Google takes over the world. Ninety percent search share in Western Europe and 75 percent share in these United States. Google docs. Google Android. Grand Central. Google Earth. Google Galaxy. Google and NASA in bed. Google Chrome launches and takes over. Google and Yahoo partnering up.
Google monopoly or Google utopia?
Do you think Google has too much power? If I had one share of Google stock for every time someone asked me that question, I'd be landing my own private jet on NASA's airstrip.
How much power should Google have? How much is too much? Why should you care? Google and Yahoo together? Let's explore.
This week in the New York Times, a story depicted a business owner investing millions in Google AdWords only to be locked out. His site just didn't measure up to Google's standards. Lawyers got involved. Uh, oh. Phrases like "anticompetitive exclusionary conduct" were written in outrage.
The key to happiness lies in the communications exchange that occurred between Google account teams and the business owner. In a nutshell, Google told the man perhaps he should look elsewhere for his advertising needs.
Oh the joy! Imagine having the stones to tell a customer with millions of greenbacks burning a hole in his pocket to take a flying leap. A thousand other sites would be willing to take this man's money and arguably generate a similar return. Perhaps he should contact them.
Get it, or Else
OK, I get it. Where the heck else was the business owner supposed to buy his advertising? There are only about three dozen Internet ad networks headquartered within three square miles of my Manhattan apartment.
But those ad dollars might be spent in vain. The real pain points are in the way the man was treated and that a company should not be in a position to turn away anyone with money simply because (in their opinion) he or she doesn't measure up.
Or should we be celebrating a company that will actually maintain standards? The economy is in the collective tidy bowl. The stuffed shirts are throwing each other under the bus at an alarming rate on Wall Street and elsewhere. Gotta pay the mortgage, gotta keep my job at all costs.
Maybe we should be celebrating as the Google mentality takes over the world. Maybe -- just maybe -- we'd all be better off.
Don't Fear the Dream
The American Dream: start with nothing, make billions, get too big, and get dismantled. What usually follows in said scenario involves a slow painful death for a brand that has achieved ubiquity.
Sure, you can argue that Google has too much power, or that new technologies are prevented from entering the market because Google has too much control.
We live in an interesting time, my friends. The outgoing generation can't tell the difference between a browser and an iPod. The incoming generation feels so entitled that they may never care who gives them information as long as it keeps coming.
There I was, in the middle...again. I started just before the Internet changed our world. I remember grinding it for my cash and I'm still digging in. Part of me romanticizes about Google Freedom, another says society just isn't ready yet and a break up is inevitable.
Then again, I've used the word "Google" so many times in this column that it might not make it in the spam free collective either. And since no one may ever find this trifle, I'll just say peace out dear readers.