Mark M posted me a question in the comment to one of my blog post on Google's brand,
"Does Google's brand hold the same power in all the countries and cultures in which it Operates?"
I would love to duck the question with the answer, “that's a very good question!” :-)
Is Google really powerful as it is perceived to be?
Still across the world, if it is search engine the one and only thing that comes across the minds of the people is Google. If there had been a better search engine, we all would have heard about. Such is the power of Internet, transcending national boundaries.
Still Google leads the pack in the on line advertising market. Competitors ( read Microsoft and Yahoo) are still playing the catching up game.
According to me, many people prefer gmail rather than their old yahoo id's The large storage and the invitation could have been the key making the magic of migration possible.I also believe, similarly many people would have migrated to gmail. ( May be there are exceptions like Eric schmidt who still uses his yahoo id)
You still would prefer Google desktop to search rather than the inbuilt search.
Google news is far more preferred than visiting the websites of individual news service.
Still orkutting and scrapping is considered to be hip and cool.
Of course, The question was, Does Google's brand hold the same power?
I would rather rephrase it as, are Google's products powerful?
Yes Google is the place filled with “really, really smart” people. (Even i want to be one of the noogler! )
The rate of innovation is significantly faster than anyone in the industry and significantly faster than their competitors.
Still I wonder why most of their products are still in beta phase. (To name a few, Gmail, Gtalk, Google video) and incomplete.
Google dominates the on line video space, yes but it was only after the acquisition of youtube .
(Is this what is called as inorganic growth right?)
Is orkut the number one networking site? Will it stand up to facebook?
Is blogger the best ,preferred and most used blogging site? Sure you think about wordpress and typepad.
Will you prefer ebay or Google base to sell your products?
Will you use paypal or Google check out to make payments?
Will you prefer amazon or Google books to buy books?
Will you prefer flickr or picassaweb to host the photos online?(Though you may use picassa and gmail to upload photos to flickr, )
Will building a similar set of complementary tools and the attempt to get in to other parts of software will be successful?( read it as, will Google Docs can compete against Microsoft Office and should Bill Gates be losing his sleep?)
No Not necessarily. Google is surely a leader in the certain categories that were created by it. In other categories it is still playing up the catching up the game, just like it's competitors.
“Nothing lasts forever” Today's Google is nothing else than yesterday's Microsoft in several aspects.
Google is just taking off, which could crash land even before take off, if Eric, an avid amateur pilot doesnt does the "adult supervision" properly.
There is a possibility that today's Google could be the tomorrow of some other company.