Internet

Kinks in the Google Plan for World Domination

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trust me

After the brief outage of several Google products last week (which felt like an eternity to those of us who are otherwise happy citizens of the googleverse) people are re-examining their anti-trust arguments against the search-engine-to-end-all-search-engines—or they should be. The cries of unfair play have increased in volume recently as Google has expanded into video, email, word processing, etc., and the newly-minted trustbusters of the Obama Administration are getting antsy.

The Technology Liberation Front's Cord Blomquist has a good Monday morning (well, Monday afternoon) analysis of the great googlefail of 2009, and why even big, powerful players aren't invulnerable:

Google's failures aren't the result of failings specific to Google, but rather evidence that companies that become excellent in one field aren't necessarily capable of achieving excellence in another.  Rewiring even a portion of a multi-billion dollar company to provide a totally new product is a near impossible task.  The incentive structures, hiring practices, corporate culture and myriad other factors necessary to be world-class in one endeavor may be very different for another.  In short, market advantage is not much of an advantage in today's economy, but instead can prove to be an incredible hindrance to expanding into new markets.

This is especially true in the tech industry where barriers to entry are low, investor eagerness is high, and new competitive spaces are opening constantly.  This is why big players emerge so quickly—like Google—and fade so fast.  Think AOL, AltaVista, Compuserve, etc.

So, rather than focus on how to punish big players in a given market, the Obama administration should focus on how to free up capital markets to allow money to flow to the best technologies so that competition remains vibrant….

If any additional evidence is needed that big firms don't always stay big and can even fail, members of the administration need only visit Google News…if it's up.

More on Google and anti-trust here.

NEXT: "The solution is to undo the last 35 years, brick by brick."

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  1. the Obama administration should focus on how to free up capital markets to allow money to flow

    What sort of a plan is that? If that’s all they do, how can they make sure that everything is fair? How would they reward companies that act in good ways? How would they steer money to campaign contributors communities in need? Sorry, this suggestion is seriously flawed from a progressive point of view.

  2. “Google’s failures aren’t the result of failings specific to Google, but rather evidence that companies that become excellent in one field aren’t necessarily capable of achieving excellence in another. ”

    Microsoft’s hardware is great, it is just their software that sucks. Figure that one out.

  3. And besides that I love GMAIL. Google Docs has its uses too though for most things I prefer Open Office.

  4. I’m no internet genius. I blindly stumble through the tubes frequently getting lost along the way. I can’t think of one goddam thing that Google does, one service it provides, where I can’t find a competing company or six.

    The last justice department wasted it’s time going after Tommy Chong and tasteless porn producers. This one will go after a sucessful company than monopolizes nothing just because it’s successful.

    You still lookin’ for savings in government Barack? Take a gander at the DOJ.

  5. One could argue, quite persuasively I think, that the current economic problem was due, in no small part, to the failure to enforce anti-trust laws in the financial industry. That, really, is where the trust busting should begin.

    Beyond that, from a libertarian point of view, trust busting is a good thing. It is not only government that can engage in tyrannical acts that inhibit liberty – private companies can do that quite well. That was the lesson of Standard Oil, after all.

  6. Oh, how terrible. A firm makes something that does not work that well, all of the time, and now it is time to call in the feds to ‘fix’ it?

    Give me a damn break! (Sorry Stossel)

    If we did not have these jackassed “Anti-Trust” laws propping up inefficient firms the consumer portion of market could sort out the crap from the gold a whole lot quicker.

    Anti-trust just generates conglomerates, something like what is being griped about in this post.

    Google gripes? Not all of the tools allow (or easily allow) multiple users to access them.

    J sub D,

    I’m no internet genius. I blindly stumble through the tubes frequently getting lost along the way. I can’t think of one goddam thing that Google does, one service it provides, where I can’t find a competing company or six.

    Same here, but having them all together is a nice feature. They kind of talk to each other on Google well too.

    The last justice department wasted it’s time going after Tommy Chong and tasteless porn producers.

    Or the one before that, obsessed with Microsoft’s browser talking to the OS?

  7. KG,

    Beyond that, from a libertarian point of view, trust busting is a good thing. It is not only government that can engage in tyrannical acts that inhibit liberty – private companies can do that quite well. That was the lesson of Standard Oil, after all.

    Excellent troll!

  8. “Beyond that, from a libertarian point of view, trust busting is a good thing.”

    KG,

    Anti-trust laws do far more harm than good.
    http://mises.org/story/3437

  9. Google’s failures aren’t the result of failings specific to Google, but rather evidence that companies that become excellent in one field aren’t necessarily capable of achieving excellence in another. Rewiring even a portion of a multi-billion dollar company to provide a totally new product is a near impossible task.

    What failures? A temporary outage? In my day, that was called life on planet earth. Google had and has the best search engine. They had and have the best news search, and the best coverage of what remains of the bulletin board universe. They bought the best video site. Their email isn’t the best I’ve ever used but it’s good enough (and probably better on antispam than any I’ve encountered). I should fail like Google’s failing.

  10. You do!

    ((HUGZ))

  11. TC,

    What failures? A temporary outage? In my day, that was called life on planet earth. Google had and has the best search engine. They had and have the best news search, and the best coverage of what remains of the bulletin board universe. They bought the best video site. Their email isn’t the best I’ve ever used but it’s good enough (and probably better on antispam than any I’ve encountered). I should fail like Google’s failing.

    Me too.

  12. The internet is a good example of how, ultra low barriers to startups and little regulation produces a vigourous and thriving free market system, and that monopolies are very rare.

  13. What failures? A temporary outage? In my day, that was called life on planet earth.

    Google had an outage?

  14. Whether it is a failure probably depends on how often this happens. What I’ve noticed is that people tend to be rather impatient with even minor glitches in the operation of their online existence.

  15. Based on the title, I though this was going to be about this. Then, I realized I was reading a post from KMW at Reason.com, and I realized we were all in for more warmed-over BoingBoingCrap.

  16. That was the lesson of Standard Oil, after all.

    Standard Oil’s monopoly was already on its way out prior to any litigation against the company. That is of course a very common thing associated with anti-trust litigation.

  17. Microsoft’s hardware is great

    Other than the Zune and Xbox, I wasn’t aware that Microsoft made any hardware.

  18. LoneWanker posting links to UltraConspiracy Prison Planet? There must not be much air circulation in his mom’s basement. Next he’ll be ranting about the Illuminati the Elders of Zion.

  19. Next he’ll be ranting about the Illuminati the Elders of Zion.

    Dammit, where’s Episiarch when you need him to lampoon these most recent developments?

  20. Oh, probably asleep or worse, doing something important.

  21. From LoneRetard’s link:

    Progenitor of “don’t be evil” slogan apparently doesn’t think it’s evil to take orders from a shadowy undemocratic power elite meeting in secret to plot the future of the world around their own self-serving interests

    Something sounded awfully familiar about this…

    “The gains have been substantial… You, the human power elite… the per capita income of each of you has risen an average of 39%…”

    “The poor and the underclass are growing. Racial justice and human rights are non-existent. They have created a repressive society and we are their unwitting accomplices.”

    “They are dismantling the sleeping middle class. More and more people are becoming poor. We are their cattle. We are being bred for slavery.”

    Do you think they even know they are quoting They Live?

    If they had seen Prince of Darkness instead would Alex Jones and his fans be raving on and on about swirling devil water and bum zombies?

  22. “Do you think they even know they are quoting They Live?”

    Without attribution? How dare they!

    This would have been front page news but Maureen Dowd beat them to it.

  23. Do you think they even know they are quoting They Live?

    Lonewacker: “I came here today to kick ass and chew bubblegum. And I’m all out of ass”

  24. They Live is really about the superiority of the white race. The director and the writer disagree with this analysis, so obviously they are race traitors.

    Stanley Fish + the White power movement = equals hilarity

    a science fiction movie written and produced by the excruciatingly Politically Correct has some apt and powerful visual imagery for those of us who have awakened to our Talmudic status as “cattle” for the vampire jews

  25. Microsoft’s hardware is great

    XBox owners would like to have a word with you.

  26. My Xbox has been OK, robc… except for the fact the fan is so loud it sounds like a hovercraft.

  27. The fan tells you that the damn kids paused that electricity hog. Before it was thankfully stolen I enjoyed turning it off, hoping they were inches away from beating the game.

  28. the newly-minted trustbusters of the Obama Administration are getting antsy.

    I’m pretty sure the Google moguls made ample contributions to the Right Party last year, so they really have nothing to worry about.

  29. Funny, this is the first I’ve heard of the outage. Ever since Google decided not to post gun ads (several years ago), I’ve been loyal to Yahoo. Google provides absolutely nothing that can’t be obtained elsewhere with minimal effort and the feds want to even use the term monopoly?

  30. “””This is why big players emerge so quickly-like Google-and fade so fast. Think AOL, AltaVista, Compuserve, etc.”””

    GENIE?

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