I wanted to write an entry on my thoughts about google services. Don’t get me wrong, I love google. I really like it, its strategy of providing everything for free and try to find revenue through other ways (it took them a while), in their case adds is absolutely great and has marked a before and after, not just in the web business but in the general way of doing business.
Previously companies wanted to have maximum profit, now thanks to google and the Internet, companies trend to have the minimum profit to survive so they can provide free or cheap services, listening to their customers and being inventive and interactive about the way to gain benefits thanks also the the increase in sales and user pools.
Anyway, there is a very good read about this from a guy I like a lot Jeff Jarvis (twitter) called “What would Google do“. This book gives you a very good idea of how the new businesses are going. All you learnt in your MBA is obsolete.
Well, here I did not wanted to talk about Google philosophically, but just to give my thoughts about the way it is growing and even if they don’t have a shadow, how they should grow.
I am an apple fan. I like it because I also use Windows (at work and on my other laptop) and Linux (on my servers). The cloud services Apple offers are crap compared to Google.
The problem I see is that by buying and having so many products they are starting to spread too much. I found a couple of annoying problems:
They look to favor Gmail users over google apps one, which is stupid because the google apps ones are paid costumers (at least some) and companies (where google can grow profit), so it should be in the other way around.
I host the email from tokao with google. Norai I have it at home on my servers (tokao I use for newsletter and so, norai for the rest… I don’t trust anybody to host my stuff… but this is another chapter). Well I cannot use buzz with tokao. I cannot use many services in fact. Google app users have limited services. Google services are not extended to them.
By having so many services now integrations does not mean just to log in with the same user and password. For instance youtube is independent from picasa and picasa from gmail, and gmail from wave… and what if you have several accounts? I have an acount with norai, another with google apps with tokao and I have a gmail too. Why can’t I merge them? It is very annoying.
With norai I don’t have email with google, but I tried buzz in my iphone and worked! I wanted to use tokao instead. Now my norai login is starting to have a lot of friends in buzz, that I can only see in my iPhone (well there is a workaround: https://m.google.com/app/buzz?force=1 but it is not the right way).
From my iphone there is no way to upload photos to buzz either. If you follow people who is more or less famouse, they colapse your home screen, as comments push their conversations premaritally to the top… no filtering. You can mute a conversation (pressing M) but then is hard to have it back.
What do you think about google spreading that much? wave, buzz, … don’t we have enough with Facebook, twitter and foursquare?
The pool of user with gmail I thing is less 30 million users. Facebook around 400 million. Twitter might be around 80 Million. Buzz is limited to gmail users. Some people thinks that buzz can eat part of the Facebook share as well as twitter’s. What do you think?
They also thought that wave was going to be big. And it is a quite interesting tool, but once you are in… who do you use it with?? It is not like email that is cross platform… and in my case maybe less than 15% of my friends are in gmail while they are all in facebook. For shouting to the world, well, there are plenty of other alternatives, such as twitter.
I think buzz can be big, but we are starting to have a saturated market. At least google is reactive to people. They changed privacy settings quick, and they will add filtering. We cannot say the same of twitter. If twitter would be so reactive they would not have shadow. They could do so by creating something similar to brightkite.