Google: Too Thin, Too Fat, or Just Right

September 25, 2008

As companies in the search and content processing business gird themselves for a tough 2009, I am on the look out for analyses that provide a suggestion of where big dogs will hunt. My eye was drawn to an essay with the fetching title “Is Google Spreading Itself Too Thin?” You can read the full post by Tim O’Reilly here. I agree with the key points in the write up. For me the most interesting statement was:

‘m happy to criticize Google for shallow attempts to capitalize on opportunities created by others, and am very concerned about an increasing tendency to favor Google’s own content sites rather than distributing attention to others. But Google is a long way from eating their own children, as Microsoft eventually did. Both Android and Chrome demonstrate true strategic thinking, focusing on how to grow the market for everyone rather than just finding advantage for Google.

I would add one point and, of course, invite comment. My research suggests that Google can roll out innovations with comparatively modest incremental investment and a velocity that makes some of its competitors look a bit like turtles on ice. The cost/speed factors translate to a certain luxury in experimentation. These factors translate to greater pressure on companies perceiving themselves to be in the Google headlights. Agree? Disagree?

Stephen Arnold, September 25, 2008


2 Responses to “Google: Too Thin, Too Fat, or Just Right”

  1. CJ on September 25th, 2008 8:33 am

    Totally agree with you on this one.

  2. Vlad (Small Business Blog) on September 25th, 2008 8:52 am

    I have to agree with you on the cost/speed factor. If I would have my company anywhere near that, I’d be spitting services like crazy, the ideas we have floating around would definitely keep us busy for next couple of decades.

    There is, however, a contra argument to Google’s favoring own content. Just look at the Yahoo Image Search (I wrote about it couple of days ago: – that’ll show you what favoritism is 🙂

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