What Means This, To "Go Google"!?

Posted by John Battelle on July 27th, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Google AppsI thought it meant to search! Apparently, in this context, it means "to drop Microsoft Office and use our software!"

I almost feel like a relic pointing out the obvious, but when I got my latest paper-based Fortune magazine (yes, I do subscribe to a few still), I found the image at left on the back cover.

Long ago, while writing the book, I predicted that Google, long proud of the fact it never had to market its brand, would have to start marketing like a "normal" company. Why? Because while search "markets itself", applications like Picasa won't.

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One Response to “What Means This, To "Go Google"!?”

  1. Google seem to be following a path of trying to reinvent other applications, such as MS Office, in an online version. To quote one commenter "I am as many other Google fans are confused, why Google copies features instead of following the own path."

    It's almost as if Google feel compelled to compete in established markets in order to strengthen their competitive position against Microsoft search (which is surely no competition).

    This looks to many like odd behaviour for a company with Google's profile - until you remember who the CEO is. Not Brin or other visionaries, but Eric Schmit. Eric is not some visionary web-head, but an old-style IT guy with a history of leading (and losing) fights with Microsoft. He was headed Sun's development of Java, which was originally intended as a replacement for C, and failed. It was resurrected just before Sun canned it when the web came along. Schmit then led the crusade to use Java for the Java chip and Java PC - trying to elbow new technology into established markets - and failed. After a dismal time as CEO of Sun, during which made a complete mess of the role, he then became CEO of Novell at the critical time it was fighting for survival against NT - and failed again, leaving Novell to be bought up.

    I personally was staggered when Google hired him. It looked to me at the time like the dumbest decision ever. I know people at Microsoft were thrilled with his appointment. The guy's track record is of consistently trying to take Microsoft on where it is strongest - and losing every single time. His fingerprints are all over Google Office, and the results will be the same - abject failure.

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