Thursday, May 04, 2006
Google Health! What's next...?
Google as a platform is old news. Google was a search engine, then they had an email service, they recently launched Google Calendar etc etc. However this new idea for Google Health is puzzling. Why not just buy WebMD? While Google has to spend the billions in it's war chest, they seem to be diversifying rapidly, and losing focus. What's next Google Racing?
I just read this (anonymous) joke posted on another site & had to come back and put it up here:
"Among economists, the real world is often a special case."
No wonder google health has you baffled.
The same could be said for many Web2 plays - that they ignore the real world - and it's funny watching the real vs virtual thang shake out. I'm starting to think that "real world applicability" will be the differentiator in web2 winners just like "viable revenue model" was in 1.0
This could be a vertical search + community features type initiative. Google tends to look at spaces from a new perspective; witness how Gmail utterly destroyed the existing products in terms of usability. Sure OK there's usually one small company thats already innovated. But they do try and rethink the underlying assumptions about what makes a product work well. This could have Base at its core and have some really useful features if they get creative. Medical knowledge is an area thats massively inefficient for reasons that may not be valid when everyone (patients, providers, etc.) are online and can share knowledge.
Or maybe they should stick to cloning Yahoo features?
Chad could be on the right track here.
Presumably it's either about searching for health info. Or about keeping your personal records at Google and easily searchable by the professionals dealing with you. Or it maybe about disrupting the market AdSense-style. What about brokering online consultations with doctors in India (or Cuba!)
Its just more vertical specific.
There was a lot of speculation few weeks ago when people noticed a new entry in Google's robot.txt file. I noticed it here:
Also, if you look at Kosmix, started by Anand and Venky, they are doing the same and approaching search results from clustering / classification side. They have already been picked by some health providers to provide information platform.
And the continued story between Junglee, Kosmix and Google goes a long way back. I was part of the Junglee crew, so I've tracked this over the years.
write up on Google and Kosmix
it is all about ads, don't think too hard. :)