For the last 7 years or so Google was everyone's darling!.
Initially darling of hard core techies, then of normal people (not that techies are abnormal) who frequently use internet search, then of the general public as they caught up with the David vs. Goliath drama and finally of the financial markets (since its IPO last year)
For silicon valley, desperately looking for a company which can take on Microsoft (and disappointed by failed messiahs like Netscape) Google was the big hope!. I remember joining my post-grad course and hearing about this "search engine" on the net which can give you all the information u need (and some u dont!)..all done at lightening speeds!. Ever since, i have been a google fan.
But the attraction of google was not just its superior product offering but also the "Under dog" image. David vs. Goliath fight always ensures that the audience is one-sided. But what may be google forgot was that if David wins then he becomes the next Goliath and that other lil Davids will be taking aim at him.
Well, the honeymoon seems to be over for the google phenomenon!. Google itself has become a giant, humbled Mircosoft (as admitted by Microsoft themselves). Now the Google giant is moving into so many non-search fields that they will inevitably step on the toes of other startups. Now the cycle will start again. Google will become the company that everyone in silicon valley will want to beat.the competitive streak in the valley will ensure that. good luck guys!
I found these two articles both by New York Times. Made interesting reading!
Relax Bill Gates; It's Google's Turn As The Villain
This is about how poaching and jumping on to every possible opportunity in the net by Google frustrates startup co's
Google Anything, So Long as It's not Google
This is even more interesting. A reporter from CNET wanted to write an article about privacy on the internet. She hit upon a novel way of begining the article. She spent 30 minutes googling on Eric Schimdt (CEO of google) and began the article with what info she found. So what would you expect google to do? well i would have expected them to have a good laugh and join in the debate.
What google did was to complain to CNET abt disclosure of private information (come on guys...it came from ur search engine itself!) and then went ahead and announced that it will not speak to any CNET reporter for one year!!!.
Signs of hubris?? or is it a sign of google becoming just another faceless corporation?? well the jury is out..and google better watch its steps
ps: blogspot is owned by google i believe :)
pps: i remain an ardent supporter of google and its products. I hope they dont change , but history suggests otherwise. Every "innovative company" ends up becoming a follower, thats the life cycle i guess!