Saturday, April 08, 2006
Google's Big Problem
Eric Schimdt's recent talk is nicely summarized at VC Confidential (which, I have to say, is perhaps the most overblown name of all the vc blogs :) .
What struck me is (forgive me for saying so) just how bubblegen Schmidt's views are.
"...-- People's attention is the most important asset for marketers (similar in theme of the AttentionTrust initiative).
-- Social communities will become more and more core to interactions and marketing on the web.
-- An example of a social paradox: people lonely in the city.
-- Group dynamics, such as predictive markets (future blog), are fascinating
-- Study after study shows that groups collectively predicting/assessing dramatically outperform individual experts. How to tap? Some hedge funds trying to find ways to mine opinion from chat rooms about stocks. The trick is guaranteeing no gaming...one person, one vote.
-- He said that all decisions at Google are made consensually through groups. New ideas are broken out into three person teams.
-- We are at the early stages here. Over 1 billion people are online, but 5 billion are not (of course 2.6 billion people get by on less than $2/day)."
This stuff should be old hat to long time readers.
What's perhaps most interesting is that Schmidt explicitly talks about communities as the future of consumption - but it's obvious that Google is perhaps the most antisocial (as in terrible at creating value from the social) company in the world, with the exception of Microsoft.
This is a very big gap - in fact, I've long called it Google's Achilles heel. Interesting to see that Schmidt knows it.
Umair - Eric is a really smart guy but I agree with your assessment that Google doesn't (yet) get community. As Exhibit A, look at their latest foray into community with Nike to build a soccer community - Joga.com. I published a critique of it at Joga.com and the Return of Community
Google has another social networking site. It's called Orkut.
Orkut - Wikipedia
True, Google hasn't nailed an overt social networking play. Nonetheless, Google's understanding of the hyperlink's implied relationship between concepts, organizations, and people founded its success. They leveraged community and user-generated content from the first day--they just took as their community everyone that published hyperlinked documents.