Your Hate for Google is Misguided

I read the announcement today that Google Checkout has been discontinued.  It was also featured on HackerNews.

The most popular comment right now is by ChrisNorstrom:

“Google is making the same mistakes Microsoft made. Trying to enter into every industry it can thinking it can use it’s monopoly power to take over the world. Reality: Doing 20 things mediocrely is not as profitable of doing 2 things very very well.”

The comments vary, but I tend to see this line of thinking quite often nowadays.

Why exactly can’t Google try new things and then discontinue them if they don’t gain enough traction?  Why is trying new services out a bad thing? Are they supposed to be perfect?

Here are a few Google experiments off the top of my head that turned out alright:

  • gmail
  • chrome
  • google reader
  • google maps
  • google fiber
  • google glass
  • google drive
  • google docs
  • google news
  • google play
  • google music
  • Android
  • Chromebook
  • google trends
  • google+
  • google voice
  • Nexus 7

I don’t think people realize how many products Google has at any given time.  Not every product that google makes is going to be successful.  

So just because they won’t be successful every time means that they should not try because it makes them look bad to fail?  

Do you really think that is a healthy thought process? How will anyone ever innovate with that state of mind?  Google is a massive company and they still act like a startup.  It’s absolutely incredible and takes a lot of guts to start products like Google+ so late in the game.

Did they ram Google+ down our throats?  Absolutely.  But you know what?  They are making waves by innovating the space.

Is the consumer going to lose faith in Google because they discontinued one of their free services like Google Reader?  People want Google to spend resources and money on developing tools for them to use for free or for a low cost.  Then be the first ones to complain when it’s discontinued.  It’s ridiculous.  

Google is the ONE company that you should want to invade a new market and try to innovate.  They are the ONE company that has the resources to decide one day to get into X Market and you should be excited at the thought.  They are the one company that can invest millions of dollars in a new endeavor and make billion dollar companies take notice.  (Think Google Fiber).

Would you rather still be using MapQuest than Google Maps for navigation?

What is it, exactly, that makes you want to hate a company like Google, Facebook, or Yahoo so much?

Why is it, that when Facebook bought Instagram it’s the worst thing to ever happen.  Why is it that when Google unified its terms of service it was inherently evil.  I don’t hear anyone complaining about Google Now?

I get it, everyone wants to hate the biggest companies because it’s the cool thing to do. I could make an argument that Google has done more for the web in the past 5 years than any company.

Again, I’m not saying they are perfect.  What I am saying is that they seem to be one of the few that has the balls to innovate and don’t care if they fail.

Do you?

15 replies on “Your Hate for Google is Misguided”

Great rant.. indeed at Google size it is remarkable that it knows when to start and kill an idea. Most companies do not realize this until years of lost revenue and usually it is too late by then resulting in layoffs and share drops.

Who said they hated Google? Strawman much? Also I would really like to know how they are innovating by trying to force people to use Google + or how Google + itself is innovation. It isn’t.
Google is reacting more to its needs than to its customers needs much like Microsoft did with Windows 8 and people know it.
Your list is ridiculous btw for too many reasons to list. But many of them are considered mediocre products at best.
Btw where did Chrome come from? WebKit which was open sourced by…….Apple.

innovation ≠ invention I think the problem with perception of Google is it’s size, ubiquity and the overall level of success. It reminds me the paradox with rockstars – fans expect that every new album will be better than the previous but at the same not too different from it. It’s the sweet spot that is hard to hit. Also, what is mediocre on the Google-scale would be a tremendous success for any smaller company. So I support the author – there’s no point in such heated criticism. The time people spend on it could be used in a much better way.

I agree in that Google did not “Invent” Google Chrome, the rendering engine is a WebKit fork and even the initial project is not theirs as it’s based on the Open Source project called “Chromium”, but yet again, inventing something does not mean innovating, it’s making that thing useful in new ways that makes it an innovation.

Google+ might not have been an “innovative” social network when it was lanched for many users, but for me it was something new, something never seen, and this still hold to this day even more with the latest update to the service; obviously it can’t compare to THE social network by excellence that is Facebook and its user base, but it is growing more and more and I find it a better fit for my interests than Facebook.

All in all, Google is a corporate giant that keeps experimenting in new fields and keeps amazing people around the world with new ideas and applications for everyday use (think Google Glass, Google Fiber, Automated Cars, etc.)

But with Apple having just over 3% market share for it’s desktop browser and Chrome over 44%, that says it all really. Also Google forked in Feb 2013, with that announcement the WebKit devs are discussing the removal of Chromium code from the code base. What’s that removal of Chromium code, WebKit would’ve got no where with Google backing/contributing to it. Go do some more research, before your closed mind speaks

I agree with your point that a company has all rights to close some products if it isn’t making profits. It’s only practical. Obviously some people will be offended by it. I was also angry when Google decided to close reader.

But, lately I came across the following patent filed by Google:

I have believed in Google since I was a child, but this is bad! If Google simply wanted to defend itself against Machine Learning on mobiles, it could have published a paper! I’m worried.

Not reader, I loved reader! RSS is becoming useless.

In days gone by if I wanted to follow a website updating I’d need an RSS. Now? I just follow them on the social network of my choice and it’s there. RSS is obsolete.

Agreed. Although I believe that Google Reader is different from these other attempts. Two months ago I commented that Google’s killing of Google Reader is an attempt to change the basic nature of publishing on the internet;

Google Reader was TOO successful for people who understood how to use it effectively and I believe Google took it down for that reason. Hell, they spent more money on tchotchkes at Google I/O than would have been necessary to keep that tool working so something else has to be at play…

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