Computerworld: Google’s Not Hot

August 26, 2008

The Computerworld story surprised me. Preston Gralla, a really big name in tech journalism, wrote an opinion piece called “Why Google Has Lost Its Mojo — And Why You Should Care”. You can read the full text of this important essay here. The most important point in Mr. Gralla’s write up is the title. It says it clear: Google has no spice, zing, magic, and voodoo. In Gulla, Google’s medicine men have lost “it”.

Consider this statement:

So why do I think it’s lost its mojo? Let’s start with the way it treats its employees. Google’s largesse has been legendary — free food, liberal maternity and parental leave, on-site massages, fitness classes and even oil changes. But according to a recent New York Times article, those days may be gone.

Once employees sense a downshift, human resources professionals have to scramble.

I posted an innocuous story about the Amtrak passenger service selecting Autonomy. The outfit fighting for this project was Google. Google lost this high profile account. Google has other challenges as well, including legal hassles. Some big and some small. But these take time to address. Google’s technology is showing some flaws. Ads still works, but other functions are buggy. Google has started an investment branch; its foundation is pushing “green” technology. Former employees are not surfing on Google. Some like Cuil.com are competing. The fact that those Xooglers rolled out a tasty confection before it was complete does little to polish the reputation of Google and its Xooglers. For me, the fact that Computerworld is souring on Google is news. Amazing turn of events for Googzilla.

Stephen Arnold, August 26, 2008

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