Perplexingly, not one of the ecstatic dustjacket blurbs reads 'I could barely start writing for laughing.' It is, on the contrary, an "exceptional book", a "divining rod" and "the work of a genuine visionary". Goddam - and there was me thinking it was a wholly absurd conceit built atop a fundamental - and willful - misconception …
OK, I'm confuzled ...
"Bottom line, Google ads are low revenue because they're not tightly targeted enough to command high revenues, and they don't cost the advertiser much because the advertiser is only paying for clickthroughs. This doesn't matter much to Google because its volumes are so vast that it can still make vast amounts of money, but it does matter to anybody who thinks they can make a living out of displaying Google ads, because almost certainly they can't."
Google runs ads? News to me. Not that I use Google directly ... metacrawler it. It just works.
How to make money
I have not, and never will, read the book, as I never drank the Google Kool-Aid. I have no problem saying that Google is evil or that Google wants to take over the world. With that in mind, this book sounds more like a comedy to me, but I have no doubt that the author is being sincere is his words. What scares me is the fact that many people agree with it.
Regardless of what you think of the book, the author is doing exactly what he should in order to make money -- tell people what they want to hear. Books like these are not meant to explain anything, and they're not meant to offer data or a convincing opinion. The types of people who read these kinds of books already have an opinion, and they're looking for someone else to validate their opinion, to tell them that they're right and everyone else is wrong. Things like truth and facts merely get in the way, so we can easily disregard those in the quest for the almighty dollar. Hell, I might do the same thing if I was ethically bankrupt. Sadly, I've been saddled with ethics and morals, and am thus kept down here with the rest of you.
nothing ever changes
Has it really been 10 years since the dot.com boom, when people wandered around proclaiming that "the internet changes everything"? How many lame-ass business models (shipping kitty-litter UPS, for instance) died the death in the following crash? And so soon we forget.
I'm going to tell you google's secret now; It's google. They were there early, made the right moves, were lucky, and got big. Now they have a virtually unassailable monopoly position. Google's magic is having been google for 10 years. It's not what they do now, it's what they did way back then. You cannot learn anything by watching what google does now that will help you be google. Google's magic came from decisions they made when they were just another company.
They are like Microsoft, and like IBM before that for those of you old enough to remember when IBM was a growth company. They are like GM, which was once preeminant, and is now a shambling zombie of its former self. Another company, even a well funded company like microsoft, can't knock google out now, after it's established itself. Google is no longer at risk from anyone but google. The game is theirs to lose now. There is no longer any magic in google's management or culture. Now that they're big, pretty much any corporate culture will keep them big. Any decision that is not breathtakingly bone-headed will make them money.
And yet, even giants stumble. Their luck runs out, or the world passes them by. IBM is still huge and profitable, but their original bread-and-butter business of mainframes is today just a niche, and IBM is just another service company, grinding it out against EDS and HP and all those Indian outsourcing firms. Microsoft is huge and profitable, and still owns the desktop, but the desktop is becoming just a niche. In services, in the cloud, Microsoft is nothing special. In search, they are getting slowly crushed (by google). Washington Mutual bank, a hundred years old and until recently the biggest bank in the US, let laziness and greed overwhelm common sense (a breathtakingly bone-headed decision), and now all that's left are the lawsuits.
Success comes from doing absolutely everything right when you are in growth mode. Not one leader in a thousand knows what that means and can implement it. Fewer yet can write down the plan and execute it. Most companies get big by luck.
Google has to go
If for no other reason than to stop this flood of drivel. After all, its full motto is "Do no evil - define 'good' as whatever you're doing".
Am I to understand
you didn't like the book?
I was interested in the bit about Amazon; one of the real turn offs (for me) is when you find something on amazon and then find that, actually, you aren't doing a deal with amazon but with some eBay type operation of which we know little. I'm happy to get stuff from Amazon _if_ the price is massively better than it is in meatspace but I'm damned if I'm playing chase the lady with a ginormous organisation that probably (don't know, never had to use it) doesn't do the smallest iota of customer service.
Being a cynical old git, I don't use eBay or PayPal at all and use long spoons when dining with the likes of google and amazon. My kids think the internets is great; my feeling is that, once they've been on the end of some non existent customer service, their opinion will change.