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Page Can't Turn Back Clock At Google

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the hire-more-ninjas dept.

Businesses 205

rsmiller510 writes "As much as incoming CEO Larry Page would like Google to be as quick on its feet as a small company, when you're as big as Google, decision-making gets bogged down in the management structure, and it's hard to make the company something it's not."

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not a quote from larry page... just some schmoe. (0)

MichaelKristopeit420 (2018880) | more than 3 years ago | (#35655664)

this is not the word of larry page... rather some idiot with a fu manchu [lightreading.com] named ron miller that knows so much about starting and running companies that he never did it.

slashdot = stagnated.

Re:not a quote from larry page... just some schmoe (1)

LordStormes (1749242) | more than 3 years ago | (#35655692)

If /. is no longer your cup of tea, why not leave? There's about 40 zillion other tech news sites you can hang out on and spare us all your trolling every story.

Re:not a quote from larry page... just some schmoe (1)

MikeDirnt69 (1105185) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656160)

Please don't feed the trolls.

Let's Hope That the Return of Page (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656200)

Does as much for Google as Jerry Yang was able to do for Yahoo!

A Possibility (3, Interesting)

VernonNemitz (581327) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656394)

I once read (many moons ago) an in-depth article about how "3M Corporation" is organized. The implication was that despite being large, it was able to be nimble because of the way it was divided into sections (each section had a lot of autonomy and could therefore behave like a small company). Whether or not it is still organized this way, or Google can copy such organization scheme, is the key question, of course.

Re:A Possibility (1)

WhitetailKitten (866108) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656946)

Google's various departments do generally act with a certain level of autonomy, AFAIK, but the problem is, at the end of the day, a 20% project or some other innovative thing some engineers down in building XYZ come up with still have to be approved by someone who is not an engineer, and even Google is not immune to management bungling.

Re:not a quote from larry page... just some schmoe (-1, Troll)

MichaelKristopeit402 (1978292) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656282)

you're an ignorant hypocrite.

ur mum's face are the trolls

Re:not a quote from larry page... just some schmoe (0)

MichaelKristopeit400 (1972448) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656226)

you think i don't understand my options? you deny one of them is staying and sharing my truthful observations?

you're an ignorant hypocrite.

cower in my shadow behind your chosen deity based pseudonym some more, feeb.

you're completely pathetic.

Re:not a quote from larry page... just some schmoe (1)

WhitetailKitten (866108) | more than 3 years ago | (#35655718)

TFS doesn't actually attribute it to being a quote by Page, just a supposed summary of his intentions/desires for handling Google.

Just another slow news day on /.

Re:not a quote from larry page... just some schmoe (-1, Troll)

MichaelKristopeit401 (1976824) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656266)

"...Larry Page would like..."

who is ron miller to tell me what larry page would like?

you're an idiot.

WhiteailKitten would like me to point out they are an idiot.

cower in my shadow behind your feline based pseudonym some more, feeb.

you're completely pathetic.

Re:not a quote from larry page... just some schmoe (1)

WhitetailKitten (866108) | more than 3 years ago | (#35657006)

Um, okay. Whatever you and your army of sockpuppets are smoking, please share with the rest of us. This vodka just isn't cutting it for me anymore.

Re:not a quote from larry page... just some schmoe (0)

MichaelKristopeit403 (1978294) | more than 3 years ago | (#35657208)

you're an ignorant hypocrite.

i am michael kristopeit. i am not a puppet. i am not a sock. i'm not smoking. you're a presumptuous idiot.

who is "us"?

you are exactly what you've claimed to be: NOTHING.

Leave Page alone... (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 3 years ago | (#35655676)

...he competed with, and beat the largest software company at its own game. He's doing pretty good in my opinion.

Re:Leave Page alone... (3, Insightful)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#35655734)

Nope. Google's still playing catchup with Apple and it's barely entered the race with Microsoft.

Of course, it's beaten Altavista and Yahoo. In other news, Jesus has more followers than Hubbard.

Re:Leave Page alone... (0)

HiThere (15173) | more than 3 years ago | (#35655872)

Nah...he just has more people who claim to be his followers, and then do whatever they would have done anyway.

Re:Leave Page alone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35655928)

Hey, I follow Hubbard and still I do what I would have done anyway.

Posting anonymously, of course... ;-)

Re:Leave Page alone... (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656798)

I've heard quite a few religious people claim that without God, humanity would lead a life of debauchery, violence and sin.
I'm an atheïst and live a peaceful life; I wonder what those religious people would do without religion.

Re:Leave Page alone... (2)

dala1 (1842368) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656932)

I've heard quite a few religious people claim that without God, humanity would lead a life of debauchery, violence and sin. .

Kinda like we do now?

Re:Leave Page alone... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35657008)

I'm the same as you there; I live a peaceful life too. But what those slightly misinformed folks really mean is that without consequences. They draw their consequence as "the afterlife". Others of us draw our consequences from things like "jail time", "getting killed", etc. The bottom line is that consequences are what prevent many people from committing things that society as a whole have decided are wrong. For some outliers (call them potential criminals), the chance of consequences doesn't outweigh the perceived benefit of the act. This may because the act has high value to them or may be due to faulty calculations in their head. But in no way does it really have to do with "God" or "not God". It has to do with consequences vs benefits.

Re:Leave Page alone... (0)

darjen (879890) | more than 3 years ago | (#35655878)

What? How, exactly, is Google still playing catchup with Apple?

Re:Leave Page alone... (5, Informative)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35655974)

Google
Revenue US$ 29.321 billion
Operating Income US$ 10.381 billion
Profit US$ 8.505 billion
Employees 24,400

Apple
Revenue US$ 65.23 billion
Operating Income US$ 18.39 billion
Profit US$ 14.01 billion
Employees 49,400

Financially they are playing catchup to Apple and M$

And in the all important Fortune 500 list, Apple is a Fortune 100 company, Google is a Fortune 200 company.

Re:Leave Page alone... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35656040)

Microsoft: Founded 1975
Apple: Founded 1976
Google: Founded 1998

Both companies have a two decade lead. That has to count for something.

Re:Leave Page alone... (3, Insightful)

Ja'Achan (827610) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656252)

Hence the word 'catchup'

Re:Leave Page alone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35656370)

If you are talking about profitability over time, Google thoroughly trounces both. The big two are playing catch up.

Re:Leave Page alone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35656614)

I think it's "catsup" I like it on my fries, but not on my apples.

Re:Leave Page alone... (1)

ocdscouter (1922930) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656706)

Occasionally localized to 'catsup'.

Re:Leave Page alone... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35656280)

Riiiiggghhhhttt....like Apple didn't die and become reborn in 2001.

Yes and no (1)

hellfire (86129) | more than 3 years ago | (#35657232)

Apple was run into the ground during late 80's/early 90's by bad management until Steve came back. Everything Steve built up was destroyed, and Steve had to recreate it from the ground up. Steve took control in 1998, so it's arguable that Apple never had any lead at all when Google was founded.

Re:Leave Page alone... (1)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656594)

And GM makes US$ 38 Billion in profit, so? As someone else said, although both Apple and Google are tech companies, they are mostly in different fields. Apple is mainly a hardware company and Google is a software one. They only place where they directly complete is in the mobile area, and there you cannot say that Google is playing catch up.

Re:Leave Page alone... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35655882)

The big field they compete with Apple in is mobile OS, where they're hammering away at them pretty successfully... having surpassed Apples marketshare. But really, first and foremost, Apple is a consumer hardware company... a business Google isn't really in.

Re:Leave Page alone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35656600)

The notion that Apple is in the business of consumer products is true or at least was. It is now clear that the only reason they are there was out of necessity. Microsoft pwned them so hard in the business world thanks to IBM, they just had to move to the consumer market. Now they have regained their strength, their next step is moving their warez to a commodity based market; something iTunes and iPod did an awesome job at. Now iPad 2 is aiming to do the same. Once they have everyone using at least one or two pieces of iCrap they can jostle their way into the business world quite simply (really not so easily, but I'm illustrating a point here). Why do you think they have such great MS exchange integration with the iPad?

Fyi, I hate iCrap, don't own an iPod, and will never buy another Macbook (my pro was awesome until I realised it was crap and they got rid of separate trackpad/buttons one generation later.) But I know people like me are few and far between these days.

Apple is aiming to be around long after MS has withered and to be in much better shape. MS won't die, not for a long time, not by a long shot. Its too damn big.

Oh, wow... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35655996)

Oh, wow...

Google's still playing catchup with Apple

this must be this reality distortion field thing they keep talking about :-)

Re:Leave Page alone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35656144)

Only if you ignore their RealityDistortionField tech, otherwise, they've surpassed Apple!

Re:Leave Page alone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35656360)

Nobody expects the current desktop operating systems to exist in 10 years, so competing with OS X or Windows would be foolish for Google. Google's main drive right now (until the PC is leapfrogged) is advertisement and data delivery, and those are largely platform agnostic.

Re:Leave Page alone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35656444)

Well at least in the phone OS industry Google is ahead. Android is out-selling both Windows Mobile and IPhones World Wide.

I'd love to have Google's problems. (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656472)

Nope. Google's still playing catchup with Apple and it's barely entered the race with Microsoft.

First off, Apple isn't a software company, it's main revenues are from hardware. The GP comment was in reference to Microsoft, and I do think Google has been successfully competing with Microsoft vis-a-vis anything Internet (and now, mobile). Microsoft has not been competed with on their own turf, but as Google and Apple grow the landscape away from Microsoft, it will be clear to everyone that what was once the entire consumer computing world (Windows) is now just a big continent, and the other areas are growing faster.

The best way to compete is not to destroy your opponent but to grow faster and eventually acquire them or make them irrelevant.

Re:I'd love to have Google's problems. (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 3 years ago | (#35657044)

First off, Apple isn't a software company, it's main revenues are from hardware.

Apple is a software company. Most of their revenues may come from the sale of hardware, but that's because you have to buy their hardware to use their software. If Apples only ran commoditized PC software, (or commodotized smart phone software) the hardware sales would be a fraction of what they are.

Re:I'd love to have Google's problems. (2)

onepoint (301486) | more than 3 years ago | (#35657244)

The issue is simple, Microsoft is moving like a tanker at sea, it takes a while for the boat to turn, it's just got the rudder turning recently ( Bing search engine ).

History tells us that they will over time, join the market and win it entirely or take only 1/2 or screw it up completely.

so the only way to really fight MS, is to have many small companies that are great in there respective fields merge, and take consistent bites out of MS at all levels.

   

You're Right! Anything is Possible! (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 3 years ago | (#35655758)

...when you've sold your immortal soul to Mephistopheles.

Re:You're Right! Anything is Possible! (2)

517714 (762276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656820)

We're talking Google, Microsoft and Apple here, not Sony [xkcd.com] .

Re:Leave Page alone... (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656340)

Here's the biggest point: at best, that article is an op-ed. It's quite a bit light (read: completely) on facts.

If google was "slow moving" by now, we wouldn't have android continuing to move forward among other products google has produced (and continues to).

Re:Leave Page alone... (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#35657220)

Really, the largest software company's "game" was search engines, and Google displaced the giant from their perch?

slow news day filler? (2)

jcombel (1557059) | more than 3 years ago | (#35655688)

zero impact opinion piece go!

But... but... (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656114)

But... but... if you make a bunch of incitement statements without backing them up in any way whatsoever, your audience is guaranteed to grow!

I mean, it works for Rush Limbaugh! You're not being fair. Why shouldn't this Ron Miller guy get to do the same thing!

Help! help! I'm drowning in money! (0)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#35655690)

Won't somebody take some of this money off me to ease the burden?

If it bothers you that much, Larry, you could always start up another company. Without Moritz, Schmidt et al. It wasn't just luck, was it? You're smart enough?

Beginning of the end (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35655694)

Once a business is no longer flexible, and cannot adapt, they'll have to turn to litigation and legislation as a profit center. They can no longer provide customers value, and need to turn to typical corporate chicanery.

Google is all over both (android lawsuits, bullshit net neutrality proposal, bullshit 'settlement' that allows them to magically own every out of print book) .

Re:Beginning of the end (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 3 years ago | (#35655912)

Why don't they just start some semi-autonomous collectives?

Merge one back in if it comes up with anything decent.

I think their related worry must why like 70 percent (off top of my head)
of their new innovative product rollouts (as opposed to extensions to gmail
and improvements on search) seem to be failing in the market,

and how they can crack the Facebook nut.

Grow up (2)

serano (544693) | more than 3 years ago | (#35655702)

This sounds like a 45 year old who longs for the golden years of being a college student. Google should acknowledge it's not a nimble startup company but a near monopoly search engine with a massive amount of money. It should invent itself as something new appropriate for it's age rather than be a 45 year old with a faux-hawk and skinny jeans.

Re:Grow up (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#35655866)

rather than be a 45 year old with a faux-hawk and skinny jeans.

We call that "Old in the face, stupid in the hair"

Re:Grow up (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35655998)

That's where you landed on that? I hope it didn't take long.

Re:Grow up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35655948)

Could you invent something more appropriate than useless apostrophes in otherwise correct possessive pronouns?

Re:Grow up (1)

smelch (1988698) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656956)

Oh my god their is know weigh that guy is as smart as you! Good job!

Corporate Structure (2)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 3 years ago | (#35655704)

If you want to do new things, then have the entrepreneurs start a new company. Google is in the position to buy them out when they come up with something good. Isn't this the corporate way? Google is too big to do everything in house. I seem to remember they acquired youtube and picasa. If Larry Page wants to work at a small company then he should quit and if you ask me he seems a bit sentimental.

Re:Corporate Structure (5, Interesting)

JamesP (688957) | more than 3 years ago | (#35655962)

You can do that internally

If he really wants to shake things up, create 'micro-startups' inside Google. Put it in a separate building, isolated area, whatever. Shoot any managers or bean-counters that approach the area

Worked for Apple

Re:Corporate Structure (4, Funny)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656198)

I first read that as "Shoot any managers or bean-counters that approach the area or Worked for Apple". Seemed a tad harsh ... but still ... they are managers and bean counters. I can sometimes understand the attitude.

Re:Corporate Structure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35656248)

It worked for IBM with their PC [wikipedia.org]

Re:Corporate Structure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35656300)

Exactly. It's like clustering - for humans.

Re:Corporate Structure (1)

ninjacheeseburger (1330559) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656358)

The problem with this is that you can then end up creating two different systems that do the same thing, yet are not compatable.

I'm sure Microsoft did something like this when they created live mesh and skydrive.

Re:Corporate Structure (1)

bigpat (158134) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656436)

Not a bad idea, but if it is too isolated but without the ability to independently sell or market its products then you get another Xerox PARC situation where you re-invent the world and then nobody at corporate understands what you do or wants to sell something that will compete with the existing bread and butter business. Can also breed resentment with other parts of the organization that are trying to compete internally and externally but with all the corporate overhead that their micro start-up peers do not have.

So, yes spur innovation and create nimble organizational units or subsidiaries, but don't make rookie political mistakes and demoralize all the other people that you hired to build great products and grow the business.

Re:Corporate Structure (2)

LordNacho (1909280) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656928)

You can do that internally

If he really wants to shake things up, create 'micro-startups' inside Google. Put it in a separate building, isolated area, whatever. Shoot any managers or bean-counters that approach the area

Worked for Apple

You still can't get around the thing that makes it one company, rather than a bunch of companies: if your internal startup is crap, it won't die. You have to kill it, or wait for the whole firm to go down. This means management will, despite your best efforts at separation, meddle with which ones it likes and which ones it doesn't. You will get good ideas fighting with bad ones for resources. You have the same problem of "how do I pick a winner" and the same incentives for management ("if I let project x live, and it loses money, I'll look bad. If I don't have some interesting sounding projects, I'll look bad. Where are my dice?").

Re:Corporate Structure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35657160)

Worked for Nokia, too. Or, rather, it didn't.

Re:Corporate Structure (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656132)

A company is always going to reflect the norms of the employees and the management. In a small firm, one person can do control much of what happens and promote a personal norm. In larger firms, managers that are there to maximize income, not promote founder's norms, will take over. The founder could solve this by disciplining such managers, but that would often involve a loss of income and company growth. In any case Google is a public company, so is beholden to the public owners, not individual risky whims which lead to innovations, but sometimes at the cost fo the company, which is acceptable for small firms, but we in the US have the misconception that large firms must exist into perpetuity.

Re:Corporate Structure (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656500)

Or even better, help them start a new company. If the angel funded startup makes good, make the full buyout by Google the exit strategy for second round investors.

Why did Google choose to become big? (2)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35655788)

Google's company motto is "Don't be evil". Given that huge companies are inherently evil, why did Google's top executives make the choice to become a huge company? Surely, a smaller company would simply lack the ability to perform evil on a scale large enough to be noticed. It's like the difference between the tyranny of Joe and his sons of Joe's Muffler Shack in Flyover Territory, Oklahoma, and Microsoft. One is large and evil, and the other is equally evil but simply lacks any ability to influence events outside of its local prey of fuckwit middle Americans.

Re:Why did Google choose to become big? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35655836)

You mean, other than "get stupidly rich?"

I can't think of one.

Re:Why did Google choose to become big? (1)

WhitetailKitten (866108) | more than 3 years ago | (#35655862)

You can't do risky, daring expensive experiments without the capital to float it. Look at Google Wave. Blisteringly 'new' but too bleeding-edge and future-looking to make sense to your average Internet user, because it solves a problem most people don't have. However, lessons learned from Wave are finding themselves being implemented into general-market apps like Docs. Look at YouTube. It would've been crushed under the weight of its own bandwidth bill if it'd gone on for another six to nine months on its own without being taken under Google's wing, to say nothing about potential litigation from VIACOM and friends (justified or otherwise).

Re:Why did Google choose to become big? (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656090)

I wouldn't say that big companies are "inherently evil", but I would agree that they're not as good as small ones. Big companies lead to less competition, less innovation, Too Big To Fail Syndrome, and a host of other socially and economically detrimental things. If I ran the world, I'd put a cap on the size of any corporation, probably based on the dollar-amount of business they do. If a company exceeded that cap for any period of time, they'd have to break it up, by geography, product line, sales vs. service, or whatever.

Re:Why did Google choose to become big? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35656532)

Google's company motto is "Don't be evil".

No. It isn't.

Turning back the clock... (0)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#35655800)

Evil: Let's do it!
(We're rich! We can map everyone's WIFI while we drive past and take photos! No one can stop us! Buhahahahahaha)
Dr Evil: 1 BEEEELLLLIUN Dollars!
You know: Evil!
Do you know evil?
(Oh no weavils!)
Oh no! Evil!
Dr Evil: 1 MEEEELLLLIUN Dollars!
Do no evil!

Re:Turning back the clock... (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656004)

Let's hope they invent 'Google Time Machine'!

Re:Turning back the clock... (1)

squallbsr (826163) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656524)

They'll have to do a better job than Apple's Time Machine - the bar is pretty high already...

Re:Turning back the clock... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35656746)

At risk of Godwining this thread, the Nazi's already beat you to it. [imdb.com]

Good luck ... (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35655808)

Having worked for a company which went from fairly small and agile, to being publicly traded and fully "corporate" ... it's a one way trip.

Once the accountants and management layers are in place, it's too late. Then, it's mostly becoming more bureaucratic and management heavy and filling out TPS reports.

Sure, if you try hard you can give some room to you engineering staff to actually do their jobs ... however, I have seen entire development teams grind to a halt as someone from finance gets everybody bogged down in paperwork and reports to explain what it is that we do.

Of course, nobody in finance was capable of recognizing that the labor costs of the people they'd derailed far exceeded the middle-level idiot who insisted that everything be done in the first place.

While I admit that these people actually do useful things, sometimes they can stop a lot of people from building the products just so their spreadsheets are up to date.

Re:Good luck ... (2)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656102)

The essential problem is that once you create a management, accountancy, HR or other department, the people within it will find work to keep themselves employed whether there is an actual need for them to do it or not.

Hence TPS reports, meetings, paperwork, etc. The purpose of this flack is not to help the company, increase efficiency, or anything of the sort; its purpose is to keep management employed.

Google has a very simple way of dealing with any oncoming "management" crisis. Fire say, 50%, of all managers. Those that remain will only have enough time to focus on their core work. If you leave their hands idle, your company will be swamped with the devil's work. Better to show them the door than allow them to cook up some hideous "synjergisation" strategy between unproductive meetings.

Re:Good luck ... (3, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656718)

It's funny how that works. The bean counters manage to assign an actual cost to every bit of trivia and insist on tracking it and justifying every last penny. Except for accounting. They assume that accounting costs nothing and so it's all pure benefit. You'll never see a cost/benefit analysis of requiring quarter hourly time accounting for salaried workers.

Re:Good luck ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656916)

It's funny how that works. The bean counters manage to assign an actual cost to every bit of trivia and insist on tracking it and justifying every last penny. Except for accounting.

It's not just accountants.

Long ago, I worked on a project that had experienced some churn in project management. We got a new guy, and he wanted us to track our time in five minute increments.

I more of less told him that if that's what he wanted, 1-2 minutes out of every 5 minutes would be dedicated to tracking which bucket any particular task went into, and 1 minute of that five would be updating it. That left 1-2 minutes out of any given 5 minutes to actually work, but if he was OK with 20-40% productivity, we'd be happy to accommodate him.

When the process of management actually becomes prohibitive to doing your actual work, the whole process has jumped the shark and missed the point. The problem is, the people who make these policies are totally oblivious to the fact that the reason the software is late is because they imposed such a high management overhead, that effectively 40% or more of my week was taken up with it, so all of our estimates were thrown off.

Sadly, I have actually had to explain to PMs what it means when someone says that "nine women can't have a baby in one month".

they should breakup up before the Feds make them (3, Interesting)

jsepeta (412566) | more than 3 years ago | (#35655832)

If Google broke up into 10 smaller entities, it could increase shareholder value and spur more innovation. Plus with the Feds going after them, they could just say, "oh, that was the old company. we're a new company."

Re:they should breakup up before the Feds make the (2)

IQgryn (1081397) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656202)

How exactly would you propose splitting it? Advertising is their only real money-maker, and splitting that would be shooting themselves in the foot.

Re:they should breakup up before the Feds make the (3, Insightful)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656244)

I actually think that is a good idea. The problem is that Google doesn't have 10 profitable enterprises, it has one profit center and a number of initiatives that might become profitable some day, but which have almost no chance of standing on their own without the search engine's money and market share behind it at the moment.

So, the choice is either, take a risk with them and break off, or see if you can shepherd them to profitability and then spin them off. The former is probably going to be the path to the small, dynamic business he wants to be with again, but its an open question if he wants to accept the bad parts of that model (chaos, long hours, uncertainty, significant possibility of abject failure) along with the good.

Re:they should breakup up before the Feds make the (2)

bigpat (158134) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656350)

If Google broke up into 10 smaller entities, it could increase shareholder value and spur more innovation.

Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, HP, Dell and EMC first.

out-innovating the competition, just like MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35655856)

Back in the '90s whenever someone came up with a hot desktop application or idea for customizing the OS, Microsoft would offer to buy them out; if deal fell through, MS would "out innovate" them by assigning a few hundred engineers to build something similar right into Windows, sometimes buying out other startups in the space to get their jump start. Good look competing with that.

Guess who's doing the equivalent these days.

Big company issues (1)

pellik (193063) | more than 3 years ago | (#35655864)

There's no rule that says a big company has to have big company issues. The problem is that almost every big company (or at least the ones I've seen) is structured for the same top-down management system that pervades corporate culture. The more important a decision the more layers of management it has to travel through. There is almost total disconnect between the top of the pyramid and 99% of what a company does, with the CEO only making broad policy decisions, etc.

If google really wants to have small company feel they need to learn how to make management work in support of engineers and innovators, not the other way around. Saying something is impossible because its different then what you currently have is foolish. But I do doubt that Page really has a vision for how a company that size could become agile. Much more likely he is just your traditional CEO who gives an abstract goal like this and hopes other people will figure it all out.

In Soviet Russia (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35655894)

Google Clock Can't Turn Page Back

The search part of Google isn't that big (5, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35655898)

Google is smaller than it looks. The core search engine team was about 90-100 people as of a few years ago.

97% of the revenue still comes from search ads. Google has a huge array of money-draining services, some of which are labor-intensive. They're not generating much revenue. Mostly, they're defensive measures to ward off Microsoft. GMail, Google Docs, the free hosting service, etc. exist to threaten Microsoft. It's not like offering spreadsheets on line is a viable business. Even the whole Android phone thing is mostly there to prevent Microsoft from monopolizing that space. (It's also a threat to Apple. Google pays Apple $100 million a year to stay on the iPhone. If it weren't for Android, Apple might provide their own closed iPhone search engine.)

Google spends an incredible amount of money on non-revenue defensive measures.

Re:The search part of Google isn't that big (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35655922)

Don't forget Firefox.

Re:The search part of Google isn't that big (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35656278)

Ehrm, you mean Chrome?

Re:The search part of Google isn't that big (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656378)

What does Chrome have to do with the fact Google pays to be the primary search in Firefox?

Re:The search part of Google isn't that big (1)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656730)

It's not like offering spreadsheets on line is a viable business.

In 2011, I believe its much more viable than shipping perpetually outdated binaries around. We are in a service economy, not an industrial one.

Even the whole Android phone thing is mostly there to prevent Microsoft from monopolizing that space.

You mean the computing as a service industry? Lets be very clear here. Microsoft has 2 products in a service economy: Windows and Office. And those products are very threatened by lightweight OSes and networked applications. gmail works on phones, linux, OS X, Windows, netbooks. Windows and Office do not.

Also, the change here is the shift from the multi-hundred dollar application with a moderate install base to .99 apps and application services. Its like music today. Nobody wants to "own" music anymore. Its a chore. People just want to listen to music.

Re:The search part of Google isn't that big (4, Insightful)

fwarren (579763) | more than 3 years ago | (#35657050)

Nobody wants to "own" music anymore. Its a chore. People just want to listen to music.

I take exception to that. I want to own music. A good part of my collection is made up of rare LPs CDs and Tapes that I have converted to MP3s. They are not offered by any service out there. I am worried that plenty of what they do have, will go away because it to much bother for them to keep it online.

The only way I know of keeping all the music I like is owning it. Even if I was willing to rent it, the major labels are not willing to be land lords.

Re:The search part of Google isn't that big (1)

Target Drone (546651) | more than 3 years ago | (#35657078)

97% of the revenue still comes from search ads.

Google seems to be going through the same pattern as a lot of other high tech juggernauts. They invent one or two hit products that turn them into a household name. Unfortunately for them (lucky for a competitive market) despite having mountains of cash corporate bureaucracy sets in and they never really get much else going.

<rant>
Slightly off topic but it seems like these giant high tech companies tend to be bad stock investments. Initially they seem good because they have explosive revenue growth and a huge pile of cash saved for a rainy day. However, like all companies they invariably jump the shark and then burn through their cash reserves. Having, payed out little if anything in dividends. It seems like you buy tech stocks in the hopes of passing it on to a greater fool.
</rant>

Just a self promoting blogger (4, Insightful)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 3 years ago | (#35655984)

Looks like we have some joker promoting hits on his own blog with /.

Re:Just a self promoting blogger (1)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656258)

i'm having a difficult time getting past the 70's porn mustache.

Re:Just a self promoting blogger (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656492)

i'm having a difficult time getting past the 70's porn mustache.

I was thinking Borat [neweurasia.net] , myself.

I'll spare you the pictures in the mankini. ;-)

Daylight saving (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656212)

Conclusion: You better not rely on Google for your daylight saving time. They can't turn the clock back. :-)

Success is a lot of Luck... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35656426)

Google succeeded because it was the best search. But Larry didn't know at the time of creating the algorithm that they had the best algorithm. They were guessing, like everyone else in the search industry (altavista, snap, ask, lycos, etc). It just so happens that their algorithm did a much better job.

They also guessed that advertising dollars were the best way to bring in money. Other providers tried subscription based models. Turns out Google was right again.

NOT because Larry is a genius. He just happened to be the guy who guessed the correct formula. He didn't know. Everyone was guessing and trying every combination. Larry was the guy who just happened to get the right formula.

Now that Google is huge, Larry would like to return to the "old days" where everyone was just guessing and trying new things. But what was the cost of that era? How many companies failed? How much money was lost during the dot-com bubble? Larry has a very distorted perspective because he just happened to be the guy who got it right.

"Wasn't it great when we were just guys out of the garage, trying new things?"

Yeah sure. That was great. For you. Because you succeeded. For everyone else, who lost lots of money, it wasn't that awesome.

Re:Success is a lot of Luck... (2)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35657228)

Google succeeded because it was the best search. But Larry didn't know at the time of creating the algorithm that they had the best algorithm. They were guessing, like everyone else in the search industry (altavista, snap, ask, lycos, etc). It just so happens that their algorithm did a much better job.

Considering several other big players at the time based their algorithms solidly on "What the page claims to be about" in retrospective it's not that hard to understand why Google had the best algorithm. Hell, when I first read a description of Google's new "magic" algorithm (there were a lot of "oohs" and "aahs" about it back when Google was the new kid on the block) my initial reaction was "Huh, I thought that was how they all did it..." followed by disbelief at the idea that major search engines were basically just trusting the sites to be truthful about their content (although this did explain why so many search engines were giving incredibly bad results).

I suspect there were plenty of people not really interested in search engines at the time who just assumed the algorithms used were something along the lines of what Google used as opposed to what the others were using...

That's easy (1)

BlueCoder (223005) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656700)

Just maintain the company as small groups of 10-30 people whose customer is Google. Give them regulated autonomy. Give them intensive like monetizing what they produce (a vested interest) backed by contracts so that they willingly give Google their pipe dreams. So what you get is small businesses within Google without quite so much stress concerning financial matters or marketing or patents. It also means if someone thinks up the next killer app they will be proportionately rewarded unlike the guy from apple that convinced apple to market a brand name music player and create the iTunes store. Oh also have a guarantee if Google decides to pass on a groups work they can opt to leave Google and pursue it on their own with Google maintaining a certain stock option if later they pass a revenue mile stone.

When you can't turn the clock back .... (3, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656724)

When you can't turn the clock back, you turn a new page. Oh, wait. they already tried Page. Oops.

What? (1)

guspasho (941623) | more than 3 years ago | (#35656884)

And this is a summary of what, exactly?

Amazon Cloud music should scare Page (1)

spage (73271) | more than 3 years ago | (#35657234)

Big companies can do more but tend to do it at a slower pace. As long as Google keeps their winning percentage high (Apple rather than Microsoft), they'll do fine.

If Slashdot had featured this story yesterday, Gmail vs. Wave would be the textbook Google management case. Wave is genius technology with analogs to inbox, contacts, and message threads, yet Google never integrated it into Gmail so it never got a chance to gain traction. Was that Schmidt making the hard decision not to screw up a beloved Gmail for the sake of dubious innovation, or was Google drowning in turf wars the way Microsoft does? I dunno. Google Voice may be stuck in the same limbo.

But Amazon just released Cloud Drive/Cloud Player [slashdot.org] . Google has nearly all the pieces to do the same: I can already upload music files to Google Docs, Google has a checkout and an Android app store. I'm sure it's a humiliating wakeup call that Amazon got there first. Google Docs even has the nifty "Share" feature, though enabling it for music would trigger yet another epic legal battle.

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