By this point, every Indian, Pakistani, and their grandfathers has watched the Google Partition ad, tears welled up in their eyes. For the uninitiated, Google’s recent advertisement tugs at heartstrings, telling the tale of two chaddi buddies, separated by Partition, and reunited by their grandchildren nearly seventy years later. When the ad went viral via Facebook, sitting thousands of miles away in America, I bawled as I watched the granddaughter listening to her grandfather’s nostalgic retelling of the idyllic life he led in Lahore, eating jhajhariya, with his buddy Yusuf, and his granddaughter’s instant Google fixes to reunite him with Yusuf in Delhi. Continue reading An Incomplete Reunion – Ruining the Post-Partition Party: Archit Guha→
This is in response to Anu’s comment on my previous post on Google: Search and Destroy. I started off responding as a comment, but had been planning a follow-up post on the issues she had raised. Read the first post and her comments here.
Anu’s queries are centred around the stability of Google’s current market dominance – namely, can a new entrant do to Google what Google appears to be doing to Microsoft? In an industry of constant innovation, what is to say the next big innovation – in search, or in data storage etc – won’t come from somewhere completely unexpected and upend the Google applecart?
These arguments are in essence the arguments that Google has consistently cited – this is not to say that this is problem: these are very good arguments with no clear answers and are the reason that Google is still around in its present form and has not been split into many smaller Googules.
The stability of near-monopolies is actually a very interesting question – one that a lot of MBA classes spend a lot of time over. There might be a bit of jargon in this post, but I think its worth the effort.
On Competition: Despite all the rhetoric about competition making us stronger, the fact is that most businesses hate competition. The key to successful business is create a market and then erect enough barriers to entry to make life hell for new entrants. The better the barriers, the greater are your profit margins. So, are there barriers to entry in Google-land – or is it simply a case of being better than everyone?
Google spokesperson, Adam Kovacevich’s favourite example of a well-researched article on the now-aborted Yahoo-Google deal is “The Plot to Kill Google” that appeared in Wired Magazine in January 2009. The lengthy article takes great pains to reveal Microsoft’s attempts to scupper “a small deal that it [Google] was convinced would benefit consumers, the two companies and the search-advertising market as a whole” and paints Google a company of well-meaning nerds whose only fault is their inability to schmooze with powerbrokers in Washington. Towards the end however, one gets the feeling that Google seems to have a robust team of lobbyists itself. The article is co-written by a member of the New America Foundation – a think-tank chaired by Google CEO Eric Schmidt. Continue reading Search and destroy: Google and the online ad market→