I never thought I'd feel sorry for a company with a $160 billion market value, but I'm really feeling sorry for Google. Increasingly I watch what they do and I cringe.
In February 2007, I wrote a post called, "Why Google Wins." I shared: "They do not expose you to advertising or direct you to content (what’s in it for them) until the viewer has gotten something of value (the response to their search). They create value before they receive value in return– that’s a rule we should all live by."
Back in 2007 Google was the poster child of innovation. Stories were written about how Google required employees to spend 20% of their time just creating new things and exploring new ideas. The result of these efforts - a company increasingly creating solutions where problems don't exist, and a company struggling for relevancy.
- Google Voice
- Google Wave
- Google Plus One
What do these have in common? Lot's of hype and no relevancy.
Now Google's trying to come up with their next version of "the social network." Here's my question - why? Does this really play to Google's strengths, or are they just trying to protect their turf?
Think about it - in 5 years Google has tripled their revenue and their stock has gone nowhere! With the most successful advertising business in history and the introduction of the second best (okay, I couldn't help myself) mobile phone OS - their stock has performed just like the index.
Personally, I think they're heading on a downward spiral. I think they've forgotten their highly successful formula.
What can the rest of us learn? When you stop focusing maniacally on creating value - you lose plot, and tough times won't be far away.