I’m totally amazed at how fast things go in the technology business this days! And I mean business and not technology development, that is a totally different lane.
Remember the days when everybody bashed Microsoft for being a “copycat” in lots of their products? Suddenly they started to expand in unimaginable ways: Internet portals (MSN), Instant Messenger (MSN Messenger, now Live Messenger), browsers (Internet Explorer), even TV (MSNBC channel).
Well, it seems that Google is now playing pretty much the same “me-too” strategy! First, we watched as a nice “competition” and it was nice to have more options to choose from. But now, it seems rather silly. Here’s the list:
– Gmail (vs Hotmail or Yahoo! Mail)
– Google Docs (vs Office)
– Picasa (vs Flickr)
– Talk (vs MSN Messenger and Skype)
– Buzz (vs Twitter)
– Chrome (vs Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari)
– Chrome OS (vs Windows, Linux, Mac OS)
– Android (vs iPhone)
And today they add a new item to the list. As if Orkut (their own social network) wasn’t enough, they now want to add something called “Google Me” that seems to be their response to Facebook. I understand that once you reached such status in the industry you have to start to protect yourself against possible new competitors, but is this the only way they can come up with?
I really love options, but do you think that just because of Google having its own social network everybody will start moving from Facebook to theirs? I think lots of people have invested a lot of time in building their Facebook profile (adding friends, posting thoughts, uploading photos, learning how to use it) and their not willing to do it again just because some other company has a product that does the same. I mean, it really REALLY has to be something so much better than Facebook to lure me into it. Like totally revolutionary, in the way that Apple revolutionized mobile with iPhone three years ago. Or the way Google itself revolutionized search more than a decade ago. Otherwise, just let me be happy with my Facebook profile. I will probably open an account, play a day or two, and then let it rust (as I think we all did with Google Wave).
So, remember again when everybody bashed Microsoft for this same behaviour, and think: Why isn’t everybody doing the same with Google now?