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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Google : Structured Chaos, Googleyness & Anarchy

The Fortune cover story on Google talks about the structured chaos fostering the growth story for Google. Google is generating more than $800 million in cash each quarter. In the process, Google is thrashing the competition - in market share, deals won, buzz - notably Yahoo and Microsoft. It's also cozying up to a growing list of heavyweights you'd think would be warier, including News Corp, Viacom and ad-agency giant WPP. Along with Googleyness, chaos is among the most important aspects of Google's self-image. CEO Schmidt acknowledges that sometimes promising new products are buried so deep within Google's sites that users can't find them – even No.1 google supporter can’t remember them all at once. Google has released at least 83 full-fledged and test-stage products - none has altered the Web landscape the way Google.com did. Additions like the photo site Picasa, Google Finance, and Google Blog Search belie Google's ardent claim that it doesn't do me-too products. Often new services lack a stunningly obvious feature. With so many moving parts, it's natural to wonder if Google is truly a company for the ages and investors are concerned if Google can come up with a second act. There's nothing to suggest that its growth engine - ad-supported search - is in trouble. But it's clear from Google's tentative lurches into new forms of advertising and its spaghetti method of product development that the company is searching for ways to grow beyond that well-run core.

I have been writing for some time along these lines -look at the note on drilling good sense into google pricing. In a related note, I covered, while assessing non-search services & developer services one finds that Google does innovate in some spaces but has largely innovated in order to gain entry in markets that already existed. While google breathes innovation, competitors are generally quick to notice and are catching up its high time Google clearly explains its vision that it is executing for the next 2-3 years – very important that there should be a plan to grow and sustain the 120+Billion USD marketcap (incidentally bigger than the GDP of some oil producing Asian nations – the likes of Indonesia.) contrarian views about Google’s valuations definitely need a closer examination. I think this issue needs some serious evaluation as I had been pointing out for sometime like here, here about google's ability to sustain its leadership and support the very high marketcap. Google has to come out in the open about its plans for spending the money say building its own Internet, online index,along with monetizing models in more specific terms. True - some of google recent launches like Google Earth, Google Checkut may provide more monetizing opportunity - but where's the marketing and communication on those lines. I hardly see them. Its time that we get to see and know things beyond the likes of generic macro views like that of George Colony, which focuses only on what and not the how. Like in any other industry the responsibility of pioneers and leaders are lot more than just looking after themselves - they are trendsetters and role models in the industry.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"