Peter Day runs a column on the BBC website called “Work in Progres”, linking business and technology to wider issues (a bit like Business 2.0 but with less superlatives).
The premise of his article on Google (see “Google searches for the future”) is that Google’s success is due to its lack of strategy. Don’t get him wrong, he is not saying that the company lacks direction but that Google adapts its priorities and focus according to the evolving potential and successes of its countless search based projects. In Peter’s words: “Its (Google) people start things, and then work out how to make money out of them”.
So far Google's PhDs army dabbled into advertising (adwords and possibly print), pictures filing, call/IM, blogs, price comparison, emails, mapping the earth and digitising its books and recently web analytics… Yet, its main (only?) source of revenue is selling ads.
Either Google has a master plan than common mortals cannot comprehend or it is on a fuzzy path to somewhere yet to be determined but promising.
This lack of apparent strategy worked well so far and with every pundit watching Google's every move, generates a lot of publicity. Will Google turn-up as a telecom company? The new E-Bay? The largest media placement agency? Or just the most used and revered search engine in the world?
I don’t know. But it is a fascinating case of reinventing business rules.
If you want more clues at to what Google has in store, you can buy a CD containing Google related patents… (Xmas is approaching fast).