Google and Its Secret

May 6, 2009

I read an interesting article by Tom Foremski who wrote “GOOG’s Dirty Little Secret” for ZDNet. You can read the write up here. Mr. Foremski asserted that Google is in efficient creator of ad value. For me the most interesting remark was:

Google makes for an easy target but it is a figurehead for a much bigger problem. It’s not just Google that has a a poor value recovery mechanism for content — the entire Internet has a horrendously poor value recovery mechanism for content. I’d love to see lots of Google’s top engineers working on this problem. The reason we don’t is that this is a far tougher problem than search. And it is surprising that Google’s top engineers aren’t working on this problem. Because if media companies fail, there will be a lot less content. That means a lot less search. What’s the point for searching if there is little new on the web?  Whoever creates or discovers a more efficient value recovery mechanism for content will have solved the single most important problem facing the future of the Internet.

When I read this passage, I asked myself, “Is this Google’s problem?” Google is one example how clever people can rethink an information problem. Traditional publishing and media packaged content and pumped up value. Think about the $20 CD music disc, the wacky packaging, and the silly art work. Information in electronic form deconstructs certain business models. Value now comes from different factors. In some ways, Google has solved this problem and efficiently.

Stephen Arnold, May 6, 2009


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