The Google Myth Is Over


This is an interesting post.

Google purchased YouTube for more than a billion dollars. That "pop" you hear is not the end of the Web 2.0 bubble, but the end of the Google Myth.

The Google Myth is simple: to produce good businesses, hire the best engineers and leave them alone except for occasional priority setting. Most recently, engineers have been forwarding around this post from Steve Yegge, which contains an overview of Google's management practices – admittedly, Nirvana for engineers. More than any other company, Google has promoted the myth that these practices produce good businesses.

I think the business press has helped to create and promote the Google myth because, let's face it, sexy business ideas sell magazines. Too bad that their usefulness ends there.

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  • An interesting argument, and I think one that has some truth in it. Groups of software engineers left to themselves will often tend to focus more on things that are directly relevant to their own activities–like re-architecting code to make it easier to maintain, or reimplementing it using the tools du jour–than developing new functionality for external customers.

    In the specific case of video, I would think there are quite a few pissed-off developers who feel that their product never got a fair chance.

  • There are many other myths around Google, some of my favourites are: “Google Adsense is going to make you millionaire in a couple of months” and “Be careful if your traffic suddenly increases, Google may think that you are doing spamming.” Thank God they’re just myths.

  • “The Google” is a great search engine. President Bush likes the maps. But I’ll never understand the revenue model where they give away email, blogs, searches, videos, news, financial info, newsgroups, etc. for FREE while having advertisers pay for ads on the webpages. Who reads those ads? Who clicks on those ads? I have no idea. It seems like a big fraud to me.

    Although I’d like to send my utility company a letter:

    “Dear Sir/Madam:

    I realize that you are currently making money by charging for therms and kilowatts. But think of all the money you could make if you gave away the gas and energy for free, and just stuck a bunch of ads in the monthly usage statements. It’s working for Google.”