What wouldn’t Google do?

I’m looking forward to seeing the new book by Jeff Jarvis, ‘What Would Google Do‘, where he reverse-engineers Google and applies the learnings to a variety of different industries.

It’ll definitely be interesting, and I certainly mean no disrespect to his work, but as a purely external observer of the big G, it seems like my own version would be the shortest book in history.

What would Google do? Pretty much everything they could – and then see what works, what gets popular, and what they can monetise – The End!

There’s a great case in point emerging as Google experiments in wringing more from Adsense – for example Adsense in Flash games, Adsense in Google Maps, Click-to-buy on Youtube, Adsense in RSS etc, and now an Adsense search box and adverts for pages of Adsense adverts.

Meanwhile they’ve got enough projects on the go to shake a web pointer at in Google Labs. And that doesn’t even list other properties like Orkut. Which, according to a great global map of social networks by Oxyweb (hat tip to Nick O’Neil) is still ruling the roost in India and Brazil.

Click to see the Oxyweb global social network map in full

Click to see the Oxyweb global social network map in full

And then there’s acquisitions. I don’t even know how many they’ve made over recent years, but certainly they include the likes of Blogger, which I still use for some projects and ideas despite preferring WordPress now, and Feedburner.

And if you want to see what happens when a Google acquisition doesn’t result in transformational change to a service (and possibly even a downturn in terms of reliability and usability), just keep an eye on a Twitter Search for Feedburner!

And then there’s Google Analytics, Web Optimizer, Google Reader, Gmail, iGoogle, and I can’t even keep up linking to each product!

‘To me, Google appears to differ from most large companies by being almost liquid or gaseous in slipping itself into whatever shape or gap is necessary to permeate into every part of our digital lives (including mobile). And it does it by doing every possible permutation and leaving what works in place’

I think that probably sums up my approach to answering What Would Google Do? But I’m looking to see what Jeff Jarvis has used for his take in the actual book!

Comments

  1. What google does is actually what microsoft did too. Backs several horses – as you say.
    But it’s not quite the all-bases covered model you describe. For a deeper understanding of the evolutionary model they use, take a look at The Origins of Wealth (you’ll find it in the recommended books at bottom of any page on my blog). Google has understood that the economy, like the internet and like evolution, is a complex adaptive system. It uses the ‘fitness landscape’ model to find its ‘hits’. And it lets that landscape drive where it focuses resources.

    There, my ‘what would google do?’ is a little longer than yours – but not much ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. What google does is actually what microsoft did too. Backs several horses – as you say.
    But it’s not quite the all-bases covered model you describe. For a deeper understanding of the evolutionary model they use, take a look at The Origins of Wealth (you’ll find it in the recommended books at bottom of any page on my blog). Google has understood that the economy, like the internet and like evolution, is a complex adaptive system. It uses the ‘fitness landscape’ model to find its ‘hits’. And it lets that landscape drive where it focuses resources.

    There, my ‘what would google do?’ is a little longer than yours – but not much ๐Ÿ˜‰