Geekspin Blog

Is Google losing the plot?

Posted on: June 9, 2006

So there is no denying the fact that Google is the most significant technology company to come along in recent years and I think most of us have walked a long road right from the beginning with ol’ Larry and Sergey, I for one converted way back in late 1999 when the Beta Engine really started hitting the press back then (they stole me away from Yahoo).

Now well over six years on, where do I stand with my relationship with the big “G”? Google has since started to branch of into all sorts of directions with some products that where groundbreaking and innovative on much the same level as The Search. We had GMail (awesome I use it everyday), Google Earth (a whole industry has been built on it) and the rest, well there are many, but none really as groundbreaking or revolutionary as the first three I mentioned. Picasa, GChat GTalk, GDesktop, GCalender, GNotebook anyone?

Yeah sure, there have been some great free products out there and there ain’t nothing wrong with free, but I have always seen Google as the ultimate innovator, the company that is developing the product suite that will blow the cobwebs of “ye old crappy corporate failures at software” and that will blow new life into parts of my digital experience that I never even realised needed revival.

Stop! Oh dear! Have a look at the products that they have just announced this week:

1) Albums in Picasa
2) Google Spreadsheet
3) Some wierd thing that will sample what I watch on TV?

If we stay still enough, we may just hear the sound of the GTrain sliding of the rail.. *bang* *crash*

Mark Forrester points out: “What gets me though is why are they diluting their brand?”

Om Malik asks: “Is Google Wasting Its Genius Cycles?”

Good point you two, Google might have to start holding back on these little experiments and start focusing there minds and money on producing the next big thing since GMail. I doubt they are causing any M$ Office managers any form of headache by releasing this product, this is not how you disrupt..

What about the small factor of people losing faith in your products, a sort of I couldn’t be bothered attitude. I mean we are all expecting great things now from you Google, that IS your brand. Or are you feeling the pains of a company that grew huge way too quickly?

Apart from the duh factor (come on people, have you never seen a spreadsheet?) there are some very serious privacy issues still in the way before most large corporations will even start looking at only office suites and right now there are some very good cross-platform alternatives out there for the desktop, OpenOffice being one of them.

As for that weak excuse for an upgrade to Picasa, when are we seeing web integration into Google’s own exciting FlickR killer? Now that would capture my attention!

Just about the only glimmer of hope I see from all of these little “Goodies” is that Google is proving some form of viability of the-web-as-a-platform, but I think they have a ways to go still to resolve the trust issues.

Holding my breath for the next announcement.

Be sure to read Mike Arringtons similar rant here …

Update: Over on digitalfarm JBagley comments that we are not seeing the big picture and that “All I’m saying is don’t always take things at face-value”, and that in the end it is about money. I agree there is something lurking in the muddy waters at Google HQ, but if I was the evil genius trying to take over the world, I would try to make sure that people are hooked and not release ho-hum pieces of software that are quickly sending the subsequent releases to “so what?” hell. I think they are heading towards a mismanagement disaster no matter what the intention is.


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1 Response to "Is Google losing the plot?"

I don’t think Google was ever an Innovator.
Their strategy seems to me to be that of “Analyser” – they have a stable product (search) – which they didn’t invent; now they can analyse full time and identify key trends (such as web-based office apps) and attempt to refine and improve / simplify them in the same way.

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