Friday, August 31, 2007

Evil label has a weak glue

This Evil label is a funny thing. Hollers are quick to paste it on an enterprise that gets nifty and dominates a space. Earlier it was Microsoft, now it’s Google. I am now tempted to ask what will they do tomorrow when we have hundreds of them? People write books on innovation and there’s a seminar every day in some corner of the world, where some eminent speaker lectures liberally on its desirability and inevitability. But when it gets real....Grrrrr….it’s an evil empire unfolding!

Google’s worth $160 billion and the company has not yet had its tenth birthday. Together with its near complete domination of internet and widespread apprehension of its holding too much of your data, could well be the reason why lately it’s being perceived as “Evil” despite its corporate logo that says “Don’t be Evil”. Yet investment bankers expect it to have revenues of $16 billion and profits of $4.3 billion this year. With so much money pouring in, skeptics say it is easy to ignore shareholders and talk about doing “good” instead of doing well inside the Googleplex. But what happens when earnings fall short of Wall Street expectations or some other disaster strikes? Yahoo! and other rivals have gone through such crises and been humbled. Google has not.
Call yourself naive if you believed that all its “goodness” stems less from all that guff about corporate altruism than from Adam Smith's invisible hand. No point in being afraid of Google because it amounts to grudging innovation led dominance. Take heart that there will always be someone else coming along to down the dictator.
Evolution will take care of all asymmetry, the way it should be.



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