Can Google Beat PayPal?

Can Google beat Paypal by launching it's own online payment service? Some people think not.

"Google's my best friend," says Todd Rath, chief operating officer at Norfolk (Va.)-based, a closeout e-tailer and eBay merchant that also buys keyword advertising on the search site. "But it's kind of late in the game. You've got to have traction right out of the gate, and Google doesn't have that."

Businesspundit circa 2003 would have said Google doesn't have a chance. I always believed that a dominant market leader in a nice niche is something special and is extremely difficult to dethrone. But I've repeatedly doubted Google and every time they have proven me wrong.

Google innovates. Google wins. Those seem to be the only two things they know how to do. So I'll say that they can beat PayPal, and that they will do it with innovation. Google is full of remarkable people, in part because they hire people who just want to attack fun problems. I don't think I blogged about it before, but they actually enclosed a GLAT (Google Labs Aptitude Test) in the national MENSA magazine a few times. You were supposed to complete it and mail it in. If you take the time to work it, it's problemably because you thought it was fun. If you do well on it, then who needs a resume? When smart people work on interesting problems, good things happen. Those smart people are getting ready to knock PayPal into second place.

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