Saturday, May 15, 2010

Will Facebook Be Tomorrow’s Google, and Google Tomorrow’s Microsoft? An absurd question?

The author, Bindu Reddy, is an eloquent writer but this article in TechCrunch (May 15, 2010) has all the makings of a very shallow and arbitrary analysis.

The author says, "Give Google a technology challenge—Build the largest search index (Google search), the biggest storage system (Gmail), the fastest browser (Chrome) or the niftiest javascript interface (Maps) and Google excels. Turn around and give it a product challenge—Build a community video site (Google video), a social network (Google Wave, Buzz and Orkut), an e-commerce platform (Google product search) and Google’s offerings are more mediocre than excellent."

How is Google search, Gmail, and Chrome NOT a product in the same way as the less successful ones like Google video, Google Wave, Buzz and Orkut? For the author, a successful product from Google is a technology challenge and not so succesful ones are product challenge. Pure inconsistency in argument.

Further the author says, "Unlike Facebook, which constantly makes drastic changes to it’s core product, even at the risk of annoying some of it’s users, Google’s strategy on core apps such as Search and Gmail is largely very data driven and incremental."

It should be realised that Google is a more mature and values driven company. Its cautious approach is deliberate. It is designed to maintain the trust of it users. It's a strategy that will have long term dividends for Google.

Finally, the headline, "Will Facebook Be Tomorrow’s Google, and Google Tomorrow’s Microsoft?" is absurd. Are these companies comparable? How could Google, the open source champion with a different set of values, could possibly become Microsoft, the epitome of proprietary software? Is revenue size the only consideration?

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