The Google Zeitgeist Bomb Shell
September 18, 2008
News accounts of the Messrs Brin, Page, and Schmidt at the Google Zeitgeist announcement are playing second fiddle to the cratering of the US financial sector. I’m tempted to link to the Associated Press stories, but I won’t. Who wants to be sued when newspapers are in a death spiral, and their house pet are trying to keep their noses out of a sea of red ink.
I’m watching the news flicker across my laptop screen, and most of the stories are about Google hooking up with GE for “green energy.” I ignored this story because Google’s floating data centers remind me of nuclear plant cooling technology. GE knows about these efficient cooling systems, and it struck me that Google’s floating data center patent was a retake on what the utility industry has been doing for decades. There’s a fascination with Google Android and the snubbing of the Apple iPhone for the nifty street imaging. There is a rehashing of Google and Yahoo working to explain that their tie up won’t make much difference in Web advertising. I liked Steve Shankland’s story “Google’s Schmidt: Full Steam Ahead Yahoo Ad Deal”, although the headline is not smooth. You should read his take here.
My take on all this is that the major message from the Zeitgeist hoe down is simple:
We are doing what we want.
I think that focusing on the frippery does me little good. Google is moving forward at increasing speed to leverage its competitive advantages. Whether regulators, competitors, or ad associations are unhappy with the GOOG warrants one of those math club dismissals. Zeitgeist’s meaning for me is, “We are the commercial equivalent of the control exercised by Qin Shi Huan’s ecosystem. Don’t remember who this fellow was? Click here. Think Google dynasty. Agree? Disagree? Share your metaphors.
Stephen Arnold, September 18, 2008