Crossroads

At the intersection of technology, finance and the Pacific Rim.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Google

For the past few months we have discussed the functionality of products and services and the fact that Company have a job that they must fulfill for their customers. For Google, what is that job? David Carr, writing in the Intl Herald Tribune, takes the example of Video Chat and many of its small services:

Take video chat. Many other companies would take that kind of quantum leap and shout it from the rooftops, but Google just did a smallish blog post about the new feature and left it at that.

"We do have a philosophy that our products should speak for themselves. We tend not to make a lot of noise," said Jeff Huber, senior vice president for engineering at Google.

As always with Google, the price point is appealing: zero, if you don't count the amount of personal data that I am trading for all that utility. With Google, it is always simple, and any engineer will tell you that simple is hard. There had been a lot of talk within Google about creating video chat as a PC-only application, a much easier endeavor for the company, but it would not have been simple for the consumer.

If Google owns me, it's probably because I am in favor of what works. "I'm glad to hear it," said Eric Schmidt, the chief executive of Google, who was in New York last week. "We want a little bit of Google in many parts of your life." (Bold lettering is my own)

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