Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Does Google have ADHD?

Google has become a verb, they've made the net cool again, they've made Venture Capitalists all giddy, they've made themselves wealthy beyond all imagination..........but are they Emperors in Googleplex wearing any clothes?

I've spent a little time reviewing all of Google's latest offerings and the range of response has been from "that's pretty cool" to "huh". Google is starting to show the signs of a company striving to do many things well, but may end up doing nothing well. I offer up two criticisms - first just because you can do it (froogle anyone?) doesn't mean you should and second, where are the revenue streams?? Everything they offer is free. I thought in 2003 advertisers would start to figure out that all those click-thrus were worthless, but I clearly was wrong. Maybe it's 2006 or 2007, but eventually people are going to get the idea that sponsored links are a terrible investment for most businesses.

I've been a Google cynic for quite some time (partially owing to my own inability to convince the co-founders to let my VC firm participate in the 3rd round of financing) but I think there needs to be some time to pause and reflect on their mission statement. Google is being run like it's a 9yr-old boy with overindulgent parents. Today they work on maps, tomorrow news, then a calendar, then.........just my 2 cents.

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