Wednesday, February 15, 2006

We hate Google ... but please acquire us!

Is it just me, or is the web-buzz extremely hypocritical/schizophrenic these days.

On one hand, it's trendy to attack Google over its censorship in China. On the other hand, people are celebrating that Measure Map was acquired by Google.

While they are two very different points, I think they both stem from the same thing -- the apparent close proximity of Google and, more importantly, its $102 billion market capitalisation.

Google is a web services company with whom we netizens are very intimately linked. We rely on them to search, or to blog (as is the case here) -- and it is through our loyalty that Google is successful. At the same time, anyone who is in the industry has a nagging voice in the back of his/her mind saying 'I could have been Google... if only...'

Because web services companies are so transparent, the effect on some is much like that of a hungry dog sitting under a table at Christmas dinner. Angry and jealous, because he feels he could just jump onto the table and start eating (i.e. anyone could duplicate Google's web services, in theory), and at the same time subservient, and holding out for that juicy bone (i.e. acquisition by Google).

Much of this love/hate buzz about Google is because there are a lot of people kicking themselves for not being the next Measure Map, and desperately touting their Web 2.0 snake oil with the hopes of temping Google to drop a few million on them too.

But if you look at Measure Map, or, -- or Flickr (who arguably kicked off this whole Web 2.0 madness) -- what made them successful was a team of extremely sharp, extremely talented user experience designers who started with a basic, unfulfilled user need, and they conceived a web service to satisfy it.

Unfortunately, Web 2.0 services also seem to be organising around a basic need -- namely 'I need money'.

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At 7:03 PM, Blogger b-may said...

spot on.


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