Five Google Weaknesses Revealed

May 23, 2011

Why Google’s Hiring Process Is Broken” has some juicy stuff for those who would be Googlers. There will be a lot of hires to fill up the giant building for which Google has giant plans. I was more interested, however, in the list of five problems Teambox’s story identified; to wit:

  1. Google Buzz. I agree, but one must keep in mind that Google was an early entrant in the social niche with its 2002 Orkut product. There was some interesting “buzz” about Orkut’s intellectual property and the application of its services certain interesting factions in Brazil and elsewhere. The “real” media did not pay much attention to these skreaks. I shall not blow on dying embers either. Just note that the first strike at the social ball was 2002, not May 2010 which is the date when I became aware of a growing “buzz”.
  2. Google Wave. Another good example of an interesting service. In my work, I saw antecedents for Wave in the work of other Googlers. In fact, Google acquired a company with some Wave-type functions. You may recall Transformics, even though most of the Google “experts” ignore the deal and its big thinker. Wave is not dead by a long shot because the technology molecules of the service are bonding happily and quickly with other Google services. I am not ready to accept this as a “struggle to reach consumers”, but I do think it is an example of what happens when teams exploit “controlled chaos” between volleyball games.
  3. Authentication of any type. The write up focused on third-party authentication. From the early days of the Google Search Appliance, there were some fascinating discussions about that gizmo’s methods of making sure who was searching what under what conditions. My recollection is that certain issues are not interesting, and, therefore, those issues do not merit much attention. So, good point but the umbra of authentication is large and somewhat irregular.
  4. Social reviews. Great example. I cannot recall a serious review service from Google in the last 12 years. What this triggered in my mind is the fact that the “inventor” of is a Googler and has the know how to roll out a killer review service. As the write up says, “Social review sites (like Yelp) focused on consumers are eating Google’s lunch in the business listing market.” Maybe Google Places will morph into a category winner?
  5. Integration issues. The write up focuses on the SEO experts’ fantasy sports line up of Analytics, Adwords, and Webmaster Tools. Wrong. The integration problem is evident in these services, but the real red flag for integration is the existence of different flavors of Android and Chrome. How is this stuff for mobile gizmos going to work together for consumers? Got me.

I think this is a good list of weaknesses, but it is not complete. The “history” of Google is of little interest to Generation Y and other alphabet cohorts. The past, both at Google and in analyses, seems to be forgotten. The good news is that upon repetition of activity, the past will be discovered and in near real time. Consumers, are you listening?

Stephen E Arnold, May 23, 2011



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