You know the type: the office maven, life-of-the-team expert, the wizard with news about the latest happenings – both admired and envied, an irreplaceable source of information.
Michael Arrington and Erick Schonfeld co-drive the editorial function at TechCrunch, self described as a blog that is “obsessively profiling and reviewing new Internet products and companies” new and old, commercial and cultural – all are represented on TechCrunch, as long as they are “making an impact … on the new web space.”
Current pieces of TechCrunch interest include an Interview With Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and a discussion of the future (or lack thereof?) of Venture Capital, both fascinating takes on a very complicated issues. But the story that really caught my attention came from TechCrunch contributor Ouriel Ohayonposting on a presentation by French innovation and implementation experts FaberNovel. Entiteld “Everything you always wanted to know about Google… but were afraid to ask” this fascinating PowerPoint presentation online sets to debunk Google – only 10 years old and yet, one of the world’s most progressive, successful businesses.
The presentations addresses 14 fundamental questions on and about Google. For example – why won’t Google be affected by the growing financial crisis? The fabernovel analysis is that Google’s two major income-streams are Performance Advertising (meaning that you pay according to the way your advertising performs , for example, how much traffic it generates, how many leads were generated, sometimes even actual sales — rather then by paying ‘by impression’ each time your advert is shown on screen.) Google second top revenue generator comes from licenses and other non-advertising revenues. Both income streams are likely to be in greater demand during a financial crisis.
Another astute observation is that “The mobile industry is not suited for the Google development model based on openness, interoperability and network effect”, while the mobile industry “is based on a “traditional” locked values chain.” (Slide 6/34) This includes ‘locked’networks’ and content portals, services and actual platforms who favour their owners. In order to make sure their so-called ‘open model’ is accommodated, Google operates along three strategic avenues:
- Pushing Android, Google’s open source Operating System: Google is ammassing poweful partners in am attempt to squeeze market dominance out of competitors such as Nokia and Microsoft. In a recent press release the Google inspired Open Handset Alliance (OHA) annoubnced 14 new alliance partners, including Ericsson, GPS powerhouse Garmin, Sony Ericsson, Teleca AB, Toshiba Corporation and Vodafone. (More about OHA members.)
- Forcing an ‘opennness’ agendaon the American Federal Communicaitons Commission (FCC) through an aplication for a mobile license. Though Google didn’t get the licence, The license winner, Verizone, was forced to accept, at least partially, a Google-inspired/initiated ‘open clause‘.
- “Carrot and stick’ strategy with Telcos encourages netwroks owners to open their platfroms to Google products in exchange for a share of advertising revenues.
The FaberNovel report reinforces something I ToingToing!ed here and elsehwere, Google poses clear and present danger, as far as Microsoft is concrened, because it offers, online and free of charge, applications that are identical in features and functionality to Microsoft Office, the Redmondites’ mainstay cash earner. FaberNovel: “Google partly destorys Microsoft’s market when shifting value from offline to online.”
Other issues (warning: spoliers follow) include the question how will Google compete with Facebook? (By becoming what I call a social ubernetwork, laveraging a multitude of networks instead of operating within the confines of a single platform (as I write this, Google announced a joint venture with MySpace – Facebook’s sworn enemy and fiercest opponent.)
Why is Google Buying Sattelites? (for three reasons: to strengthen existing Google infrastructure while reducing dependence on Google’s external providers, to favour highspeed connectiviy – thus increasing both user traffic and user activity, and to gain access to currenlty unconnected countries.) Why is Google offering free services. aka ‘not monetizing’? (This is not strictly true, since the ‘free’ services drive traffic to the Google advertising universes, as well as aggregating user-movement towards other – paid for – services.)
A breaking story on the back of the Fabernovel Report release is the inclusion of a new task managerwithin Google’s Gmail, offering comrehensive To-Do listings – another bite off the calendaring and tasking features built into Microsoft Outlook.
Not all is hunky-dory in Google, its platform has been showing disturbing signs of slowing-down recently, is it fatigue? has Google grown too much too quickly? Google puts the slowness down to external contributors = “A conflict with software on your computer, browser cache that needs to be cleared, or a temporary problem on the Gmail server… Internet security, firewall and anti-virus applications can prevent Gmail from working correctly.” Am I just being oversensitive, or are we being told to Goggle-off?I