Report of Google’s impending death greatly exaggerated

Interesting post from Harvard Business Publishing blog suggests Google is a one trick pony and will struggle to learn new tricks. It suggests Google will struggle to make the move from search advertising into other advertising markets like radio, tv and newspaper advertising. To be successful in other markets they will have to play by other people’s rules.


Principle reasons being that:

  1. There is no control over advertising placement in these markets.
  2. There are no obvious market making mechanisms in these markets that Google could Google-ize.
  3. Existing players have entrenched interest in keeping status quo.

You can argue a counter-case on any of these points that suggests Google could be the one to capitalise. (IP radio and TV seem to offer the option of precise targeting and this is the way the industry is moving for example).

I think this misses the point about what Google is up to – for good or evil.

The most interesting thing about Google and Microsoft suggests to me that such cash rich behemoths have bigger ideas in other markets. The work they are doing on patient record management and in the healthcare sector in general is worth thinking about.

This is a MASSIVE industry with established incumbent players who seem to be asleep on the job whilst some relative whippersnappers are out to steal their lunch.

Most CEOs in established industries could have read ‘What Would Google Do?’ by now so they could have been warned…

2 responses to “Report of Google’s impending death greatly exaggerated”

  1. Google have long said what they’re trying to do; organize the worlds information. They struck a rich cash mine with advertising, but I believe there’s much more to come. Between Android, Google Apps (for Enterprise), and most importantly Google Health, one will be an absolute game-changer.



  2. David Gentle says:

    If Google does die then my money’s on antitrust laws being its killer. The big beasts of the information age have remained dominant because of relentless pursuit of opportunies, quick learning and the ability to make rapid and sometimes violent about turns on strategy (just watch how quickly Microsoft moves into user interface technology). Google seems no exception to this. But what singles it out – and is possibly the most significant fact about its future – is not what it does but what it knows.

    • Google knows (almost) everything that is connected to the Web.

    • Google knows 67% of all Web searches.

    • Google knows 1% of what’s sold on the Web.

    • Google knows the traffic to more than 1.5 million Web sites.

    • Google knows the physical locations of many things.

    Put another way, why bother with advertising when you already know exactly what everybody wants? Now this is brand new territory. As we move towards the semantic age, Google stands on the threshold of an unprecendented opportunity. If it can capitalise on this vast amount of information – it’s a big if – it could come to dominate in a manner previously unseen by a corporate and make Standard Oil look like a village filling station.