28 Comments

Summary:

The big buzz today at Web 2.0 Expo is this new PowerPoint-type application that Google is going to announce sometime later this summer. It would seem that Google suddenly solved the global warming crisis. Am I alone in wondering why Google, a company with more neurosterone […]

The big buzz today at Web 2.0 Expo is this new PowerPoint-type application that Google is going to announce sometime later this summer. It would seem that Google suddenly solved the global warming crisis.

Am I alone in wondering why Google, a company with more neurosterone (my term for ‘smart hormones + wallet muscle’) than any other Internet company in history, would waste its resources buying a start-up like Tonic Systems to roll out a product which is, at best, a faded, web-age facsimile of Powerpoint? Lets just hope the in-house geniuses are working on something (else) ultra-spectacular.

(Okay, I know there are more uses for Tonic’s document extraction technology, but they are talking about presentations on the Google blog, so we are going to stay focused on just that!)

  1. It’s a poke in Bill Gates’ eye. That’s why they feel compelled to do this. You’d think making $$$ would be payback enough eh?

    – P

    Share
  2. Same reason they out-bid MSFT for DoubleClick, to keep the Redmond company guessing. When Google is coming at you from all sides, it’s hard to determine which is the real threat, and which is the smokescreen.

    Share
  3. From a pure product benefit perspective, Google’s apps (docs, spreadsheet, and now presentation) can be centered around sharing them and editing them with multiple people. By their nature presentations are for sharing with other people and there is probably a fair bit of money to be earned doing so.

    From a strategy perspective, a Google office suite (even if a far lesser product) causes customers to question the cost of Microsoft’s Office suite. This will create more friction within Microsoft causing them to mis-allocate resources and be slower to compete. Google’s strategy appears to be about tempo, they are able to create, continuously modify, and if necessary destroy products faster than competitors. They are likely to see and act on opportunities faster than the competition while appearing unpredictable.

    Share
  4. Om,

    I thought you where a journalist. Are you a developer too? A software firm CEO perhaps?

    How can you question the expending, and how do you know it is a waste, if no numbers have been disclosed?

    What do you know about Tonic Systems and the value of their work?

    You obviously do not know how much work and TIME it takes to build good software, and it baffles me you are missing the value of time in the competition Google is getting into.

    Share
  5. [...] Om is actually not alone wondering: Am I alone in wondering why Google, a company with more neurosterone (my term for ’smart hormones + wallet muscle’) than any other Internet company in history, would waste its resources buying a start-up like Tonic Systems to roll out a product which is, at best, a faded, web-age facsimile of Powerpoint? [...]

    Share
  6. I have to agree with Methegeek. These applications for the web will be mainstream in 5 to 10 years. Very powerful stuff. Centralized storage. Mobility. Collaboration. Internet is replacing the LAN. Google will be the administrator of our software in the future. Beats Microsoft!

    Share
  7. I find it funny when propose that Google came up with this product just to keep Microsoft “guessing” and cause them to “mis-allocate resources”

    Wouldn’t allocating resources to the task of creating a new application be the ultimate mis-allocation of resources if your entire goal was to mislead another company. That sounds like the most expensive April Fool’s joke ever. I’m quite sure that whatever it costs Microsoft to update its software costs Google several times more to create from scratch.

    If you agree with that, I think the real reason is the obvious one: Google is going after the small businesses who don’t have the big bucks for real software packages. I can’t see financial institutions or insurance companies using this software, rather the target user is the grad student working in his garage on the “next big thing” and subsisting on a diet solely composed of ramen.

    Who knows, there might be enough of the little guys to add up to a nice little business. At least enough revenue to justify improving the product until one day when it is of enterprise quality.

    Share
  8. Even though powerpoint may seem like an older technology, but Google does have to worry about the intertia that it carries. It is heavily used and will be for some time and they had to get this one right therefore.

    Share
  9. ‘Google buys cute things’ because they are not Technology Company, their R&D investment says lot. They are advertising agency, bought doubeclick and now their 99%+ of income comes from ad.revenue.

    Google buying daggie bags to take the leftover ads (in enterprise space) and would round up into 100%. Google you already reached monopoly status…

    By 2011, Google’s ad revenue would reach minimum 45% of total US.advertisement revenue. if a company controls 25% or more in a particular industry, monopoly comes by default.

    BTW Google what’s next? ‘Cookie fraud’ or Twitter?

    Kind rgrds
    saran

    Share
  10. During the past 18 or so months, Google has been primarily focused on acquiring other companies, instead of growing organically. As Om said, Google has mega, dare I say giga, neurosterone (I really like this term).

    So why do it? I can only think of one example where acquisition made sense to me–the acquisition of Youtube. I can support the decision because you are buying a customer-/user-base more than a technology. Developing a slideshow presentation web app seems like it should be a trivial matter for Google.

    What really concerns me about this practice is the killer apps that made Google huge, e.g., search, gmail, ads, were internal creations. Gcal is one of my favorite Google apps, but not because it is great (it is good, not great) but because I expect it to become something incredible. I’m afraid Google is trying to grow for the sake of growth but not to accomplishing something.

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post