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Summary:

If you have been around long enough in Silicon Valley, you see this story play out again – a start-up rises out of nowhere, is championed by the technology elite, becomes a successful company, and one day becomes a market leader, a dominant force. The market […]

If you have been around long enough in Silicon Valley, you see this story play out again – a start-up rises out of nowhere, is championed by the technology elite, becomes a successful company, and one day becomes a market leader, a dominant force. The market reality runs smack into idealism, and what follows is disillusionment.

Now it is Google’s turn, it seems. The company is being hit hard by a left-right combination. The GMail outage, Orkut downtime, the Zeitgeist fiasco, and their attempt at self-promotion (aka house ads) are some of the dark clouds that are gathering over Google at the tailend of 2006, arguably search-and-advertising company’s best year ever.

In large part, the current problems, and this scrutiny stems from their idealistic corporate motto, Don’t be evil. As a publicly traded company, they are right to promote their own products. Yahoo, Ask, Comcast and AT&T – all promote their services, they just don’t hide behind an idealistic motto.

Idealism is often sacrificed at the altar of capitalism, and Google is at that fork in the road. It is time to drop that idealistic motto. When it comes to trust, in these cynical times, do we really trust anything, anyone or any corporation? I don’t… do you?

  1. Google passed that fork in the road when they went into China and showed that censorship was okay as long as the dollars were there.

    So now google is pimping themselves and folks are calling this a tipping point – how funny

    http://www.winextra.com/?p=199

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  2. Steven,

    agree with you – but what this is – growing up to market realities. I think they cannot pretend to be a cute little start up anymore. I don’t see it as a moral issue, but well part of the process.

    Nice post by the way. Just added you to my feed reader.

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  3. I trust them to a point. However, I wouldn’t trust them with any important e-mail or anything but then again I’m paranoid and wouldn’t trust any big company with that data.

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  4. That was one of the reasons why I chose not to put gigaom corporate email on google for your domains – the trust and not sure why and how they will be able to use that information.

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  5. We geeks trust Google with our girlfriends. Google has been the target of too much criticism lately. Should we stop trusting Google because Orkut had a 24 hour downtime? Absolutely not.

    Google should keep its “Don’t Be Evil” motto as it keeps the company’s ethical side on check. Nobody would bother ranting over Google’s policies if it didn’t maintain its stance over this motto.
    – Jawad Shuaib

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  6. The whole zeitgeist thing amuses me. Three years ago, before Google became big, this years zeitgeist would have been touted as another example of Google’s innovation (and frankly its a far better list than the usual fare)

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  7. Orkut downtime? You mean, Orkut was actually up recently?

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  8. Deming said in God we trust, everyone else must bring the facts.

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  9. They aren’t fooling anyone anymore with their ‘Don’t be evil’ motto.

    But how do they get rid of it? Press Release titled “Google Now Evil! Google ditches ‘Dont Be Evil Motto’!”?!?

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  10. If a common person like me is allowed to speak here, I’d just say that nobody cares how much money Google makes or how they manipulate tips or ads or whatever it is that they do and whatever it is that only geeks can see, not us, the common folks, we only care that they sure have made a great search engine which is the easiest of ‘em all to use. Hell, one cannot even find other search engines without being on Google. I think people are just plain jealous of their achievements.

    As far trust with their mail is concerned Om, don’t you think with the big a*s blog you have here and with the millions you are making out of ad money owing to the high CPM you got, you can certainly afford your own mail? And is also in your best interests?

    I am done with reading these romanticized posts about Google not being cute anymore…to tell you the truth, they really never were a cute or nice little startup…they always had this clever image and very truly so.

    The basic equation is Microsoft is the king of the software market…and Google is the queen of the internet. No kings allowed there! Women were plain smarter always.

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