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Thursday, July 29, 2004

Google, Google, Google.  Seems like all you ever hear these days is Google.  ...and if you have read enough posts on this blog, you know that I am a big fan - and why not?  Let's face facts.  The web would be horrible to use if it wasn't searchable and Google does the best job of searching bar none.

...but how far behind is the next best?

At the end of the day, I think the next best is no more then 2 years behind.  Which is a lot in IT but not insurmountable.  So sure, Google is the best today, but it really needs to watch out for the competition because everyone is gunning for them.  If the don't keep innovating at a faster pace then competitors, the will end up being bought up by one of the bigger boys.

Do I think Google can keep up the pace?  In a word: No.  I think the biggest challenge Google is going to face over the next year+ is not external but internal.  A lot of Google employees are going to become very very rich soon.  After that happens, how much incentive will they have to put in 80 hour work weeks?  How much incentive will they have to innovate and work hard to get ahead?  I don't know, but I think it is going to be tough.

Add to this Microsoft's brains and deep pockets and you have trouble.

I also think Google is deviating from it's "search only" strategy and is trying to diversify into areas it knows nothing about.  Just look at some of the people they are hiring.  Huh?  Search stupid!  Google does search!

Which brings me to my final point - Google is hiring like crazy right now.  They are growing at a rate that is going to be very painful - both for core people who have been with the company since it was small and for new people who are likely to join a company that is in a bit of chaos.

Like I say - I love Google.  But I really hope they have the focus to be around in 10 years.

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