutions outside search.

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"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"