Brief explanation: I was flirting with the idea of shutting the blog down or allowing it to simply wither on the vine. I even considered posting a message that all of my blogging will occur in a micro fashion either on Buzz or Twitter (@JonMallin). However, I have decided to keep the blog live, allow guest bloggers to participate (Thanks Louis Parker and Nick Waye), and to personally update it on a infrequent basis. These are my thoughts on technology that I’ve had bottled up (get the joke?) for awhile with a focus on Google.
On to discuss Google’s game plan… TweetDeck was acquired by Twitter because it threatened Twitter. TweetDeck was and is the most-widely used third party vehicle and Twitter was the destination. The problem for Twitter is that TweetDeck was also a vehicle that drove people to Facebook and Buzz, though to a much lesser extent. If FaceMashSomething popped up tomorrow, a Twitter rival, TweetDeck could propel it to instant stardom. On the other hand, if Twitter acquires TweetDeck then it owns and controls a vehicle, an especially popular vehicle.
Today I had a somewhat similar random thought that might sound somewhat conspiracy-like. Google has created Chome browser and Chrome OS to move advertisements from the web and into the OS (banner at the bottom, pop-ups, etc.). Remember the fundamentals? Google is, at its core, an advertising company… plain and simple. This would insure advertising revenue regardless of the websites people visit. Websites come and go. There was AOL, Yahoo, Hotmail, MySpace, etc. Websites tend to be short-term trends. What is intelligent about Google’s plan is that it would be immune to these trends. Facebook could beat Buzz/Google Me, Bing could become popular, Twitter use could skyrocket and guess what? If Google owns the vehicle, the OS it gives away for free, it has the ability to sell advertisers access to your eyeballs (remember, your eyeballs are Google’s primary “product”).
This is precisely the Android model.
So, Android = huge success by all accounts based on insanely fast widespread adoption.
Google owns the vehicle and it serves up ads through third party apps (note: in fact, no native Google apps have advertising banners AFAIK).
If they can move from handsets to desktops to other ways of catching your eyeballs, Google makes boatloads of cash.
If I’m correct in my thinking, Google should be patenting the heck out of an OS that overlays ads over internet accessed content or otherwise interjects ads into the user experience (brief pauses with animated ads or boot-up ads… whatever, patent it all). Furthermore, Google should give away computers. I previous wrote, “Chrome OS Netbooks — Hell Yes, Google Will Give away computers” back in December of 2009. What happened? Google beta tested a computer giveaway, the CR-48. The goals isn’t to sell computers. It never was. Every pundit who declares Google’s hardware experiences “failures” is an idiot. Google TV is a way to sell your eyeballs when you look at your television. Google’s web properties sell your eyeballs when you look at the computer. Google Android, YouTube… you get the point. The amount of revenue Google receives directly from the sale of a physical product is immaterial to Google’s plans. The only thing that matters is that Google win the vehicle war.
My belief is that Google may think it has nearly saturated some of its existing customers and maximized the value they can extract out of existing eyeballs. They now need new eyeballs. People who don’t have computers, smartphones, etc. If they give away computers, they may harvest up new eyeballs. Senior citizens and the poor are likely audiences.
This is not to say Google isn’t diversifying. Sure, it wants to serve up its productivity suite. But, I contend that line of business will be immaterial to Google’s revenue stream for a long, long time.
Google’s “master plan” is to be the vehicle through which your eyeballs travel. They’re not looking to pull money from your wallet by selling you a product. Instead, our eyeballs are being sold as the product and Google wants to make sure it is the largest, best eyeball store around.
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