Thursday, September 25, 2008

Learn growth strategies from Google

I strongly believe that its the idea that makes or breaks a successful business. There are plenty of examples to prove that. Most of the startups have one idea and the business person who would be the founder would recruit technical geeks who implement their idea. And if the idea is appreciated by many people, the business clicks and at end of the day, the founder makes money. And what happens to the technical guy? Well, in the best case he ends up becoming a CTO. And in the worst case? He moves on to a different firm. Anyway the point here is that IDEA is worth billions. The search engine  idea was the greatest and few firms failed miserably to implement it in the right way. Then comes Google and with its uber-cool implementation and simplicity, it won the hearts of millions and for many people internet is Google. Upto this point it is fine. Then Google decides to buy any business that potentially makes money out of web. So it acquired bunch of startups. And it still makes more money than any other internet firm. Ok, let me not cry over Google profits. I really don't care what it makes or what it earns. But Google somehow believes strongly that "everything it does is the best". So it tries to monopolise every sector - baby-sitting, browser(I am writing this post from Chrome browser and I like it), and mobile phones. I am pretty sure, people at google believe they would release an OS which is way better than any OS released till date (I think only the Mainframes deserve to be called "the best"). But hey, it knows it cannot capture the market ruled by Microsoft since the birth of PC. So it is running short of ideas to make more money.

It has reached a saturation point where it makes steady income, it earns X $ more every year but growth rate is where X$ more every year is 0% growth. So how do you grow? Implement new ideas, right? But people these days are smart enough that they want to make millions themselves. So they start their own firms with their own idea. But there are billions of internet users and even if 1/1000th of them have some ideas, then it is worth billions of $. so now google launches a 10 power 100 ideas scheme, saying "we want to help people" (you want to help people? Invest in electric cars research and then save the planet) so we want your ideas. We buy ideas from great minds for $10 mi. and we will help people (and at the sametime help ourselves by making few $billions more). So who wins at the end of the day?

And Google gives every software for free. Yeah, it does not make money right? What about the share price of Google? Does it not grow everytime it does something? hey, but still the software is free. So lets talk about the popular software that google offers free.
1. Chrome - Everyone is right now talking about Chrome. But would you buy a browser when IE, Firefox and Opera (also Safari) are out there - free (and kind of better in many ways).
2. Search - Ok, it is a great software. I have no complaints.
3. Gmail - Come on! I can give you loads of websites that offer free email.
4. Google toolbar? I really hate toolbars and google search engine after using the single-sign-on keeps track of my browsing history. It should be off by default. I do not want anyone to keep track of what I browse. Some might find it useful, but trust me, many does not. I keep my browser on in my laptop, leave it open or ask my brother to use it. Later I log into my google account and guess what I can see what websites I browsed.(actually what my brother browsed). That really sucks.
5. Google Analytics - again, we are submitting ourselves to Google. Come, rip my information off and give it back to me free. Do you know, you could gather all the data by yourself and use Excel to project many different charts. As long as scum-CEO who does not know ABC of web would not want to invest in a developer and instead invests in G . A.

Anyway, the point is just because Google Search is the best, it does not mean every fart that google leaves is great. And hey, do not think google would ever beat Apple IPhone (their phone sucks and would suck). Google Docs, by the way suck too. I prefer to buy a 79$ Microsoft license for 3 pc than to work with Web docs. Do not let firms rip your ideas off. You can be another google, if you work hard and if you are confident.