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Google's DNA

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the bioengineered-for-the-win dept.

171

bart_scriv writes "Businessweek confronts Google naysayers with an analysis of the company's business structure, arguing that its unique structure lends it the flexibility to adapt to any and all markets: 'Google is actually the first company with a brand that is built entirely on stem cells: able to grow and develop into whatever form it sees fit.' The article predicts significant changes for the company in communications, hardware, entertainment and localization and goes on to argue that Google is on the verge of achieving the holy grail of branding--being all things to all markets."

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Googlemobiles! (5, Interesting)

yog (19073) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105705)

This comparison of Google to stem cells is rather hyperbolic. After all, many companies out there do almost everything. Microsoft has its fingers in a lot of pies, too, even though they have been playing catch up in most of the areas that they don't yet dominate. IBM is probably another example; though they're known for their computers, they are very big in software services, chip manufacturing and basic research, and they have internal projects going on a whole lot of interesting stuff that never makes it into the market.

Google does have the coolness market cornered right now, though. They have continued to do a great job on their search engine, and their email, mapping, and other web services are really well done.

I would like to see Google truly act like stem cells and develop a better car. I am willing to bet that a Googlemobile would be truly innovative. Probably it would come with builtin navigation tools such as Google Maps but beyond that it would be self-parking, highly secure from theft (because it runs Linux), and get terrific gas mileage--or else use some other less carbon-generating source such as alcohol or direct solar power.

On a less whimsical note, there's a tremendous potential for Google in branding nifty handheld devices that have easy access to the world's online knowledge, incorporate speech recog and the like. I suspect that Google's move into urban wifi is a step in this direction; if they can control the airwaves and the receiving devices they will truly have vertical integration. And Microsoft will be even more annoyed, which is probably a good thing.

Re:Googlemobiles! (1)

jellings (199721) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105727)

We created a googlemobile at home, but the baby wasn't interested in it...

Re:Googlemobiles! (1, Offtopic)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105745)

From parent's sig:
it's = "it is"; its = possessive. E.g., it's flapping its wings.
"it's" = "it is" & "its" = possessive => "it's flapping its wings" = "it is flapping possessive wings"

Let's see... (1)

2names (531755) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106102)

should't it be:

"it\'s" == "it is" && "its" == "possessive"

Re:Let's see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15106208)

You see, there are people out there who actually talk to other people sometimes, not just computers. You should really try it out sometime.

Re:Googlemobiles! (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105790)

Google does have the coolness market cornered right now, though. They have continued to do a great job on their search engine, and their email, mapping, and other web services are really well done.

True - but do remember that none of these are the product. Their main product is advertising space. Search/maps/email are just advertising.

Re:Googlemobiles! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15106434)

So they could give away free cars, with Advertising plastered over the sides?
Sounds like the Red Bull cars to me... anyone else seen those?

Re:Googlemobiles! (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105991)

I thought the language of the article was a bit hyperbolic, but I thought that they might have a valid point -- that google's successful, functional software are written and directed from the ground up by *programmers*, not handed down from marketing and management. So a stem-cell (or a programmer's idea) has a chance to grow and blossom into something useful under the programmer's care, instead of management ordering programmers to develop a watered-down, group-think and market-speak developed product.

Re:Googlemobiles! (2)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106078)

highly secure from theft (because it runs Linux)

Let's not go overboard with the fanboyism. A car is mainly a mechanical device. Theft = cutting the battery cable, dragging it onto a flatbed and driving away. No amount of code (Linux or not) can prevent that.

Re:Googlemobiles! (1)

Andrew Kismet (955764) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106192)

He has to mentione Linux in there somewhere, or he wouldn't be at (5, Interesting) right now :D

Re:Googlemobiles! (1)

muhgcee (188154) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106296)

The poster was joking about the googlemobile. Hence the start of the next paragraph.

Re:Googlemobiles! (1)

bunnyman (121652) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106152)

I am willing to bet that a Googlemobile would be truly innovative. Probably it would come with builtin navigation tools such as Google Maps but beyond that it would be self-parking, highly secure from theft (because it runs Linux), and get terrific gas mileage--or else use some other less carbon-generating source such as alcohol or direct solar power.

Yeah, but it would also monitor every place that you drive. Not to be evil, mind you, but to make suggestions about what stores you might like to drive to.

It would always be in "beta," but that's okay, since Googlemobile Beta is still safer than a Chevy Corvair 1.0!

And it would be totally free, as long as you don't mind looking at a few ads. But since it's invite-only, it would have an eBay value of $84,208. (Buy it now for $62,199!)

The most controversial feature would be... (1)

Mille Mots (865955) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106188)

would like to see Google truly act like stem cells and develop a better car. I am willing to bet that a Googlemobile would be truly innovative. Probably it would come with builtin navigation tools such as Google Maps but beyond that it would be self-parking, highly secure from theft (because it runs Linux), and get terrific gas mileage--or else use some other less carbon-generating source such as alcohol or direct solar power.

But, in some countries it would only run on government approved roads. In other countries it would run on all roads, but report back to the government where you've been.

--
Someone had to say it.

Re:Googlemobiles! (1)

geobeck (924637) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106243)

I would like to see Google...develop a better car.

Unfortunately, the Googlemobile Beta(TM) would only run on paved roads. A gravel-road-capable version would be In Development(TM) for some time.

Also, you wouldn't actually buy a Googlemobile. Each beta driver would receive twenty sets of keys which they could give to their friends to enable them to go pick up their own Googlemobile.

It would have awkward handling too, because if its 2500-cubic-foot trunk (71-cubic-meter boot, for those across the pond).

And when it occasionally crashed, you wouldn't be upset because it's just a beta, and Google would fix it without charge. And the Ajax-coded airbags would deploy quickly, even if their function was a bit jerky.

The only real problem would be when you hit the brakes and it gave you a message saying "Function is temporarily unavailable."

Re:Googlemobiles! (1)

shawb (16347) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106264)

The whole reason for the "stem cell" line was the will President Bush cap Google's eligibility at 78 stem cell lines bit. Just some journalist trying to sound clever by throwing out a piece of pop-trivia, but not realizing that it went out of fad to talk about it a while ago. And trying to craft some FUD out of thing air. The jab at G.W.B is just gravy on the cake.

Re:Googlemobiles! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15106293)

I think the point was that even though MS and other companies have their hand in just about any market they chose they are unable to do so easily. Look how difficult it was for them to break into the console market for example. MS also has a tendancy of letting other companies lead the way and once a market is proven they try to jump in and "900-pound-gorilla" their way to the top. Google on the other hand is poised to easily move into any market is chooses and immedeatly be respected. This isn't because of its business stratigies or structure though. It quite simply because everything they do they seem to do better than everyone else, and it just works like it suppose to. Technologically they are superior to their competitors. I know that in years following the dot com bust that it's taboo to say that technology is important to a business and has a equal role in a companies success, but it quite simply true.

Re:Googlemobiles! (4, Funny)

curunir (98273) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106332)

Googlemobile 0.8.12 beta

Release Notes:

- Added new feature that allows the car to integrate with Google's free Wi-Fi networks that would use your current location to find open parking spaces near you and indicate them on the Google Maps interface.
- Added new DIY maintenance feature that allows you to search a database of thousands of repairs and receive instructions as well as maps to the closest retailers selling replacement parts.
- Added feature to use the hot air generated by Google Fanbois (TM) as an energy source replacement for gasoline. The Googlemobile gets an EPA estimated 280 mi/GPA (Google Product Announcement).
- Disabled optional feature to post back to Google that you're currently being cited for speeding or other driving infraction. The google network is no longer able to alert all other Google drivers that there are officers in that vicinity so that they can avoid being ticketed. This feature has been disabled pending the outcome of the class action suit filed on behalf of 10 separate state highway patrol organizations.

End User License Agreement (EULA)

This automobile is provided by Google "as is" and any express or implied warranties, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose are disclaimed. In no event shall google be liable for any direct, indirect, incedental, exemplary, or consequential damages (including, but not limited to, procurement of substitute goods or services; loss of use, life or profits; or business interruptions) however caused and on any theory of liability, whether in contract, strict liability, or tort (including negligence or otherwise) arising in any way out of the use of this automobile, even if advised of the possibility of such damage.

Re:Googlemobiles! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15106393)

even though they have been playing catch up in most of the areas that they don't yet dominate

Doesn't every company play catch up in the areas it doesn't yet dominate? :)

Re:Googlemobiles! (1)

Ocho (541505) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106628)

...nifty handheld devices... Sounds like you want Google to build the Mandarax. I'd buy one.

Over the top? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15105716)

I didn't read TFA, but the summary is either tounge-in-cheek or made by a google-addicted fanboy ready to ride and crash under the upcoming "web X.X" bubble.

Re:Over the top? (1)

typobox43 (677545) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105975)

"web X.X" Death by anime face overload?

Good God (3, Insightful)

bhirsch (785803) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105723)

This looks like an article written about the dot-com of the week in the late 90s. When all the hype dies down, Google will likely be a success like Yahoo -- solid, but not the most amazing company out there.

Re:Good God (3, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105741)

Good god indeed, google do no evil.
Google ARE god.

I can't decide who is the devil however, does he wear a turtleneck or does he throw chairs?

Re:Good God (1)

RestartLater (877021) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105811)

Chair-throwing dude.

Re:Good God (1)

bhirsch (785803) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105898)

Turtleneck, ponytail, and sandles with socks.

Re:Good God (5, Interesting)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105816)

That's very insightful (sorry, no mod points at the moment :) Taking it a step further we thought back then that Yahoo had the potential to be amazing, but chose not to do anything really interesting. Today we see Google's potential. We'll just have to wait and see if they disappoint as well.

Re:Good God (5, Insightful)

bhirsch (785803) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105850)

I would not count Yahoo as a disappointment, the market just corrected for their being overvalued. The same thing will likely happen to Google. My point is, I don't think they will crash and burn like most did, but rather settle down to be on par with Yahoo.

Many people will likely lose their shirts on Google stock, but I have no sympathy for people who should've learned before how dangerous it is to look at an overvalued stock as a long-term stable investment.

Re:Good God (3, Interesting)

jobugeek (466084) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106248)

Actually Google getting added to the S&P 500 might save it from such a crash. By being included, it is held by tons of S&P mutual funds. That combined with the realtively low number of shares available, I would expect Google shares to stay in the 250-350 range for quite some time.

Re:Good God (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15105865)

Back then we knew Yahoo was just a web portal, and that without goods and services to sell that enamor consumers, the best that they could hope for would be to live off of the teet of easily-subverted and fraud-prone advertising schemes. That is to say that they could do moderately-well so long as companies that did actually produce goods and services that people wished to buy, were willing and able to throw money into the void of such advertising in hopes that it would boost revenues. Sounds suspiciously like Google, only Google has fewer services.

Re:Good God (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15106053)

That's very insightful (sorry, no mod points at the moment :) Taking it a step further we thought back then that Yahoo had the potential to be amazing, but chose not to do anything really interesting. Today we see Google's potential. We'll just have to wait and see if they disappoint as well.

Riiiiiiight. We'll just have to wait and see if Google disappoints just like every single other hyped tech company did. No, Google could be an exception. The old rules surely don't apply. Sound familiar?

Re:Good God (1)

lowrydr310 (830514) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105963)

The hype will never die down! Google is the best company out there, and they will never stop growing exponentially.

That reminds me, I need to go buy some Google stock right now.

Re:Good God (3, Informative)

JollyFinn (267972) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106163)

Here's interesting point.
Sales data:
             Google   Yahoo
2004           3.1      3.5
Lastyear       6.1      5.3
Q4 05          1.9      1.5
CompanyPrice  122B      44B

I don't expect Google to assimilate everything. But their sales is growing fast. There is quite good potential that Google grows to a company with 10Billion yearly profits, for which the sharevalue would be quite reasonable. Giving pretty good return on investment if that happens. And a small chance of growing to a company with more than 15Billion yearly profits.
And its pretty certain that Google will be more successfull than Yahoo. But if Google cannot grow to its potential then its probably more successfull company than Yahoo and makes good bucks on advertisement, but nothing great enough to varrant its share value. 

Re:Good God (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106171)

Google has not been about hype for quite some time.
First, the company has been around 8 years. After 6 years at Yahoo, the hype had LONG died down.
Yahoo was a pioneer in the field, but they allowed a regular management team to take hold. IOW, they are a regular company.
Google is about a totally different infrastructure. It is doing what many techies have said needed to be done. IMHO, they will remain this way until one of the 3 is gone, esp. because of Schmidt. They are more akin to Disney when it was run by Disney. In contrast, companies such as Yahoo and MS are more akin to the Eisner Disney of the last few years; Just trying to make as much money as possible in any way possible in as short time, regardless of the future.

Of course, the problem with all this, is that once one of the fab 3 go, I suspect that business people will try to push Eisners, Gates, and Semels on the company. Then be wary of ppl like that, with the power of Google behind them. That could be truely evil.

Uh oh, don't tell the President about this! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15105731)

"'Google is actually the first company with a brand that is built entirely on stem cells"

Don't let Bush know! He'll demand that they do not produce any new products based on new stem cells, but only using existing stem cells. After all, using new products would be tantamount to murder and might upset his base.

If Google succeeds, the terrorists win.

Re:Uh oh, don't tell the President about this! (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105747)

Don't worry, even the prez will be happy if you can by Google brand gasoline. Remember, Google can adapt to all markets. ....please, spare me this article Slashdot

Re:Uh oh, don't tell the President about this! (2, Interesting)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106525)

If Google succeeds, the terrorists win.

Clearly, all Google searches must be forwarded through AT&T servers, and hence to the NSA. All this will be done at the expense of Google, after all, they're Google's packets, on the NSAs network.

DUPE! I Already found this on google search. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15105744)

It was the #1 result for 'boot licking'.

Re:DUPE! I Already found this on google search. (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105765)

Actually, its a site called abusedshoes.com however I'm afraid to click, maybe some more fetishist slashdotters could check it out (or I could just wait until I show my missus later - shes the shoe person in the family)

Stem cells? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15105753)

OMG Google is killing BABIES!!!!!11111 I'm going to write my congressman and ask for a ban on Google, who's with me?? We can't let the satanic liberals kill those poor little clumps of undifferentiated tissue!

Yes, sure... (4, Insightful)

StevenHenderson (806391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105766)

a brand that is built entirely on stem cells...

But don't stem cells become static and defined after some time? I hate to say it, but I think the innovation well will dry up eventually.

Google's DNA (2, Funny)

eviloverlordx (99809) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105768)

I can't wait to see the horrible, mutant creation that they come up with. I mean, there's no point in using DNA unless you can make monsters.

Flash in the pan (3, Interesting)

ThreeE (786934) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105770)

Google is just another dot-com flash in the pan. There is nothing about Google's business model that provides any more sustainable competitive advantage than any other firm. Is Google a success? Is it an admirable company? Yes -- in many ways. Will that change? Count on it.

Treat Google like any other company: sprinkle its stock in a nice diversified layer over your other holdings.

Re:Flash in the pan (3, Funny)

caffeination (947825) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106310)

Ah, the stock market, the zodiac of the rich...

GOOG stock holders:
Beware of irresistible new offers, as the dotcom constellation will soon be heading back between Mars and Venus

MSFT stock holders:
Potentially hard times are coming. It's too early to say what the outcome will be, but the proximity of Jupiter to Neptune doesn't bode well.

Re:Flash in the pan (1)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106352)

Tail wagging the dog...
business theory has about been developed about 300 years longer than genic theory. I very much doubt that someone is going to create a business system that is going to be anything but incremental and evolutionary.

Oh Great Google (3, Funny)

OSS_ilation (922367) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105773)

>>Google is on the verge of achieving the holy grail of branding--being all things to all markets. When I'm driving my GoogleCar into my GoogleGarage after a long drive along the GoogleTurnpike, guided by my GoogleGPS to have dinner prepared by my Froogle-provided Russian mail order bride, then we'll talk.

Google DNA? (0, Offtopic)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105774)

Is that what it's called when Google fanboys (I'm one too!) fantasize over and blow their seals to Google's latest toy?

Oh oh! Look at Google's shiny new Finance page. Sweet! Ewww now I got Google DNA all over myself.

Google DNA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15105970)

ON YOUR FACE!

Re:Google DNA? (1)

Shakes268 (856460) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106222)

Why blow a seal (pretty gross and illegal in most states) when you can go to Canada and club one?

Big multinationals (1)

mcai8rw2 (923718) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105775)

I would hardly call google the 'first' company to be able to take any form it sees fit. I would rather attribute this skill to any large multiunational company with enough money to do so. I am sure that M1cr0S0ft could have done such, had it been that way inclined.

Everything in all markets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15105776)

Can anyone say Yamaha?

Re:Everything in all markets? (1)

Andrew Kismet (955764) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106255)

heheeheee, whenever I think about Yamaha I imagine a keyboard strapped to the handlebars of a motorbike... and you play it to steer it.

Maybe I'm losing it...

Google will.... (1)

paxgaea (219419) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105777)

follow a similar trajectory to many companies that have come before it, including some that it is currently competing with (i.e. Microsoft).

It is experiencing a rapid upward trajectory in it's growth, but this will slow as the company grows in size.

I think we can continue to expect good things from Google, but there is really nothing new under the sun.

no innovation since 1996 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15105785)

Google has not innovated since 1996, when its search was developed. Let's see what they've done since:

Google Pack blows
Google Video blows
Google Base blows
Google Talk blows
Google Finance blows
Froogle blows
Oh wait. Gmail. That was good marketing, I'll grant them that. For an email website. Wow.

What has google actually done recently... they cooperate with the opression of the Chinese people and they release a "Google pack", what a joke... Google has grown too big, too fast... somebody started letting the stupid people in..

sorry, (0)

wpegden (931091) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105807)

But you're all going to have to stop using google now. Stem cells are sacred---even metaphorical ones.

Time to short Google... (3, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105813)

"Businessweek confronts Google naysayers with an analysis of the company's business structure, arguing that its unique structure lends it the flexibility to adapt to any and all markets..."

If that's true, then pick one or two and excel in those markets the way you excel in adwords.

I hate to say it, but Google reminds me more and more of Netscape in 1996. Both companies were leaders with strong brand names and one great product (web browser, search engine, etc.). However, Netscape utterly failed to build on their success, squandered their brand name and was eventually equalled and bettered by Microsoft. I see the same thing going on now with Google as they lurch from one non-profitable project to another and other competitors start eyeing the search engine market again...

Re:Time to short Google... (2, Interesting)

daVinci1980 (73174) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105896)

That's certainly true, and like Netscape, Google has one competitor that it should be especially wary of: Microsoft.

When IE on Vista defaults the homepage to an MSN search page that actually works nearly as well as google, you have to wonder if most people (obviously not all people) will bother typing in google.com at all.

Re:Time to short Google... (1)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105909)

There's a bit of a difference in that Google has a genuine revenue stream and is turning a profit, whereas Netscape (as I recall) hadn't achieved that sort of stability.

In other words, Google took its great product (search engine) and successfully took it to market (via advertising). Building a great new business requires both a great product and great business execution in establishing a market for it, and Google has excelled at both ends so far.

Grails (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105821)

I don't know about "all markets". Steven A. Silvers seems to own kids' googling [uspto.gov] .

But if Google's DNA is so adaptable... (1, Insightful)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105833)

...doesn't that make it a virus? It can basically spread from one place to another, adapting to each new "host" as it goes.

Now, before the "Troll" stamps come out, I'm not saying this is necessarily bad, though this does tend to make Google a... wait for it... monopoly. Yes there are competitors, but they seem a distant second right now and are probably going to remain so if the article is true. I doubt Yahoo can modify its culture to compete directly with Google.

Google's strength in being so adaptable is in the power it gains with each arena it moves into. If Google truly wants to be the planet's information source, there will come a point that it is so large yet so tenuous and amorphous, that no government will be able to go around it. This means trouble for a United States hell bent on spying on people or a China trying to rewrite history and keep fresh ideas coming in in a controlled fashion.

The question now becomes, has Google learned the Spiderman lesson -- will they treat their great power responsibly?

Re:But if Google's DNA is so adaptable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15106413)

I would say no.

I think they have the best of intentions, but no where do I ever think I've heard them say they will collect *less* information. Every announcment seems to imply the collection of even more data.

I honestly believe that Google has every intention of Doing The Right Thing with said data. But what happens when the DoJ supponeas fly? When the employees sell data to scrupulous marketers? When the inevitable bug pops up?

I haven't seen anything out of Google that says "here's what we're doing to make sure the data we collect is safe from everyone."

So, it isn't evil. But it is naive. And that, I think, is irresponsible for a company as large as Google.

all hail the new economy (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15105844)

Long live the synergistic DNA based information economy. The paradigms of old cannot explain the morphous structure of such a groundbreaking and globulous company. It's ability to dynamically adapt to multi-faceted environments while leapfrogging the pure-play biases of old while creating a new dynamic for business is absolutely staggering. Business, debt, and equity analysts falter before this new way of business that completely destroys the old business paradigm while thinking out of the box in it's ultimate goal to deliver real-time, free, services while caraessing the consumer mind with visually appealing and sensual avertisements, enticing consumers to spend their way into further debt laden lives, for which there will be an exit once GOOG becomes the master of their domain and ensures economic growth of 30% per year, creating a perpetual economic boom and a wonder economy unparalled in history, even considering post-WW2 German and Japanese growth. Spearheading this will be the awesome leadership of GOOG that will never become a 800lb gorilla as they dynamically and deftly work their way through the maze of business. They will never grow to large to innovate quickly and will always be lean and agile in their persuit for the ultimate goal, the highest P/E ratio known to man and a stock price in excess of the greatest investor of all time's company, Bershire Hathaway, which is nothing more than a speck of dirt imagined by an intellectual dolt, as he cannot fathom the sheer genious of the DNA structure at GOOG.

I pity the fools.

Re:all hail the new economy (1)

Spokehedz (599285) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105930)

Bingo! I win!

Google$oft (1, Interesting)

Itsacon (967006) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105867)

Problem I see with google, is the way they're slowly creeping into everything.
They've pretty much killed off all competition in the search engine business. Sites I used when I started using the web, like Altavista [altavista.com] and AllTheWeb [alltheweb.com] are now even copying Googles layout!
In Holland the verb 'to Google' has actually been added to the dictionary, I believe.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing, since Google is/was simply the best. It does mean however that pretty much all Internet searching is done through Google, which gives it the same possibilities for abuse as MicroSoft had a while back in the desktop PC market.
Already the amount of ads on a Google page is increasing by the day, as is the amount of sites that use those Google text-ad. (any more people out there who have pagead2.googlesyndication.com blocked?).

One of Google's CEO's has been heard to say:
`We are moving to a Google that knows more about you.'
And of course we've all heard of the 40-year cookies and what not.
I'm not exceptionally paranoid, but put it all together and something in my head says `1984'... To those who want to be on the safe side, I heartily recommend Scroogle [scroogle.org] . Cheers.

Re:Google$oft (1)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106008)

This isn't necessarily a bad thing, since Google is/was simply the best. It does mean however that pretty much all Internet searching is done through Google, which gives it the same possibilities for abuse as MicroSoft had a while back in the desktop PC market.

Not in the slightest. There is a massive difference between Microsoft's monopoly and Google's monopoly. Google's monopoly doesn't lock you in.

Switching from Windows to another operating system means replacing all the software that is dependent on Microsoft's APIs or finding an operating system that can emulate those APIs to the extent that your software needs.

Switching from Google to another search engine is as simple as putting a different address in your web browser.

Even where Google can make it difficult to switch away, they don't. For example, if you want to switch from GMail, you can download all your email via POP3. It's actually easier to switch from GMail than to GMail.

There really isn't any point in comparing Google to Microsoft, because the only real similarity is that they both have massive market share.

Re:Google$oft (1)

caffeination (947825) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106427)

While I disagree with your comparison to Microsoft, thanks so much for the pagead2.googlesyndication.com tip!

It's in /etc/hosts now and forever, and it fucking rules! If I ever want something cool to do, I'll think of some clever thing for pagead/show_ads.js, but for now it's nice to be missing out on ads without resorting to crappy bloated Firefox extensions.

It ain't BusinessWeek's opinion... (5, Insightful)

Jivha (842251) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105876)

...the article is written by Gabriel Stricker from BrandChannel [brandchannel.com] . The tone seems to be a typical marketing/branding kind - lots of high-sounding assertions and phrases, and very few solid justifications for the same.

For instance, check this sentence: "Google is actually the first company with a brand that is built entirely of stem cells: able to grow and develop into whatever form it sees fit."

Huh? World's first company? Built entirely of stem cells? Into whatever it sees fit?

What is this guy smoking?

Google's decision to branch into many unrelated/related ideas is not due to any stem cells or mitochondria, but simply because it has enough money and talent to do so. More importantly, the stock market that usually punishes companies for expanding too fast/too much still seems to be in awe of Google.

Imagine Microsoft deciding to enter into server harware, or Sun into smartphones, or Dell into online dating! But when Google does it, its suddenly "stem cells" in action!

Re:It ain't BusinessWeek's opinion... (3, Insightful)

bec1948 (845104) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106205)

You and several others comment on ""Google is actually the first company with a brand that is built entirely of stem cells: able to grow and develop into whatever form it sees fit."

I think you're missunderstanding the point of the "stem cell" metaphor: That most of the products/services that Google is offering aren't solutions themselves, but rather are means to solutions which remain in the hands of the users or perhaps more approrpriately, independent developers.

Google Earth is fun. Building applications on top of it, whether something as mundane as HBO's Sopranos marketing effort, or more interesting like the Nike jogging paths is what's interesting. All of these things subsist on a Google platform. In this case it's Google Earth. From another view it might be Maps, or Froogle, or ..."

That's what the stem cell idea is about. Google is a platform vendor (See Dave Winer for the definition I'm using). In fact, extending the metophor, the Google brand is the platform and each nacent cell of a product/service are the meta-APIs of the platform.

Re:It ain't BusinessWeek's opinion... (1)

Herkum01 (592704) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106223)

Obviously they are harvesting their workers for stem cells. They are probalbly keep in fluid vats, like the Matrix. That would also explain their great employee morale because they all believe they are living in the Playboy mansion. Life at Google is sweet!

Re:It ain't BusinessWeek's opinion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15106498)

I thought my pajamas tasted funny...

Blather (4, Funny)

Weedlekin (836313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105884)

According to the article, Google is a company like no other because it is producing its own versions of things that already exist. Perhaps I've missed the point, but from where I'm sitting, this actually seems to be something that nearly every company does, and many of the bigger ones have their fingers in a lot more pies than Google do.

IMO rather than proving Google are somehow "built almost entirely out of stem cells", this actually shows that Businessweek publishes artices built almost entirely out of bullshit.

Re:Blather (1)

caffeination (947825) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106458)

10-38! 10-38! Outsider blabbing about auto-article system!

Google falls short... (1)

PenguinBoyDave (806137) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105901)

We here in Slashdot land are not known to like "shiny, pretty" things...we like functional. However, the vast majority on computer users like pretty guis, etc. that they can click click click and be done. Google is a great search engine, and they have some great technology. However, until Google decides to make it's portal functional for the masses as YAHOO does, I don't think Google will be all things to all people. It will remain all things to all geeks. YAHOO will remain all things to all people.

Re:Google falls short... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15106426)

I know plenty of non-geek peope who use Google instead of Yahoo. Why? Well because Google is *simple*. It doesn't show up a welcome page bloated with tons of information that confuses users if anything.

Non-geek users don't want shiny buttons on which to click. Non-geek users want things that work in a simple way. This is why Google has been so successful as a search engine. Heck, even my parents are able to use Gmail. Why is that so hard to understand?

Hmmm (4, Insightful)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105922)

Google is on the verge of achieving the holy grail of branding--being all things to all markets.

The fastest and surest was to displease everyone is to try and please everyone.

-Grey [wellingtongrey.net]

Let's not forget about Google's evil side... (4, Interesting)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105935)

The nonsense about AdSense [timesonline.co.uk]

Remember how in US airports a person could be denied to take a flight, but due to "national security" wasn't allowed to see which law was applied? "National security". Um... yeah. Right.

Well, Google can remove your membership because of "Click fraud", but due to "trade secret" you weren't allowed to see the fraudulent traffic.

Um... yeah. Right.

Re:Let's not forget about Google's evil side... (2, Interesting)

caffeination (947825) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106471)

Whereas the first case is a shameful example of government abuse of power, the second is a case of a private company applying their own rules that you have to consciously accept and sign up to. Nothing evil about that at all.

All things... (4, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105950)

being all things to all markets.

Google Beer. I can hardly wait!

Overvalued.... (1)

Hits_B (711969) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105958)

I'm not knocking Google. I've been using it as a search engine since the beginning. However their financial stats scare the hell out of me. A stock price of over $400 per share. A market cap of $122 BILLION (Microsoft is $281 billion; Apple $58 billion)and a P/E of more than 80. An investor should be veryyy cautious about playing with this one.

Re:Overvalued.... (1)

caffeination (947825) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106486)

Are you implying that it's like some sort of spherical "bubble" structure? Yeah right...
Ooooh it's a big scary bubble, I'm so scared!! I'll just poke it with my trusty bubble identifier and...[transmission ends]
You crazy Slashdotters... bubble? burst? Humbug!

Meaningless Metaphor (3, Insightful)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105969)

From the article: Google Entertainment? Yeah, its DNA can do that...

Google Hardware? Genetic mission accomplished... The stem-cell question for prospective consumers is, Where would you prefer to buy this hardware...?


Guys like the author are the reason scientific terms get degraded and clouded in the mind of the public. £10 says this guy couldn't give a coherent description of DNA, stem cells OR why he thinks they apply to the business world.

-Grey [wellingtongrey.net]

Like Chocolate (1)

BodhiCat (925309) | more than 8 years ago | (#15105993)

And Toyata Cars can use their brand recognition to sell Toyota Chocolate, so what?

Re:Like Chocolate (1)

Tim Browse (9263) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106516)

Actually, that's precisely the sort of example that made me think the 'perfect brand' thing was rubbish.

Would people buy Google Chocolate? Google Motorbikes? Google Bookshelves? Google Hifi Speakers? Google shoes? Google clothes? Google perfume? Google food?

Outside of their 'cool tech things' bracket, they have just the same problem as other brands. People have heard of them, but I'm not sure that would help them all that much - not over and above the recognition any other brand gets. Sometimes that doesn't even help them - I know I wouldn't buy Google Orkut :-)

What they're probably really saying is that Google doesn't really mean anything, so it's a flexible brand name. Unlike Nike, Adobe, Sony, Apple...

I love (1)

borganha (938520) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106011)

DNA analogies. They are so true.

Krazy Krippels (0, Offtopic)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106015)

Why am I suddenly reminded of that episode of South Park [wikipedia.org] where Christopher Reeve sucks the stem cells out of aborted fetuses to make himself stronger?

-Grey [wellingtongrey.net]

Yeah, but... (1)

SRain315 (322069) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106017)

would you:

- drink Google Beer?

- wear Google Glasses?

- drive a Googlemobile?

- see a movie at the Googleplex?

- wear Google #5 parfum?

- wipe with "don't squeeze the Google!"

Confused Author (4, Insightful)

eander315 (448340) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106031)

The author was obviously not a Biology major. They've based their whole article on a mixed metaphor:

"What naysayers don't understand is that the DNA of the Google brand is unlike anything ever seen in the modern market landscape. Google is actually the first company with a brand that is built entirely of stem cells: able to grow and develop into whatever form it sees fit."

I'm not really sure what DNA has to do with stem cells in this sense. The first sentence implies we're going to hear about Google's "parents", perhaps the companies the employees worked at before coming to Google. The following sentence about stem cells is comlpetely unrelated, as DNA isn't really what makes stem cells interesting, especially not in this case.

I know it's kind of nitpicky, but frankly it's annoying to see this kind of stuff when the audience is relatively scientifically well-versed, at least compared to the general public.

business cycle (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106035)

I dunno, I'm always suspicious of someone claiming we've reached some sort of philosophical (or marketing, business, educations, military, scientific, literary, etc) "endpoint".

Businesses go through cycles of "diversification" (hey, I worked for a freight forwarder that owned gold shares in RSA) followed by "focus" (when someone asks why a car maker owns resort hotels and travel agencies). The business MODEL in general might go through meta-versions of these cycles, where diverse, widely ranging businesses are successful and rewarded in the marketplace and then eventually constrict to where narrow-focus seems to be preferable.

Google is a great company, as far as I can tell. Kind of the "Magical Trevor" of the business world...for now.

Micro$oft = AIDS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15106042)

Google is actually the first company with a brand that is built entirely on stem cells

This would mean Micro$oft is built off AIDS right?

Analogies are like dandelions. (5, Funny)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106045)

They grow everywhere. They are showy and fun for kids to play with. They are showy and superficially attractive, but in reality are destructive weeds that need to be mercilessly extirpated. They can lead to false conclusions, such as that there must be a way to brew wine from analogies. In the end, their seeds are carried by the wind and, thus, they blow.

Basic Principle of Human success (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106059)

Sounds like the basic principle behind all human success.

Our species survived by outsmarting and overwhelming its game. Coming from all directions, cutting off an animals exits except over a cliff or into the spike lined pit. Spears and fire just helped drive the animal. Until those weapons became more advanced.

Today, the military tries to do the same thing; Come from every direction, with so many different weapons, so many different strategies, each co-opted for their strengths that the enemy can't challenge them. Of course when not all the exits are covered, the enemy squeezes itself into whatever style can continue to combat, like terrorism.

Finally, Google is (trying) to do the same thing, trying every strategy and good that they can do well, each individually improving and co-opting themselves/each other. Inadvertantly, this also squeezes out Google's competition, giving them even more room to operate.

While eventually the success of so many different strategies will meld into a more singular path, limiting innovation, until it does it will be good.

Pork a child for Google! Pedophilia blog hoster! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15106090)

Here [blogspot.com] . Warning: probably not safe for work!

Do no evil, but fuck a child for Google!

Registrant:
                Google Inc. (DOM-345046)
                1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View CA 94043 US

        Domain Name: blogspot.com

                Registrar Name: Markmonitor.com
                Registrar Whois: whois.markmonitor.com
                Registrar Homepage: http://www.markmonitor.com/ [markmonitor.com]

        Administrative Contact:
                DNS Admin (NIC-1467103) Google Inc.
                1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View CA 94043 US
                dns-admin@google.com +1.6502530000 Fax- +1.6506188571
        Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
                DNS Admin (NIC-1467103) Google Inc.
                1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View CA 94043 US
                dns-admin@google.com +1.6502530000 Fax- +1.6506188571

WTF?, (1)

soundproofing.noise (849071) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106128)

So what have stem cells got to do with it?
Stem cell research is banned in the USA, maybe thats why google have such close links to those reds in china?

Google is just an advertising system, you pay them you get good results.

A data mining system for the government to track the thoughs of the populace.

I cannot think of anything google does that does not collect data,
mail (they can see what your saying to who), maps (they see where you are thinking of going), search (they see what you are intrested in), books (they see what books you are thinking of buying). etc....

All linked back to the MAC address of your network card, if were to delve into the venture capital firms involved in their rise you would see suspicious links to NSA and CIA front groups.
The next stage in the companys plans are google RFID.

Their search results seem to be getting less relevant as advertisers try to game the system, yet google are not improving their algorithms very well.

NO I HAVE NOT RTFA, I JUST WANT YOU TO BUY MY SOUNDPROOFING, IT STOPS THE CIA HEARING WHAT YOU ARE SAYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tagging Swear words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15106129)

Does anyone know if the tagging beta can get an update to filter out naughty words?

Google Is (Almost) Pure Marketing (3, Interesting)

aldheorte (162967) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106209)

Others have pointed out that this article is very hyperbolic, but Google itself is built entirely on hyperbole. It is perhaps the greatest con job ever perpetrated on Wall Street and the business community, and on its own terms. Look at what Google has become. Google is just Yahoo more than five years ago, just with a better interface and a stronger marketing brand.

Let's look at the main services Google has rolled out: Search, News, Mail, Maps are the principle ones. All available on Yahoo fairly quickly after the Web took off. Image Search and Froogle - I'm not necessarily sure that Yahoo had these linked off their main site, but such search engines for images and pricing did exist back when Yahoo had reached critical mind share and Google was relatively unknown. It's arguable as to whether the improved interfaces are because of good design, or more capable Web browsers (I suspect the truth lies somewhere in between).

This is not to impugn Google's business acumen. In fact, they have proven themselves most capable in this respect. Heck, they were even dictating to Wall Street how their IPO would go. But the bottom line is that Google has offered absolutely nothing truly new that wasn't available years and years ago when you look at the big picture of service offerings. They are simply another Web portal, which were in vogue around 1997 or so. I know people will come out of the wood work saying well they have this beta lab app that Yahoo didn't have, but, you know what? That's a beta lab app. Until they roll it out and no one else has it, big deal, and, from a business perspective, is there actually a revenue stream there or is it just a technical novelty? The only actual significant thing that Google does that makes money is sell text ads.

The question now becomes how long can Google keep this marketing charade up before people realize it's just another Web portal and move on? So far, so good, but keep your fingers crossed.

Google Shmoogle (0, Offtopic)

Godji (957148) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106280)

[BEGIN Angry Rant]

I really wish Slashdot would stop being the place to get Google advertising. Come on, every forth article on Slashdot these days is not about Google. I'm surpried it hasn't got its own category on Shashdot - GoogleStuff or something.

I understand Google is a big and important company, but that's too much. I don't want to know every time Google farts.

There I've said it. Now go ahead, mod me down.

[END Angry Rant]

Stem cells and abortion... (1)

SuperGus (678577) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106372)

...are not inextricably linked, but in this case they should be. When people start talking about companies in terms of grand metaphors like stem cells and "all things to all markets," it's time to abort the stock. The days of meaningful growth are peaking.

Call it the business analysts' version of jumping the shark.

Happy Days and Long Nights -
- Supergus

It's Confirmed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15106432)

google is in a bubble state.

Way to go /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15106453)

Focus on the politically charged "stem cells" statement to draw readers to the article rather than the more descriptive, but boring, "jack-of-all-trades" comment just below it. /. is just as sensationalized and biased as most other media outlets.

The new Madlib! (1)

ZenKen (963177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106585)

is so cool it's just like . was the old way of doing things in . Didn't we use Madlibs during the dotcom bubble?

Re:The new Madlib! (1)

ZenKen (963177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15106607)

_insert new corporate brand_ is so cool it's just like _insert new biological controversy_. _insert older biological phenomenon_ was the old way of doing things in _insert old corporate brand_.

Didn't we use Madlibs during the dotcom bubble?

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