All of us admire Google’s willingness to experiment with new ways to build cool and potentially profitable products or features alongside their infrastructure. And their readiness to accept and shut down failed experiments like Lively, Dodgeball and Jaiku (Knol seems exception to this treatment though :-)) too.
We had always thought Google (GOOG) was all about frugality and focus but in recent years, that has changed. The search giant has been missing on all cool innovative things that can be done around search technology; and instead their urge to come out with something cool and innovative has led them into plagiarizing some of the best validated stuff and business of others.
Google Buzz this time. Goo.gl URL shortener sometime back.
See here is a small conversation of my friends on Google Buzz:
“Arvind Nigam – Buzz – Public – Muted
Am I killing twitter by doing this…:-)Edit
PANKAJ – oh my Twitter is soo dead…unless they open a mail system better than Gmail11:01 am
Shailesh – I seem to agree. Twitter won’t survive this avalanche. They don’t even have a good business model yet.11:07 am
Nilesh – But twitter does allow you to follow celebrities without having to know their email address. That’s a pretty big use-case for twitter.11:18 am
Shailesh – Oh yes!! That certainly is one great use case. I didn’t think of it!11:21 am
Gmail is one of the coolest product from Google. I would personally rate it above their search technology. But one should not forget that Google used Gmail’s powerful infrastructure before to kill Yahoo Messenger by embedding Gtalk into it. Similar fate is thrust on Twitter this time around.
The social trending, news feature, re-tweet everything else would fall apart if Google Buzz picks up nicely. And there seems significant reason for Buzz to buzz well. There seems not much differentiation or social engagement that could ensure Twitter’s popularity. And over Gmail’s infrastructure with Buzz embedded within, one can only pray for mercy on Twitter. Monetization was anyway a question for Twitter as per our post last September.
Another more serious matter of concern is the strategy of Google. Bit.ly was fu*ked sometime back in much the same way and there seemed no concrete reason for doing so. There is hardly any feature-set for which Goo.gl would score over bit.ly. Nor extra money that Goo.gl might end up bringing in to make an impact on its already strong revenues or branding? Except in a negative way.
We’re not sure what Google is thinking these days.
Similar deadly efforts have been made against Wikipedia with Knol, against Twitter with Jaiku, against SecondLife with Lively and many more smaller feature packed instances. There is hardly any documentation of how Google Wave repeated only a 10 year old technology developed by colayer.
Google seems to be earning a reputation for nothing so much as plagiarism, social ignorance, and self-promotion. And the threat is only growing bigger now.