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Yet More Google Gazing

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the future-cloudy-ask-again dept.

Google 253

povvell writes "Bob Cringely has joined the club and just set out his personal vision for the future of Google now that it's flush with cash, thereby joining a happy band of Google gazers. But is he right, and are they? My own guess is that the company intends to become the biggest advertising platform in the world. What's yours?"

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253 comments

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horrible color (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10024933)

better color here [slashdot.org]

Re:horrible color (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10025107)

Why was the parent modded down as offtopic? He's right this COLOR blows!

mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10025223)

parent post should get at least +3 (insightful)...
These colors are very hard to read! Especially with a big red flashing banner on top..

mp! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10024934)

many post!

errr two post!

doh!

Microsoft buyout (0, Flamebait)

gvc (167165) | more than 10 years ago | (#10024938)

Now that they're public, Microsoft can buy them and replace their service with whatever they choose.

Re:Microsoft buyout (2, Interesting)

astrotek (132325) | more than 10 years ago | (#10024966)

no they can't or at least its not very likely

Re:Microsoft buyout (0)

Orgazmus (761208) | more than 10 years ago | (#10024987)

That is a dangerous option. When anyone can buy it, why not MicroSoft?

me is listening to the sweet music of monopoly :)

Re:Microsoft buyout (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10025000)

Now that they're public, Microsoft can buy them and replace their service with whatever they choose.

You have no idea how the stock market works do you? The Google founders have a class of stock that gives them more voting rights than anyone else so unless THEY want to sell out, it'd be impossible for Microsoft to strong-arm them into selling.

Re:Microsoft buyout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10025018)

Why would Microsoft buy a company for $20 billion and then run it into the ground?

Re:Microsoft buyout (5, Funny)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025100)

> Why would Microsoft buy a company for $20 billion and then run it into the ground?

habit?

Re:Microsoft buyout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10025184)

When has Microsoft ever bought a $20 billion company and ran it into the ground? Wouldn't the MS stockholders be pissed?

Re:Microsoft buyout (1)

gvc (167165) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025319)

I don't know how much they paid, but here's an example of a formerly-good service being bought by Microsoft and replaced by crap: Mapblast.com [mapblast.com] .

Arf ! (2, Funny)

Professeur Shadoko (230027) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025070)

reading the title of your post, I first thought you meant that google wanted the IPO money to buy Microsoft.

Now THAT would be a successful IPO.

Re:Microsoft buyout (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10025093)

How does this keep getting modded up. There have been TONS of comments about this. You morons! It's NOT enough for a buyout of control.

Mod this uneducated trollbox to hell.

Re:Microsoft buyout (2, Interesting)

turambar386 (254373) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025141)

You're forgetting that buyouts are not the MSFT way. Sure, they bought Hotmail, but they prefer to bury their enemies rather than buy them.

Re:Microsoft buyout (5, Insightful)

ron_ivi (607351) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025154)

I expect plenty of mergers (perhaps them buying, perhaps someone buying them); but perhaps not Microsoft.

Here's the trend I see of lots of Kleiner [kpcb.com] companies like Sun, Compaq, AOL, Netscape, Electronic Arts, and yes, Google.

The begin with lots of top-talent in lots of areas - academic, practical, financial, etc. Eventually they do very well (Sun, Netsape and AOL come to mind as the examples most familiar to /.); and some of the bright peole move on - some to start their own things, some to retire, or get promoted to management. Whatever the reason, most (notable exceptions, electroninc arts, genentech) fade after a while; IMHO because the best people moved on.

Then KPCB'll invest in those best people's next venture that will once again take on Microsoft in the next hot area of High Tech.

IMHO it never was Netscape vs MSFT, or Sun vs MSFT or AOL vs MSFT -- it's always been KPCB vs MSFT; with Sun, NSCP, AOL, Google just minor divisions of KPCB's virtual company bound together by a common culture of great innovation.

Re:Microsoft buyout (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10025238)

Sybase and Symantec [kpcb.com] as well.

Re:Microsoft buyout, not likely (2, Insightful)

Kurt Gray (935) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025248)

Not really. The buyout would still have to be approved by Google executives and shareholders, the only reason they would approve that is if Microsoft offered more than the mid-term market value of the stock which Microsoft is not likely to do especially at these prices.

Re:Microsoft buyout (3, Informative)

Valar (167606) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025267)

That would be a great theory if the majority of the company wasn't still held by actual google staffers...

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10024943)

fp

So (5, Funny)

Orgazmus (761208) | more than 10 years ago | (#10024945)

you think google is heading for ad-world domination?
Well, im buying that :)

GNAA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10024947)

GNAA 4 Life RadishTM

Making Mistakes (4, Insightful)

Klar (522420) | more than 10 years ago | (#10024950)

I like this paragraph from TFA:
There's an interesting effect here that I've noticed over the years -- smart people don't make the same mistake twice while REALLY SMART people don't make the same mistake three times. Since they tend to make fewer mistakes to start with, really smart people tend to repeat the mistakes they do make because they are initially convinced that the outcome was someone else's fault or perhaps because of cosmic rays.
I think it really holds true. Maybe really smart high level execs need more really smart high level people to help look over their mistakes privately so this doesnt happen as much.

Re:Making Mistakes (4, Funny)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025049)

Maybe really smart high level execs need more really smart high level people to help look over their mistakes privately so this doesnt happen as much.
But if a really smart high level executive has a really smart high level person look over their mistakes, wouldn't that mean they would make the mistake nine times? I'd hate to see what happens when he shares it with larger group. 3^8 mistakes? That could get ridiculous.

Re:Making Mistakes (1)

MisanthropicProgram (763655) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025065)

What you said is one of the most helpful things I've heard in a LONG time.

I forgot.. (4, Funny)

MisanthropicProgram (763655) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025118)

THANK YOU!

For your eyes only. In other words, the Mod's won't see this, so I expect only you to see this!!

P.S. Cheers!

They don't drill down this deep!

Re:I forgot.. (1)

Klar (522420) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025224)

You're too kind

Re:Making Mistakes (2, Insightful)

NoMercy (105420) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025235)

How do you know it's a mistake until youve tested it and proved it was a mistake :)

Though I guess the really really really smart people make a 2nd mistake in a isolated model where they controll each of the parameters.

goog (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10024953)

i just want more goog

i hope (1)

robot captain (744984) | more than 10 years ago | (#10024965)

i hope that the suits of google keep their heads on straight and continue doing what they do best, using this money to further improve their products and fund more research.

Re:i hope (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025116)

Umm, they'll use this money to turn a profit for their shareholders.

That can be done through improvement and research, but only if you consider "finding ways to shove advertisements down your throat any way possible" improvement and research.

Google is now a wholly different entity. It's about the bucks and nothing else now.

Re:i hope (1)

robot captain (744984) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025145)

unfortunately you're probably right. sigh.

Re:i hope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10025212)

How much longer before Google starts with animated advertisements, popup ads, and a front page of a 1000 links?

Re:i hope (2, Insightful)

Valar (167606) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025330)

Part of the reason google is so sucessful is because they DON'T use the model you are talking about. It isn't as simple as 'more ads == more money.' If the quality of the service is hurt by attempts to make a profit, it will drive away the users, which will drive away customers (advertisers won't pay for all those ads unless somebody actually _looks_ at them). It is pretty hard to make a profit with no customers.

Um... (1)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025262)

Google will spend the money to create new search technology that will search for buried treasure. Then they'll be rich I tell you, RICH! And not just this rich in the play stock money rich.. oh now... they'll have real gold dabloons, cups of silver, and precious gems from the farest reaches of this world. Ayh! Dabloons I say! Million of em! And they'll be rich!

"now that it's flush with cash" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10024977)

now that it's flush with cash

Now hold on cowboy, they may be flush with cash today but the stock is sexy and trendy, but it is way overvalued. Let's wait until the market settles down on a price. I'm guessing about $20.

Re:"now that it's flush with cash" (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025099)

Even if the stock goes to $1.00, the keep all the money they raised at the IPO. The only way they get "unflush" with cash, is to spend it.

Re:"now that it's flush with cash" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10025144)

But their market cap will go down, which means they have less cash to play with.

Re:"now that it's flush with cash" (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025244)

They still keep all the cash they raised at the IPO.

Whatever happens to the stock in the future does not affect this. Future stock price affects things related to money in the future, but all the money raised in the IPO is cash in the bank, so to speak.

Re:"now that it's flush with cash" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10025185)

How long could you run a company with 5000 million dollars (Google's valuation at $20 per share)?

Maybe (2, Funny)

aboxbayz (523965) | more than 10 years ago | (#10024979)

Maybe they just needed the cash for hard drives for ppls gig o' spam accounts

Wow, he's full of himself. (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#10024981)

Heck, if I can't get an interview, hardly anyone can get an interview.

I am sure Google really wants to have an interview with an asshole that complains of their micromanagement.

I am no Googlelover (as far as their IPO/business practices go) but I don't think it's a bad idea to ignore Cringley.

Re:Wow, he's full of himself. (2, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025083)

Does Cringley think he's like journalisms top brass? Most people don't know who the hell he is.

If it wasn't for slashdot posting about it every time he updates his column, I wouldn't know who he is.

Re:Wow, he's full of himself. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10025121)

If it wasn't for slashdot posting about it every time he updates his column, I wouldn't know who he is.

Speaking of, where's Jon Katz? Maybe he adopted Junis and moved to a sheep farm.

Re:Wow, he's full of himself. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10025152)

I don't know about anyone else, but I couldn't name one other journalist in his field, unless Penn Gilette counts, or those monkeys on BBC's Click Online.

You've heard of irony, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10025282)

Sometimes writers use it when they want to say one thing but mean another. Cringely is a funny guy, and he's not as full of himself as you might think. If you'd read his stuff over time, you'd get the joke.

Re:Wow, he's full of himself. (1)

sql*kitten (1359) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025379)

I don't think it's a bad idea to ignore Cringley.

Aye, I fully agree. If he knows so much about search engines, why isn't he running one himself?

All I know is... (5, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 10 years ago | (#10024985)

that I never really thought of Google as a company. For the longest time I was wondering how they were even making enough money to pay their employees.

I thought of them more like "A group of SMFs that wanted to make some neat shit". Which they accomplished.

So with all this money now, its almost as if the impression that I have of Google has died and something else has taken over.

Google Conquers Online Advertising (5, Insightful)

dunsel (559042) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025131)

The problem with online advertising in its current state is that we, the consumer, do not want or like it.

We do like google. And when google started running little text link adds off to the right, I said "Way to go, google, now you can mage something for all your hard work." A lesser company might have sold "preferred listing" links *COUGH* YAHOO *COUGH* but Google remained honest and our friends.

And now, I see that google's little text links are actually usefull to me. I'm searching for airfare, and google suggests that I try an online airfare that I hadn't tried before. I do and I get a good price! And that place gets my business, and Google gets a few millicents for my click.

As long as google can remain my friend, I hope they do take over all of online advertising. Adds that arent' hideous in some way and actually advertise things I'm interested in will, in my eyes, revolutanize the online world.

Way to go Google.

Re:Google Conquers Online Advertising (-1, Flamebait)

FosterKanig (645454) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025413)

Jesus Christ, dude. Pull Google's dick out of your mouth, and realize that Google is not the second coming. It's a fucking company whose sole purpose now is to rasie the value of it's stock.

Re:Google Conquers Online Advertising (3, Interesting)

Toresica (788403) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025418)

As long as google can remain my friend, I hope they do take over all of online advertising. Adds that arent' hideous in some way and actually advertise things I'm interested in will, in my eyes, revolutanize the online world.

The key to that is "a long as Google can remain my friend".

Little useful text links are great, and actually get seen by people like me who only load images for the originating web site. :p

But watch out for how much trust you put in them, how do you know they won't start doing popups etc?

Re:All I know is... (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025308)

Actually before the IPO googles earnings were very very good. They turned a profit of $64 million for the first 3 quarters of this year (no not $64 million for each quarter, I'm talking total here).
Compared to profit of $26 million in 2003, they are doing very well, even without the IPO. Actually from what I understand it is those profit numbers that actually made the FCC se mi forcegoogle to IPO in the first place. Apparently there are regulations concerning how much a private company can earn.... shrugs.

Re:All I know is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10025373)

I work for a private software company that had about $1.3B in revenues last year... I'm not sure what the profits were, but I don't think there's any regulation about how much you can make as a private company. It's all up to the owners of the company if they want to go public. Last year, our ownership took a poll of employees and a whopping 87% did not want to go public, for fear of ruining a great place to work!

Again.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10024994)

with this wierd brown background. WTF! guys! /. Owners, stop this fucking madness! Get rid of this color or your customers will leave!!@!

Sick of it (0, Flamebait)

Quixote (154172) | more than 10 years ago | (#10024999)

Am I the only one who's sick of GOOGLE? Everywhere I turn, there's some chap blabbing away about GOOGLE and its IPO. Enough, already!

What's with this fascination with this company? Are we so bored?

Re:Sick of it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10025097)

The company itself was founded on a relatively good concept, which in turn became a very good product.

All of the techies are fascinated with it because they have used it for so long and want to see the company prosper, that is, as long as the product doesn't suffer.

All of the suits are fascinated with it because they want to make tons of $$ by exploiting something they probably didn't know existed until a few months ago.

Everyone else is fascinated with it because the news keeps shoving it down our throats.

It's almost like seeing your favorite "underground"/local band get signed to a major record label, then end up on MTV's TRL. Oh you like their music and are happy they have become successful, but you don't want it to get fucked up by catering to what the suits at the record label (shareholders?) think is best.

Re:Sick of it (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10025126)

Am I the only one who's sick of GOOGLE? Everywhere I turn, there's some chap blabbing away about GOOGLE and its IPO. Enough, already!

C'mon, Mr. Gates, jealousy isn't very nice.

Re:Sick of it (1)

31415926535897 (702314) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025239)

I was kind of wondering the same thing myself.

Do we really need _another_ story about Google so that we can rehash what has already been discussed in the other stories?

This story isn't a dup per se, but it has just as much charisma as one.

Re:Sick of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10025258)

What's with this fascination with this company? Are we so bored?

Yes. Yes we are.

Re:Sick of it (5, Insightful)

Apreche (239272) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025345)

The fascination with google is simple. In today's broken capitalist economy it is very hard to get ahead. The biggest most powerful corporations are those that do "evil" and use lots of advertising and lies to get ahead. Google is the first company to hit it big in a long time in the true Adam Smith capitalist sense. They made the best product, they did right by the customer and they have a policy of "no evil". People voted with their dollars and now google is on top. If only the same thing happened in all markets and not just web search engines we might live in a much better place.

Imagine if your car was as good at being a car as google is at being a search engine. Imagine if the tv channels and radio stations you watched had a similar advertising policy to googles.

Google is fascinating because it proves you can get ahead without underhanded business tactics, coercion and lies. You can just make a product that is better than everyone elses, quality wise, and that's enough.

As long as google doesn't break (5, Insightful)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025002)

I don't really care what extra things google will do as long as they continue to be a great Internet search engine

Re:As long as google doesn't break (2, Funny)

astrotek (132325) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025179)

I don't care as long as Adsense continues to send me 300+/week :)

Re:As long as google doesn't break (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10025352)

Would you care if they bought DoubleClick ?

I kind of doubt its would ever get that bad, but just think about it everyone seems to be willingly giving Google the information that DoubleClick got so much flak for collecting

Movement Beyond Internet and Market Cap (5, Interesting)

artlu (265391) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025004)

Google's adsense technology will ultimately grow outside of the Internet realm and include instant advertising during movies, tv shows, billboards, etc. Imagine that you are watching a movie on NBC without commercials, but whenever someone says the word "soda" an ad streams across for Coke/Pepsi. Maybe Google will grow into that realm of advertising.

Second, as reported on my website [groupshares.com] Google's stock price is still fairly attractive from a P/E basis. If Google stays on track to grow for the rest of the year, Google should be valued more than Yahoo, which could mean the stock should still be attractive above $100.

Just my thoughts,
Aj

Remember the CueCat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10025124)

Kind of sorta the same thing

Re:Movement Beyond Internet and Market Cap (1)

RajivSLK (398494) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025261)

Imagine that you are watching a movie on NBC without commercials, but whenever someone says the word "soda" an ad streams across for Coke/Pepsi.

That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. That wouldn't even be inline with AdSense/AdWords. You clearly don't understand what the technology does.

Re:Movement Beyond Internet and Market Cap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10025371)

Google should be valued more than Yahoo

Doesn't Yahoo (along with whatever University it was that spawned Google) own a significant part of Google? If Google continues to grow, this will in turn allow Yahoo to grow, surely?

$1.66 Billion Comeuppance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10025008)

Maureen O'Gara doesn't seem to care [linuxworld.com] for Googlers Page and Brin and says that they've gotten their "comeuppance" - I wouldn't mind a billion-dollar comeuppance myself come to think of it. It's an interesting article though.

Re:$1.66 Billion Comeuppance? (1)

jg21 (677801) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025060)

from the article [linuxworld.com] : Sergey and Larry pocketed $41 million a piece rather than $130 million a man and Eric picked up $31 million. Yahoo and Time Warner also cashed in some of their chips. The company itself raised $1.2 billion to add to the $500 million it already has in the bank, money nobody knows what Google will do with, one of the many issues hobbling the IPO.

Maybe she has a point. That last part I mean?

Hanging on too tightly (5, Insightful)

ElForesto (763160) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025019)

I see an excellent point made in the article, which is that the founders want to maintain control of the enterprise as much as they can. The problem is that as soon as you've taken a company public, it isn't your baby anymore. It sounds like decisions need to start being delegated before the founders wear themselves out from working too hard.

I've worked at more than one company where the founder(s) micro-managed the entire enterprise. The did themselves a tremendous disservice in the long run by discouraging independent thought and actions.

Business messaging and search (4, Interesting)

CdBee (742846) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025023)

Google's biggest assets above its staff, are its name and reputation for solid, advanced technology effectively implemented. I figure they could move into any web-based application field but expect that it will begin with licensing out search technology for company intranets (already available from them actually) and instant messaging/conference software. (Jabber?)

now that it's flush with cash (4, Funny)

Phreakiture (547094) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025028)

...now that it's flush with cash...

What?!? They flushed their cache?!? What are we going to do when someone gets Slashdotted?!?

But is he right? (4, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025029)

We're talking about Cringley. So, uh, no.

Google news? (0)

Chuck Bucket (142633) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025034)

that's so yesterday.

CB

Re:Google news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10025139)

What? No.. they update it [google.com] every few minutes.

Just in case... (0, Troll)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025050)

OK, I'd been starting to feel a little smidgen of sympathy for all the programmers and admins who have just realized that anyone in the world with a little brains and an O'Reilly book can do their job.

And now we're suddenly back to 1998 and "It's computers! It's completely exempt from all normal principles of economics and business!"

Attitude (5, Insightful)

rleyton (14248) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025053)

Whilst I do like Google, I think they need to be very careful about the next few years. There *will* be rivals (Microsoft foremost, of course) in the search-engine space. Ads are one thing, but if people aren't visiting google out of preference for their search engine needs, much of the rest of their business model falls apart.

The hype - almost hysteria at first - surrounding the Google IPO has so much resonance with the dot gone fun of a few years ago, they would do well to look to the future without forgetting the pertinent and still relevant lessons of the past. Just because the stock market thinks you're worth $billions, doesn't mean it'll stay that way, or that you really are worth that much.

Remember Netscape? The parallels are noticeable. Cornered market until MS got there with IE and ownership of the desktop. It's a different political world now though, but it's worth remembering.

And for a company that's historically been very secretive, how will that play out in the publicly listed world?

Re:Attitude (5, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025260)

Let's go offtopic with Netscape.

Netscape used to be the best browser, and that's why I used it. I remember IE 1.0, it was fucking aweful. Then IE 2.0, still aweful. Then IE 3.0, which IMO, was right about on parity with Netscape.

Then IE 4.0 came out, and I switched, because it was better than what Netscape had. Netscape stopped developing, and channeled it's dollars into a legal fight with MSFT.

So, blah blah, AOL comes along and dismantles Netscape. The OSS community takes over the day to day of mozilla.org, and the focus is once again on development.

Now I use FireFox, and more and more switch daily. Hell, articles run in MS's own Slate magazine recommending FireFox.

I use it because it's the best browser, IMO. Just about everyone I've showed it to has switched. Because they think it's better than IE. They like the speed, they like the tabs, they like the popup blocking, etc. I don't even have to sound like a tinfoil hat and rant about security. The fact that it's a better browser has been enough to convince people.

Thats why I never bought into that "Microsoft killed netscape by bundling IE" bullshit. I never used IE because it was bundled, I used it because it was better and didn't bork my box like NS did.

So how does that relate to Google? If Google focuses on legal fights with MSFT, or other silly nonsense a la "you set the default home page to msn.com and thats an abuse of yer monopoly", then Google is doomed. Who cares what my homepage is, I use google because it's the best search engine (right now). The day it's no longer the best search engine, IMO, I'll stop using it.

Hopefully they spend the money on developers, not lawyers.

Re:Attitude (1)

jaavaaguru (261551) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025386)

At least you can get a spelling checker plugin for IE.

Re:Attitude (2, Interesting)

adamh526 (725423) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025272)

And for a company that's historically been very secretive, how will that play out in the publicly listed world?

Google may be much different, but I'd say secrecy has worked out pretty well for Apple.

Re:Attitude (1)

Zardoz44 (687730) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025350)

Netscape was dying for a replacement browser. Just because it was the best doesn't mean it was any good. That was an easy one for Microsoft.

Netscape was the front-runner, but who did they really have to surpass when they started? They were esentially the first browser. Once MS came along, they were fair-game. The same as with IE now being fair game for Mozilla et al. So they have to play catch-up.

Google on the other hand had plenty of competition in the search engine field. Still does, but they were so innovative that nobody compares. And they keep innovating because they have competition from every angle. They can just stop developing and roll around in money. MS may be able to come up with a strong competitor, but it won't be easy.

In an ideal world... (3, Insightful)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025057)

Google does become the biggest advertiser and continues a policy of clean, unobtrusive adverts. not only does this reduce the percentage of annoying adverts directly by market share, but it makes people more sensitive to annoying adverts and eventually the stupid dumbfuck marketers realise the error of their ways and also adopt unobtrusive adverts.

Google uses its money to start buying up real life billboards and dismantling them, thus improving real life too. this turns out to be one of the greatest moves in marketing history and Google continues to prosper.

Biggest Ad-Platform (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10025069)

I think you're on to something. Google's googlesyndication.com has already found its way into my list of blocked domains, right next to doubleclick.net. I wish they kept their tracking to their own site. When Doubleclick set cookies through their banners on third party sites, people were up in arms. Google apparently gets away with collecting data from webhits on third party sites, personally identifying information from GMail and Google Groups, social networking information from Orkut and of course their search engine. Let's hope that people stop being blinded by cuteness now that Google is a multi-billion dollar corporation.

Distributed google (4, Interesting)

taylor (11728) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025071)

As Cringley points out, the possibilities for google are extremely broad, but limited nonetheless by the necessity of playing to the "technology" strength of google management and employees. Presumably the 20% project time (i.e. where employees develop pet projects) will help in the short term and long term. The bazaar model may work, but in terms of making money off of technology, they need to expand their bazaar thinking beyond just new technology, into market creation and the like. Otherwise all that creative R&D time is lost in a sea, like many sourceforge projects. Presumably they allow _all_ their employees the 20% time, not just engineers, in which case this works.

Only vaguely relatedly, it seems that utilization of their distributed computing expertise and power (as per previous slashdot discussions) is an immediate area they can capitalize on. I wonder what a google-backbone based MMORG (with _ultimate bandwidth power_) would be like?

Re:Distributed google (1)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025187)

>I wonder what a google-backbone based MMORG (with _ultimate bandwidth power_) would be like?

kinda like real life.... on the internet!?

perhaps they could rent out some bandwidth to Valve for a while to cover the launch of Half Life 2. Valve's Steam is supposed to be able to do this but is so amazingly shit it couldn't even handle the launch of a Counter-Strike: Source beta with a single map to a tiny fraction of players.

Rich and powerful, yet good (3, Insightful)

otisg (92803) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025108)

How about something more meaningful than 'the biggest marketing company'? How about taking all that money and being the leader among big companies with loads of money by showing that being big and powerful does not need to turn you into a monster.
How about that?

Why not just ask Google? (5, Interesting)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025122)

The future of Google" [google.com]

Wired 12.03: The Complete Guide to Googlemania! [wired.com]
... The Complete Guide to Googlemania! (continued). 4 Scenarios for the Future of Google Sometimes a liquidity event changes everything. By Tom McNichol. ...

GooOS, the Google Operating System (kottke.org) [kottke.org]
GooOS, the Google Operating System. He argues that Google is building a huge computer with a custom operating system that everyone on earth can have an account on. His last few paragraphs are so much more perceptive than anything that's been written about Google

Personalized Results: Exploring The Future Of Google ... Personalized Results: Exploring The Future Of Google. [webmasterworld.com]
msgraph Moderator view user profile joined-Nov 29, 2000 posts:1330 msg #:1, 7:29 pm on Feb 12, 2002 (utc 0). ...

MacMinute: The future of Google and Web searching? [macminute.com]
* WWDC 2004: Discover how to put Mac OS X to work for you at WWDC! *. The future of Google and Web searching? March 31, 2004 - 07 ... www.macminute.com/2004/03/31/google - 29k -

Google's demise will go as follows: (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10025137)

As with all young companies that go IPO Google's course will go as follows:

1. All founders and current top executives will cash out and leave within the first year. Right now they are dizzy with possibilities and future ideas for the company but that will quickly fade to watching the stock ticker, taking long lunches, shopping for real estate, and counting the days to when they can legally cash out and leave.

2. Within 8 months new executives will be hired to take over when the founders and top executives jump out.

3. The new executives are have long resumes, short contracts, short attention spans, big dumb ideas, insane salaries, and lots of stock options. They will announce "a bold new vision" several times and sell out the company for all it's worth.

4. After 3 years and various layoffs the second generation management cashes out and jumps ship.

5. The third generation management comes onboard with a round of layoffs and useless new hires and looks at what else can be sold off. They change the name of the company and start shopping around for buyers to sell the whole company too.

Total Information Awareness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10025173)

Not just advertising! Observe.

Google has the biggest database of basically everything in the Internet. What would they say to various agencies who want premium access to do data-mining? Of course such agencies would pay lucratively.

Google would not turn them down. Why do they hire ex-NSA people, or people with security clearances anyway?

Eric Schmidt.... hmm, where have I heard that name (4, Interesting)

sphealey (2855) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025210)

From the Cringley piece:

Remember, Google's CEO is Eric Schmidt, who used to be Chief Scientist at Sun Microsystems, so technology doesn't scare these guys.

I like the leaving out of the part where Schmidt was CEO of Novell, failed entirely to figure out a strategy to counter Microsoft, and ran one of the world's great technology companies into the groud. Nope, nothing important there.

sPh

Re:Eric Schmidt.... hmm, where have I heard that n (4, Informative)

Mournblade (72705) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025365)

I like that you failed to RT Entire FA, and therefore missed this:

so technology doesn't scare these guys. In fact, they prefer it because machines are more predictable than people, as Schmidt learned when he tried to turn around Novell.

So I guess he did mention it. I would also guess that he assumes the above is all he needs to write for his target audience to understand the points you made.

Refinement, branching. (4, Insightful)

yoshi_mon (172895) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025246)

If the people at Google know what's good for them, and a suspect they might, they will keep their search engine clean and fast. Refineing it such that it stays on top. No more wading though countless newsgroup posts to find what your really looking for. Or a better way to refine searches that do hit things like newsgroups.

After that they can branch out and play in the market. Gmail is one such venture and there are others that are worth a stab at such as the peoplefinder thing that I don't remember off the top of my head right now what it's called but it's been a pet project for a while now. Other things such as Froogle seem to be worthy of more development.

However key to all the fishing they might want to do they have to keep that main engine humming. Do no evil! Keep the respect of the geeks and lusers alike. Computers move fast and the internet moves even faster and once you slip it's very hard to go back.

Two Women at Once. (-1, Offtopic)

deebaine (218719) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025252)

I figure if I had 1.67 billion dollars [forbes.com] , I could probably set that up.

-db

What is this "Google" you speak of? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10025301)

I did a WebCrawler search and can't find anything about it. It is a NCSA Mosaic enhancement?

I think (And I'm Always Right) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10025305)

I think (And I'm Always Right) that Google is going to pour a lot of that cash right into a 'Z' Prize, 1.2 billion for the first to establish an inhabited base on Mars. I have inside information.

What does google really do? (4, Interesting)

mveloso (325617) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025340)

Is google an advertising channel or a search engine? Right now the advertising channel only exists because of the search engine, and the channel is what's making them money.

How does google make its advertising independent of its search?

How do you broaden search to make it more useful?

What kinds of things are people searching for?

What's happening to their enterprise search business?

When businesses want information, how do they get it?

I'd expect them to buy doubleclick as their first acquisition.

Amusement park (1, Interesting)

liryon (804280) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025385)

I think google should use the money to build their own theme park. With hookers! And blackjack! In fact, forget the theme park!

Expansion (2, Insightful)

bStrom (806850) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025421)

It seems that, while ad revenue has made Google what it is, ad revenue can not be the company's only source of income forever. They have to expand into other areas. Everything they do seems to be based on the expansion of their ad revenue (i.e. - GMail, Froogle, etc.). They also bought they recently bought Picasa [picasa.com] , so where else will they expand and how will they make money doing it?

Stem Cell? (2, Interesting)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 10 years ago | (#10025422)

"Google's strengths are its technology, its brand recognition, its current status as a stem cell of Internet business"

Wow, first use of stem cell as a metaphor.
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