sergey brin

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I’ve been writing for a few years, with great admiration, about Google and its amazing, transformative search tools.  Sergey Brin’s original vision “We deliver the world’s information in one click” is what allowed Google to become the NASA of the web. Case in point: Yesterday I was looking for one of my blog posts on my own machine using the Windows search tool.  After three strikes I Googled “whatstheidea+things we remember” (the title of the post) and in less than a second I found my entry. No on my machine, but on the Web.

More recently, though, I’ve found myself commenting about how Google has wandered from its original mission – getting into the productivity software, social networking, chat and now the phone business.  The brand planner in me asks “How does one now articulate the Google Is-Does?” The Googleplex is filled with amazing minds but many seem to be trying to out-engineer one another; me thinks they have lost a sense of mission.  Steve Rubel’s post today on Google Buzz so reflects.

Culture of Technological Obesity.

Google’s amazing growth and economic success has spawned a culture of technological obesity.  It’s time for a change.  Here’s what will happen.

The company will go through a corporate divestiture or as was the case with AT&T, a Trivestiture.  It won’t happen now…probably within 48 months.  My bet for the three parts? Search (text and video), Mobile (OS, apps, and tools), and Advertising Analytics.  How would you break it up?  Peace!

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Part of the fun of blogging is to go on record and predict how other people’s marketing initiatives will turn out.  One of the questions I ask when doing such prognostication is “Does the move further the corporate strategy?” Or, in my simplified worldview, does it further the branding “idea.” 

 

When I first read about Google’s forays into online radio, print and TV ad sales I was surprised and befuddled…and expected them to fail. As of yesterday, only the TV ad sales business is still alive.  I’m not a big fan of a number of Google’s non-core business apps: Write, Google Docs, the spread sheet program; they are all nice novelties. But what do they do to further Sergey Brin’s initial brand idea We deliver the world’s information in one click”?  
 

While director of marketing at Zude.com, a social computing platform, my directive to employees was to ask themselves every day as they left the building “What did I do today to make Zude the “fastest, easiest way to build an manage a website?”  That’s was a focused mission. That was an idea.  Google needs a "leaving the building" question.

 

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Google has finally come out with a new program that supports its core brand competence. No, the program is not the newly announced ability to serve third party video ads, it’s a venture with the Cleveland Clinic designed to help patients take greater control over their medical records.
 
The idea of creating and aggregating one’s health information into a single patient profile (Where have I heard that word before?) is a core competence based on search that Google seems to have forgotten. If they can pull this off with the Cleveland Clinic and we can find measurable positive results in patient outcomes, Google won’t have to spend millions on other silly ideas like allowing people to place radio ads via the Google platform. This idea is big. And it’s ownable. 
 
I have long ranted that Google has lost focus in product development. This announcement gives me hope that there are actually some people at Google with their eyes on the real prize. Google’s initial mission, for those who never knew or forgot it, as articulated by co-founder Sergey Brin was We deliver the world’s information in one click.”
 

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