With Google’s proposed acquisition of Motorola, there is a lot of conflicting talk about Google’s DNA, corporate culture, core competencies, etc. A Harvard Business Review blogger thinks Android is Google’s only non-consumer product, while Matt Rosoff at Business Insider says Google’s never been good at consumer products. Google’s advertising platform and services are extremely successful non-consumer products, and, while Rosoff’s right that consumers don’t pay for most of Google’s products, there’s no arguing that it has pleased them with search, maps, YouTube and Gmail. He’s correct that Google hasn’t done much advertising or merchandising to consumers. And Michael Mace knows that hardware product management is a very different discipline than software. Google’s not a portal. True, it’s a gateway, but it depends on usage frequency rather than duration, and doesn’t own much display ad inventory. Google is a platform company that creates APIs and services for its business ecosystem, and even delivers an advertising revenue stream they can share. As Om says, Google’s DNA makes it an engineering-driven company that designs algorithms and leverages its infrastructure.
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