Google: ugly facts on the way to a beautiful story

    Did someone believe that Google will be a leader among search engines, and subsequently become the leading Internet company in the world? Unlikely. Even the founders themselves, Larry Page and Sergey Brin , could not imagine such a thing, and back in 1997 they tried to sell their search engine to AltaVista and Yahoo! And they refused the offer, because they believed in it even less. But, as they say, everything that is done is for the better.

    Now AltaVista has sunk into oblivion, and the search engineYahoo! It doesn’t make any comparison with Google search, not to mention other projects of the company: Gmail, YouTube, Google Chrome, Google Maps, Google Analytics, Google AdSense and many others. In 2014, a record number of Android smartphones were sold (1.2 billion). Their market share was 81%.

    There is tremendous progress on the face. It would seem that this is an unconditional victory. However, in 2011 the company changed course, and gradually more and more dissatisfied reviews appeared on various Google projects.
    Maybe Google is trying to grasp the immensity in its quest for world domination? The number of projects is growing, but what happens to their quality? Are all developments completed?

    Failed innovation

    Sometimes quality does not keep up with the quantity to such an extent that projects have to be closed or terminated for an indefinite period. So, in mid-January 2015, the company announced the failure of Google Glass points . Their sales will be discontinued, and work on the project is temporarily stopped. When it resumes, it is unknown.

    Some innovations do not even reach the final stage of development and are recognized as unpromising. For example, this happened with a jetpack project , which, as it turned out, could not be made ergonomic: he flew with a deafening roar and his fuel ran out very quickly.

    Google Chrome Boycott

    Even with some existing projects that were initially successful, something was wrong. In this sense, an example with Google Chrome is indicative. Its appearance caused a general rejection of other browsers in favor of the latter. Thanks to the highest speed and ease of use, he quickly became a leader among browsers.
    But gradually it began to work worse: there were a lot of errors and problems with the Flash Player, the speed dropped, the browser began to freeze periodically. And lately it’s difficult to seriously work in it without dancing with a tambourine.
    Facebook has even announced a boycott for Google Chrome and no longer recommends using it to enter a social network.

    Course change

    In fairness, it should be noted that some projects were closed solely due to a change in the company's priorities in 2011. Google no longer tries to remind people of the past, but lives in the present and looks to the future.

    The Google Books project was created in 2004 with an ambitious goal: to digitize all known books. However, its activity has actually been frozen over the past few years.

    Google News Archives, a 200-year-old historical news project, was created in 2006 and closed in 2011.
    Also in 2011, the platform for experimenting with small Google Labs projects was closed.

    And in 2012, as part of the same course change, it was decided to abolish the 20% ruleAccording to which, each employee of the company had the right to spend 20% of working time on the development of third-party projects that are not related to the main activity.

    Google user relationships

    The project of the social network Google Plus , based on the ideology of "circles", demonstrated the company's attempt to better understand users, to give them a more convenient means of communication, closer to real life. This ideology was proposed by Paul Adams, a researcher at Google. He proceeded from the fact that real relationships between people are not built at all in the way it is organized in other social networks.

    However, according to Bime Analytics, about 83% of users of the new social network Google Plus did not show any activity and visited it no more than once a week.

    According to the statistics center StatCounter, in August 2011 the share of Google Plus in the global social media market was about 0.19%, which is similar to the share of VKontakte and exceeds the share of MySpace, Delicious, Odnoklassniki, but inferior to Facebook.

    The intentions were noble, however, looking at the statistics, there is an assumption that Google did not find out the main thing from users: do they really need a new social network?

    Another reason to think was the termination of the Google Talk service.February 16, 2015. It's not even Google Talk, but the fact that all users of this service are automatically redirected to the Google Hangouts messenger. Automatically means without their consent. That is, the company needed to expand the customer base of the new messenger, which, apparently, was not as popular as Google Talk. But expanding the customer base is not an end in itself. Google plans to combine three types of communication in one service: voice, video and messaging - that's what all this is for.

    Then the question arises: what about people who want to continue using Google Talk and don’t want to switch to Hangouts? Accept the terms of the game that the company dictates or leave.
    According to StartCounter, in 2014 the number of Google usersin the US, and so fell to the level of 2008.

    And now, probably, another wave of outflow of users is expected.

    But despite all this, the company follows a course aimed at innovative solutions and innovative technologies. Perhaps for the sake of this, Google is ready to turn a blind eye to a slight decrease in profits. This is a powerful corporation - they decide. Probably, the opinion of users is not determinative now.


    Today's Google is compared to Microsoft from the 90s. Microsoft then also released not entirely successful projects, but at the same time had a huge profit from old products. In addition, the fact that most of Google’s employees are former Microsoft employees adds fuel to the fire. And this is not only about ordinary employees.

    Can Google slow down or change direction again now? This is probably not easy. When such heavyweights accelerate, it becomes more difficult to control.


    In an interview, company CEO Larry Page admits :

    “It seems to me that we are managing companies somehow wrong. If you read reviews about our company, or about the high-tech industry as a whole, you will see that everything is presented as a competition. Do you really think that the best thing you can do is to come to work every time and try to defeat all competitors? This approach leads the company to collapse. Because then the company does the same as its competitors, but tries to be one step ahead. And in our industry this is too slow movement. Changes should not be consistent, and the movement does not have to be directed only forward, because you can go to the side. "

    Google does not adhere to simple arithmetic, do not betray the decisive importance of how many projects failed, and how many took off. They probably set more meaningful goals for which they have to sacrifice something. We can believe or doubt their chosen course. We can consider the company a monster and a threat to humanity. But for Google leaders, what they believe is more important. Remember, almost no one believed in them at the beginning of the journey.

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