May 30, 2006

As Google Grows Up, Bumps Taking Place

Google started out life as a simple search engine. With an uncluttered interface, users had access to what soon became the most thorough database on the Web, and from there, the company grew - adding paid ads alongside search results, and then an avalanche of applications, as the company's next moves and areas to add ad revenue seem limitless, from GMail to Google-branded classified ads, Google Desktop and more. But all through the process, the company's promised to not do evil, in direct contrast with Microsoft, who is widely respected for its own pact with Satan himself.

Now, as Google is seen as the 800 pound gorilla, those who follow the company's every step and speculate to their next move are growing increasingly wary, suggesting the company's honeymoon is over - that like Microsoft, IBM and basically any large company before it, Google is not to be trusted, and that a lack of information about their current and future business is hiding something - and that something is likely sinister. Media coverage, technology fans and business experts alike have changed their tone when discussing Google, no longer seeing it as a plucky upstart, but instead as a force to be reckoned with in every market. (See Google makes some missteps as it finds its way in corridors of power and Why Google makes everyone else nervous)

In fact, some are saying that as Google has grown and taken on new projects, they have lost their way, with nobody being held accountable for market share, growth, and the inevitable quest for profit. While the company continues to impress with the search market and advertising growth, some have said that Google's comparable market share in e-mail, news, financial information and mapping software are surprisingly low for what should be a market leader, and are calling for change - in the form of layoffs, starting with the CEO and working downward. Google and layoffs have scarcely been mentioned in the same breath before, and the company continues its massive expansion. Hardly a day goes by where one prominent geek hasn't announced on their personal blog that they've been hired by the search giant. But the tone has changed, and if Google's not careful, they'll find that consumers and media are very fickle, and what used to be open-ended good-will can play very much the opposite way.

Listening to ''Eclipse'', by Timo Maas (Play Count: 4)