Geeks And Features

I think staunch Web 2.0 advocates often miss the point when it comes to Google product releases:

What drives this kind of blind enthusiasm? When is the last time Google released a product that really changed our lives?

It’s not really about changing geeks lives. Constant Google product releases are about grabbing mindshare and audience in an increasingly fragmented technology market.

The criticism that Google Spreadsheets isn’t on par with Excel because it lacks features isn’t the point. The point is that Google Spreadsheets has enough features for most people, it is in their face, and it is free. That may not change geeks lives, but it is hugely disruptive, and will surely grab enough of an audience to be worth doing. In turn, this will funnel more people to Google services, and increase their leverage, which is rather important if you’re a media company.

Secondly, just because something won’t fly in corporate-land, doesn’t mean it is worthless. Apple doesn’t fly in corporate land, but last time I looked they appeared to be making rather a lot of money.

Perhaps Web 2.0 advocates see the writing on the wall. Their real competition is Google.

End rant…

  1. dburdondburdon06-09-2006

    Peter,

    as someone who uses Google Adwords and spends time downloading reports and mergin them with various analytics packages a Google spreadsheet is such a logical conclusion. With the new Google spreadsheet my eventual aim is to distribute reports to clients without them touching my own hard drive and e-mail system. This will save tons of inhouse memory.

    Now, if Google could bolt on a pdf creator I could even do my invoicing the same way!!!

  2. John ScottJohn Scott06-09-2006

    I don’t like it. No reason in particular, really, but I used to think of Google as a search engine. Now they seem to have lost their focus.

  3. Peter Da VanzoPeter Da Vanzo06-09-2006

    >>Now, if Google could bolt on a pdf creator I could even do my invoicing the same way!!!

    Heh heh – yep. If Google create some easy ways to manage existing online processes, using their applications, then they’ve got a huge lock-in right there. Seems to be the way they’re heading.

    I agree, John, that Google’s focus isn’t as clear as it once was. I think this is inevitable given the fact that they are morphing into a new beast: a tech/media hybrid.

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