Tech trends and business ideas

All things that motivate entrepreneurs

Friday, October 10, 2008


Has Google lost the fine art of going to market?

Chris O’Brien of Mercury News asks whether Android is going the way of Google’s open social initiative (to counter Facebook). The challenge starts off way Android figures down the list of operating systems for smart-phones. At the top of the heap are BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, the iPhone and Symbian. This last one is produced by a consortium of the largest cell phone manufacturers in the world, including Ericsson and Nokia.

Given that Symbian will soon become open-source, Android’s pitch appeal – one of developer freedom, pales. Throw in the fact that a group called the LiMo Foundation is developing a Linux-based operating system for mobile phones, and Android becomes just one of three open-source options after counting in the restricted freedom allowed to developers by Apple’s iPhone. And then came Chrome browser from Google stable. It turns out that even that will take a while before it becomes the choice browser in Android phones.

So why is Google doing this? Here’s how I can explain it.

Google sees everything as a media real estate. Be it the web pages where its ads are served up, the videos on youtube and now to operating systems and open source applications. It can’t have enough of walls to stick its bills. It is fearful that some day it will exhaust its relevance if web goes out of fashion and so it wants an upper hand on anything that remotely seems like competition. There you get it. Competition. Google feels it’s easier to chase than to lead. So up comes a feature rich product that the world loves, say iPhone, Google wants a slice of that. It goes ahead and develops Android – the open source operating system. Microsoft leads the browser market? Google wants a piece of action there. In comes Chrome browser. Google can’t afford to lose consumer mindshare. It just has to be there, at the core of people’s mind. Think media mileage, consumer outreach, think Google!

Didn’t we express shock when Google paid $3.1 billion for YouTube? Now we wonder the same way how Android or Chrome browser will make money. May be, we’re wrong. It’s advertisement for Google, the way Google builds its brand value. The money it makes the old fashioned way – by serving ads. And that’s not going to change anytime soon!!!

Except if a web equivalent of Wall Street meltdown threatens redefining the space…

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home