The Big Bad GooWolf?

October 27, 2006


I have to say it. I am a big fan of Google.

I rarely need to go elsewhere. With RSS running rampant on the web, Google Reader is my one stop shop. My homepage is personalised (with Reader of course), I have mail, I have gadgets, I have maps, I have documents, I have spreadsheets. And now they even have vertical search. Anywhere, (almost) any device. Bloody brilliant.

But don’t we hate the big bad wolf? (er, Microsoft anyone?)
Sometimes you feel a bit guilty saying you like Google, because it’s a kind of mainstream. It’s kind of like going to McDonalds, Burger King, or Starbucks. The big difference is that Google serve up good stuff. The key – everything is just so simple. Very simple. When was the last time you looked up Google Help?

It’s pretty scary when you think about it because they have the audience, the intellectual grunt, the resource grunt and, of course, the lots of moolah grunt.

What does this mean for us smallfry? In many ways it makes it very hard to compete in that “Mass Market 2.0” space. Eurekster, a Christchurch based company specialising in vertical search, recently had to face the news that Google had just launched their very own vertical search. Who’s shouting Eureka now? Seriously, I wish the Eurekster crowd the best of luck. They deserve it.

It seems now that if you’re in any kind of space that either Google or Yahoo can get into, your business model is predicated upon eventually selling out to them. But be wary, it appears the number of big money tech acquisitions out there are fewer than you may first think. So don’t bank on it.

Just do what you love doing and believe in what you’re doing. You never know, Sergey and Larry may come knocking on your door.

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