Big trouble

I’ve been saying for sometime that Google is getting to be trouble: big, closed, arrogant. Now the NY Times is saying it:

But instead of embracing Google as one of their own, many in Silicon Valley are skittish about its size and power. They fret that the very strengths that made Google a search-engine phenomenon are distancing it from the entrepreneurial culture that produced it – and even transforming it into a threat….

  • I wonder if Google would be a good stock to short. I’m thinking of buying some Jan. 07 puts.

  • While concerns about Google’s growth and increasingly corporate culture are legitimate, this article is nothing but a transparent attempt to sandbag a company simply for being successful. Look who Mr. Rivlin talked to for his “objective” analysis: founders of companies rendered irrelevant by Google and the execs of would-be startup rivals to the search engine phenom. Big surprise that these guys would be anti-Google. How about interviewing some people who don’t have a vested interest in watching Google’s stock tank next time?

  • Angelos

    Were they trying to sandbag Krispy Kreme too? Iomega? 4 Kids?

    If you’re actually playing with money, don’t fall victim to the cult think. You lose every time.

  • Culture changes are inevitable in the lifecycle of any highly visible, fast growing company such as Google. Its a law of nature. What’s missing from alot of the artilces on Google is their success at Innovation. Google’s innovation will push the rest of the industry. As a result, in a years time Google will have more friends than enemies.

  • It’s that sick, age old game a lot of journalist play…the build-em up, tear-em down game. You see it happening with Apple/iPod and now Google. Journalists seem to like success as long as it’s not too much.

  • Mumblix Grumph

    Scott Ferguson:

    I think you’d be better off shorting the Times.

  • The fault lines in a company growing this fast will be remarkable. The successes will be even more remarkable.

    I love how the dumb VC guys are all moaning and complaining. They must hate it, how their little power game is basically exposed by the net. If there’s no THERE there, nobody cares who your VP is or who designed your logo.

  • Steven Voss

    As impressive and inventive as Google is and as agressive as it is in entering so many markets (has google maps just closed down the business model of GIS companies?), it will – at some point – come up against the competition or monopolies authorities. A bit like with the limits placed on Murdoch type media owners, or Microsoft you can’t dominate all the markets without some central control wishing to mix it a bit!

    Rightly so I say, (even if one might suspect the true motives) otherwise you end up with one world view and that’s mightly dangerous in a democracy. (Almost as radical as “total information anarchy” – ie a world dominated by so much unstructured information and so many blogs working in closed communities, that you can’t find or trust anything.)

  • NYT changing modis operandi?

    I’d rarely click on the NYT links here. When I did, NYT wanted a registration before allowing me to read. So I’d just leave without reading what I came for.

    I clicked on the Google story link today, was shown an ad I could easily click off if not interested – so it wasn’t all that offensive – and allowed to read without registering.

  • MisterPundit

    I find myself using Yahoo a lot more for searches these days. I just seem to have better success with it.

  • Sounds like jealousy, and the ole straw man argument.

    “They’re too successful! They’re too innovative! Something must be done!”

    How about Silicon Valley, instead of lamenting about how great Google is doing, try to actually, you know, -match them-? Compete on even ground instead of hiding behind anonymous quotes.

    This is sad.

  • Oh, the irony. Is the Times in any position to accuse others of arrogance?

  • Joe Chung

    Google? Innovative? Where?

  • How…predictable.

  • I am sure that the new revolution will be: Google+Wifi=free mobile phone. Big Brother, but it works.

  • The VCs are whining about high salaries when people are starting tech ventures for next to nothing (flickr,! Maybe Google’s tech wizard buying spree is like a well timed stock buyback. Maybe brilliant geeks making $50,000 a year have been underpaid and it’s just taken the meltdown of oldschool corporate bureacracy to make their potential for innovation apparent.

    Maybe Google’s the first of a new breed of businesses that have become successful by avoiding evil and so should be cut some slack.

  • Rob

    >Google? Innovative? Where?

    Uh, Google Maps combined with satellite photos, for example? Or their search API for third parties? Or “google local” that lets you type “sushi” and “78703” and find the sushi bars near you?

    Google has been consistently innovative, even as they have grown large. Their corporate culture is said to be quite encouraging to innovation as well.

    I think Google News is a little sloppy about what it calls “news”, but that’s about the only criticism I can think of that is based on their actual performance.

  • The Geek part of us diminishes our natural critical sense about Google’s numerous innovations, but the fact is that Google has not shown business performance in projects not directly related to its core search engine competency…

  • Innovation = Consistent flow of “new to the world” products/services. I can’t think of any other company that’s had a similar record in the last 12 months. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

  • Chris

    the article sounded like sour grapes to me. They’ve created some amazing software and, from here, it appears they are thinking a lot more about the end user than Microsoft ever did. Their work is clean, simple, bloat-free, groundbreaking and fun. Microsoft was never any of those things.

    I’m glad they’re making a run at taming, orgainzing and delivering the internet in a variety of useful and interesting ways. There’s still lots more work to do, and plenty of opportunities for companies to step in and do it right. People need to stop bitching and start working. Complainers add nothing but carbon dioxide to a discussion.

  • Chris

    also, it’s kinda funny to see you saying they are getting to be trouble even as there’s a huge google search field on your blog, and ads served by google. Perhaps, if they’re so troublesome, you should use a different service?

  • I too am glad to see this article – Apart from their search product (which I agree is amazing), their other products really haven’t taken off. Just think Blogger, Froogle, Picasa… Maps is probably their next best thing. Their ego and arrogance might come back to haunt them… if they’re not careful.

    Also, innovation doesnt’ always equal profitability… google earth is a good example. It’s cool to see my apartment from space, but how does that help me once the novelty wears off?

  • The article just complains that Google treats other companies badly. I don’t really care if Google hires people that LinkedIn wants to hire. Or if the New York Times is angry because Google News is stealing their traffic. What matters to me is how they treat their users, something this article doesn’t mention at all.

    The writer doesn’t understand why Microsoft is evil. Microsoft locks their customers into their products, jacks up their prices, and stops innovating. Google gives everything away for free, and keeps inventing new stuff. The next Microsoft? Not even close.

  • peter

    it’s always the people who hate competition and have inferior products that cry the loudest and want uncle sam to bring down the most successful ones. what i found most incredible is, with blogs, etc, eating the big media’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, and soon, snacks too, why are people so worry about ONE player in the internet economy. and ironically, we were worrying about msft of the same things we’re worrying about google now. have anyone heard of yahoo? you can switch, you know. more importantly, there’ll will a kid, somewhere, coming up with an idea that would kill google sometime in the future without any of us great seer (worryier) even having a clue about it now. and that was what google was.

  • Speaking of Google as an emerging threat, see:

    “Google’s Gag Order: An Internet Giant Threatens Free Speech.”

  • It’s time to at least start looking at using and building alternatives which are as good as Google. If you want to help out, have a look at this