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Google's DNA 171

Posted by Zonk
from the bioengineered-for-the-win dept.
bart_scriv writes "Businessweek confronts Google naysayers with an analysis of the company's business structure, arguing that its unique structure lends it the flexibility to adapt to any and all markets: 'Google is actually the first company with a brand that is built entirely on stem cells: able to grow and develop into whatever form it sees fit.' The article predicts significant changes for the company in communications, hardware, entertainment and localization and goes on to argue that Google is on the verge of achieving the holy grail of branding--being all things to all markets."
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Google's DNA

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  • Googlemobiles! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by yog (19073) * on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @09:53AM (#15105705) Homepage Journal
    This comparison of Google to stem cells is rather hyperbolic. After all, many companies out there do almost everything. Microsoft has its fingers in a lot of pies, too, even though they have been playing catch up in most of the areas that they don't yet dominate. IBM is probably another example; though they're known for their computers, they are very big in software services, chip manufacturing and basic research, and they have internal projects going on a whole lot of interesting stuff that never makes it into the market.

    Google does have the coolness market cornered right now, though. They have continued to do a great job on their search engine, and their email, mapping, and other web services are really well done.

    I would like to see Google truly act like stem cells and develop a better car. I am willing to bet that a Googlemobile would be truly innovative. Probably it would come with builtin navigation tools such as Google Maps but beyond that it would be self-parking, highly secure from theft (because it runs Linux), and get terrific gas mileage--or else use some other less carbon-generating source such as alcohol or direct solar power.

    On a less whimsical note, there's a tremendous potential for Google in branding nifty handheld devices that have easy access to the world's online knowledge, incorporate speech recog and the like. I suspect that Google's move into urban wifi is a step in this direction; if they can control the airwaves and the receiving devices they will truly have vertical integration. And Microsoft will be even more annoyed, which is probably a good thing.
    • We created a googlemobile at home, but the baby wasn't interested in it...
    • by Bromskloss (750445)
      From parent's sig:
      it's = "it is"; its = possessive. E.g., it's flapping its wings.
      "it's" = "it is" & "its" = possessive => "it's flapping its wings" = "it is flapping possessive wings"
    • Google does have the coolness market cornered right now, though. They have continued to do a great job on their search engine, and their email, mapping, and other web services are really well done.

      True - but do remember that none of these are the product. Their main product is advertising space. Search/maps/email are just advertising.
    • I thought the language of the article was a bit hyperbolic, but I thought that they might have a valid point -- that google's successful, functional software are written and directed from the ground up by *programmers*, not handed down from marketing and management. So a stem-cell (or a programmer's idea) has a chance to grow and blossom into something useful under the programmer's care, instead of management ordering programmers to develop a watered-down, group-think and market-speak developed product.
    • highly secure from theft (because it runs Linux)

      Let's not go overboard with the fanboyism. A car is mainly a mechanical device. Theft = cutting the battery cable, dragging it onto a flatbed and driving away. No amount of code (Linux or not) can prevent that.

      • He has to mentione Linux in there somewhere, or he wouldn't be at (5, Interesting) right now :D
      • The poster was joking about the googlemobile. Hence the start of the next paragraph.
      • I have seen some people 'not get it' when it comes to jokes, but buddy you seriously need help. Run, don't walk, to your nearest 'humor store' and buy all you can. Seriously. Isn't there a help number for people like this?
      • God damn.

        Wow!

        You sir, are denser than antimatter. From all of us here at /., we salute you, Mr. Wouldn't-Recognize-Humor-if-it-Physically-Attacked -Him.

        You may now proceed to masturbate to a desktop wallpaper of Natalie Portman.
    • I am willing to bet that a Googlemobile would be truly innovative. Probably it would come with builtin navigation tools such as Google Maps but beyond that it would be self-parking, highly secure from theft (because it runs Linux), and get terrific gas mileage--or else use some other less carbon-generating source such as alcohol or direct solar power.

      Yeah, but it would also monitor every place that you drive. Not to be evil, mind you, but to make suggestions about what stores you might like to drive to.

    • would like to see Google truly act like stem cells and develop a better car. I am willing to bet that a Googlemobile would be truly innovative. Probably it would come with builtin navigation tools such as Google Maps but beyond that it would be self-parking, highly secure from theft (because it runs Linux), and get terrific gas mileage--or else use some other less carbon-generating source such as alcohol or direct solar power.

      But, in some countries it would only run on government approved roads. In other

    • I would like to see Google...develop a better car.

      Unfortunately, the Googlemobile Beta(TM) would only run on paved roads. A gravel-road-capable version would be In Development(TM) for some time.

      Also, you wouldn't actually buy a Googlemobile. Each beta driver would receive twenty sets of keys which they could give to their friends to enable them to go pick up their own Googlemobile.

      It would have awkward handling too, because if its 2500-cubic-foot trunk (71-cubic-meter boot, for those across the po

    • The whole reason for the "stem cell" line was the will President Bush cap Google's eligibility at 78 stem cell lines bit. Just some journalist trying to sound clever by throwing out a piece of pop-trivia, but not realizing that it went out of fad to talk about it a while ago. And trying to craft some FUD out of thing air. The jab at G.W.B is just gravy on the cake.
    • by curunir (98273) * on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @11:08AM (#15106332) Homepage Journal
      Googlemobile 0.8.12 beta

      Release Notes:

      - Added new feature that allows the car to integrate with Google's free Wi-Fi networks that would use your current location to find open parking spaces near you and indicate them on the Google Maps interface.
      - Added new DIY maintenance feature that allows you to search a database of thousands of repairs and receive instructions as well as maps to the closest retailers selling replacement parts.
      - Added feature to use the hot air generated by Google Fanbois (TM) as an energy source replacement for gasoline. The Googlemobile gets an EPA estimated 280 mi/GPA (Google Product Announcement).
      - Disabled optional feature to post back to Google that you're currently being cited for speeding or other driving infraction. The google network is no longer able to alert all other Google drivers that there are officers in that vicinity so that they can avoid being ticketed. This feature has been disabled pending the outcome of the class action suit filed on behalf of 10 separate state highway patrol organizations.

      End User License Agreement (EULA)

      This automobile is provided by Google "as is" and any express or implied warranties, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose are disclaimed. In no event shall google be liable for any direct, indirect, incedental, exemplary, or consequential damages (including, but not limited to, procurement of substitute goods or services; loss of use, life or profits; or business interruptions) however caused and on any theory of liability, whether in contract, strict liability, or tort (including negligence or otherwise) arising in any way out of the use of this automobile, even if advised of the possibility of such damage.
    • Sure, big companies do a lot of different things. But the decision to do something new usually comes from the top. Individual contributors can suggest new stuff, but it's up to management whether the company goes forward with a new idea, and how the idea is implemented.

      At Google, most new ideas are dreamed up and implemented by individual contributors. That's why the search engine keeps getting cool new features without any prior notice. That's a good way to drive innovation. Problem is, that leaves ever

  • Good God (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bhirsch (785803) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @09:55AM (#15105723) Homepage
    This looks like an article written about the dot-com of the week in the late 90s. When all the hype dies down, Google will likely be a success like Yahoo -- solid, but not the most amazing company out there.
    • Good god indeed, google do no evil.
      Google ARE god.

      I can't decide who is the devil however, does he wear a turtleneck or does he throw chairs?
      • Chair-throwing dude.
      • Turtleneck, ponytail, and sandles with socks.
      • Borrow a page from the Christians for a moment, and allow the Devil to have multiple incarnations (the chair, the turtleneck, and the unholy... something).
      • I can't decide who is the devil however, does he wear a turtleneck or does he throw chairs?

        Let's not try to shoehorn this into a monotheistic or dualistic metaphor here.

        I would liken Microsoft to Saturn [wikipedia.org] perhaps. Google and Yahoo! (and perhaps Apple's current Jobs 2.0 incarnation) represent the Gods of Olympus. The Web 2.0 companies are the various assorted nymphs and sprites.

    • Re:Good God (Score:5, Interesting)

      by truthsearch (249536) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:05AM (#15105816) Homepage Journal
      That's very insightful (sorry, no mod points at the moment :) Taking it a step further we thought back then that Yahoo had the potential to be amazing, but chose not to do anything really interesting. Today we see Google's potential. We'll just have to wait and see if they disappoint as well.
      • Re:Good God (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bhirsch (785803) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:10AM (#15105850) Homepage
        I would not count Yahoo as a disappointment, the market just corrected for their being overvalued. The same thing will likely happen to Google. My point is, I don't think they will crash and burn like most did, but rather settle down to be on par with Yahoo.

        Many people will likely lose their shirts on Google stock, but I have no sympathy for people who should've learned before how dangerous it is to look at an overvalued stock as a long-term stable investment.
        • Re:Good God (Score:4, Interesting)

          by jobugeek (466084) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:58AM (#15106248) Homepage
          Actually Google getting added to the S&P 500 might save it from such a crash. By being included, it is held by tons of S&P mutual funds. That combined with the realtively low number of shares available, I would expect Google shares to stay in the 250-350 range for quite some time.
          • Re:Good God (Score:2, Interesting)

            by jgc7 (910200) *
            being listed on the S&P 500 will do nothing to mainain the value of the company. The stock price is based on the price at which two parties are willing to trade. Mutual funds owing the shares does nothing to support the price, although the automatic required buying can have temporary, albeit a modest impact on the stock price.
          • Although that will temporarily drive up their stock price from the index funds purchasing shares, just remember that for every company added to the index, one must be removed.
    • The hype will never die down! Google is the best company out there, and they will never stop growing exponentially.

      That reminds me, I need to go buy some Google stock right now.

    • Re:Good God (Score:4, Informative)

      by JollyFinn (267972) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:49AM (#15106163)
      Here's interesting point.
      Sales data:
                   Google   Yahoo
      2004           3.1      3.5
      Lastyear       6.1      5.3
      Q4 05          1.9      1.5
      CompanyPrice  122B      44B

      I don't expect Google to assimilate everything. But their sales is growing fast. There is quite good potential that Google grows to a company with 10Billion yearly profits, for which the sharevalue would be quite reasonable. Giving pretty good return on investment if that happens. And a small chance of growing to a company with more than 15Billion yearly profits.
      And its pretty certain that Google will be more successfull than Yahoo. But if Google cannot grow to its potential then its probably more successfull company than Yahoo and makes good bucks on advertisement, but nothing great enough to varrant its share value. 
    • Google has not been about hype for quite some time.
      First, the company has been around 8 years. After 6 years at Yahoo, the hype had LONG died down.
      Yahoo was a pioneer in the field, but they allowed a regular management team to take hold. IOW, they are a regular company.
      Google is about a totally different infrastructure. It is doing what many techies have said needed to be done. IMHO, they will remain this way until one of the 3 is gone, esp. because of Schmidt. They are more akin to Disney when it was r
      • Re:Good God (Score:3, Insightful)

        by budgenator (254554)
        I think that google is more in tune with what they are not, than what they are, so it would take more than a few years to corrupt its' carefully crafted culture. Google is a business embodyment of the unix phillosophy, small well made tools that are designed to do one or two things well and can be piped together in ways not originaly anticipated; this concept is too alien for most "suits" to get their heads arround.
        • Bullshit. Many software companies have had the same technical philosophy and failed miserably. The "suits" are concerned with money -- there is a reason we call it the bottom line. Google is horrendously overvalued; its stock price is not in line with its earnings or assets. Just compare its market cap to stockholder equity.
          • Google's stockmarket value has absolutely NOTHING to do with the company, their technology or how they are run. The value is what others are assigning it. Just because ppl are buying it at a high price is not a reflection of the company.

            As to the company itself, it is being ran differently and made differently. Long term, it will produce more great products (as opposed to just copying or stealing them). It is probably a good buy, even at this price, assuming that you are buying for a decade or two (if you
            • Sorry, but overvalued it overvalued. Why Do you think that the founders are selling their shares off as fast as legally possible? The first rule of investment finance is that MNCs exist to make money for the stockholders -- mainly by increasing share value.
    • I'm pretty strongly pro-Google (I own shares), but I read this article and kept thinking "Oh God, please make it stop."

      I think you're right. We're witnessing the birth of the next dotcom boom. And this is gonna be one ugly baby.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @09:56AM (#15105731)
    "'Google is actually the first company with a brand that is built entirely on stem cells"

    Don't let Bush know! He'll demand that they do not produce any new products based on new stem cells, but only using existing stem cells. After all, using new products would be tantamount to murder and might upset his base.

    If Google succeeds, the terrorists win.

  • Yes, sure... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by StevenHenderson (806391) <stevehenderson@gm a i l . c om> on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:00AM (#15105766)
    a brand that is built entirely on stem cells...

    But don't stem cells become static and defined after some time? I hate to say it, but I think the innovation well will dry up eventually.

    • I disagree with you. Funding and markets might dry up, but innovation in computer science is cheap. As long as they keep hiring smart people, they'll keep having at least some smart ideas. Or at least as long as there are startups looking to be swallowed up, there will still be innovation.

      If anyone still cares about the latest Google beta in five years, now that seems more interesting...

    • Unless they are cancer stem cells [sciencenews.org] which will continue spawning adult cells that multiply without restraint. Then Google could grow until it consumes the world or achieves conciousness.

      Actually, any stem cell continues spawning adult cells until it fails due to DNA degradation or expiration of its host's body. It's the offspring that become static and expendable.

      AlpineR

  • I can't wait to see the horrible, mutant creation that they come up with. I mean, there's no point in using DNA unless you can make monsters.
  • Flash in the pan (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ThreeE (786934)
    Google is just another dot-com flash in the pan. There is nothing about Google's business model that provides any more sustainable competitive advantage than any other firm. Is Google a success? Is it an admirable company? Yes -- in many ways. Will that change? Count on it.

    Treat Google like any other company: sprinkle its stock in a nice diversified layer over your other holdings.
    • by caffeination (947825) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @11:06AM (#15106310)
      Ah, the stock market, the zodiac of the rich...

      GOOG stock holders:
      Beware of irresistible new offers, as the dotcom constellation will soon be heading back between Mars and Venus

      MSFT stock holders:
      Potentially hard times are coming. It's too early to say what the outcome will be, but the proximity of Jupiter to Neptune doesn't bode well.

  • by OSS_ilation (922367) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:01AM (#15105773)
    >>Google is on the verge of achieving the holy grail of branding--being all things to all markets. When I'm driving my GoogleCar into my GoogleGarage after a long drive along the GoogleTurnpike, guided by my GoogleGPS to have dinner prepared by my Froogle-provided Russian mail order bride, then we'll talk.
  • Google DNA? (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by GillBates0 (664202)
    Is that what it's called when Google fanboys (I'm one too!) fantasize over and blow their seals to Google's latest toy?

    Oh oh! Look at Google's shiny new Finance page. Sweet! Ewww now I got Google DNA all over myself.

  • I would hardly call google the 'first' company to be able to take any form it sees fit. I would rather attribute this skill to any large multiunational company with enough money to do so. I am sure that M1cr0S0ft could have done such, had it been that way inclined.
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:05AM (#15105813)
    "Businessweek confronts Google naysayers with an analysis of the company's business structure, arguing that its unique structure lends it the flexibility to adapt to any and all markets..."

    If that's true, then pick one or two and excel in those markets the way you excel in adwords.

    I hate to say it, but Google reminds me more and more of Netscape in 1996. Both companies were leaders with strong brand names and one great product (web browser, search engine, etc.). However, Netscape utterly failed to build on their success, squandered their brand name and was eventually equalled and bettered by Microsoft. I see the same thing going on now with Google as they lurch from one non-profitable project to another and other competitors start eyeing the search engine market again...

    • That's certainly true, and like Netscape, Google has one competitor that it should be especially wary of: Microsoft.

      When IE on Vista defaults the homepage to an MSN search page that actually works nearly as well as google, you have to wonder if most people (obviously not all people) will bother typing in google.com at all.

    • There's a bit of a difference in that Google has a genuine revenue stream and is turning a profit, whereas Netscape (as I recall) hadn't achieved that sort of stability.

      In other words, Google took its great product (search engine) and successfully took it to market (via advertising). Building a great new business requires both a great product and great business execution in establishing a market for it, and Google has excelled at both ends so far.
  • I don't know about "all markets". Steven A. Silvers seems to own kids' googling [uspto.gov].
  • ...doesn't that make it a virus? It can basically spread from one place to another, adapting to each new "host" as it goes.

    Now, before the "Troll" stamps come out, I'm not saying this is necessarily bad, though this does tend to make Google a... wait for it... monopoly. Yes there are competitors, but they seem a distant second right now and are probably going to remain so if the article is true. I doubt Yahoo can modify its culture to compete directly with Google.

    Google's strength in being so adaptable

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Long live the synergistic DNA based information economy. The paradigms of old cannot explain the morphous structure of such a groundbreaking and globulous company. It's ability to dynamically adapt to multi-faceted environments while leapfrogging the pure-play biases of old while creating a new dynamic for business is absolutely staggering. Business, debt, and equity analysts falter before this new way of business that completely destroys the old business paradigm while thinking out of the box in it's ul
  • Google$oft (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Itsacon (967006)
    Problem I see with google, is the way they're slowly creeping into everything.
    They've pretty much killed off all competition in the search engine business. Sites I used when I started using the web, like Altavista [altavista.com] and AllTheWeb [alltheweb.com] are now even copying Googles layout!
    In Holland the verb 'to Google' has actually been added to the dictionary, I believe.

    This isn't necessarily a bad thing, since Google is/was simply the best. It does mean however that pretty much all Internet searching is done through Google,
    • This isn't necessarily a bad thing, since Google is/was simply the best. It does mean however that pretty much all Internet searching is done through Google, which gives it the same possibilities for abuse as MicroSoft had a while back in the desktop PC market.

      Not in the slightest. There is a massive difference between Microsoft's monopoly and Google's monopoly. Google's monopoly doesn't lock you in.

      Switching from Windows to another operating system means replacing all the software that is depend

    • While I disagree with your comparison to Microsoft, thanks so much for the pagead2.googlesyndication.com tip!

      It's in /etc/hosts now and forever, and it fucking rules! If I ever want something cool to do, I'll think of some clever thing for pagead/show_ads.js, but for now it's nice to be missing out on ads without resorting to crappy bloated Firefox extensions.

  • by Jivha (842251) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:14AM (#15105876)
    ...the article is written by Gabriel Stricker from BrandChannel [brandchannel.com]. The tone seems to be a typical marketing/branding kind - lots of high-sounding assertions and phrases, and very few solid justifications for the same.

    For instance, check this sentence: "Google is actually the first company with a brand that is built entirely of stem cells: able to grow and develop into whatever form it sees fit."

    Huh? World's first company? Built entirely of stem cells? Into whatever it sees fit?

    What is this guy smoking?

    Google's decision to branch into many unrelated/related ideas is not due to any stem cells or mitochondria, but simply because it has enough money and talent to do so. More importantly, the stock market that usually punishes companies for expanding too fast/too much still seems to be in awe of Google.

    Imagine Microsoft deciding to enter into server harware, or Sun into smartphones, or Dell into online dating! But when Google does it, its suddenly "stem cells" in action!
    • You and several others comment on ""Google is actually the first company with a brand that is built entirely of stem cells: able to grow and develop into whatever form it sees fit."

      I think you're missunderstanding the point of the "stem cell" metaphor: That most of the products/services that Google is offering aren't solutions themselves, but rather are means to solutions which remain in the hands of the users or perhaps more approrpriately, independent developers.

      Google Earth is fun. Building applic
    • Obviously they are harvesting their workers for stem cells. They are probalbly keep in fluid vats, like the Matrix. That would also explain their great employee morale because they all believe they are living in the Playboy mansion. Life at Google is sweet!

  • Blather (Score:5, Funny)

    by Weedlekin (836313) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:15AM (#15105884)
    According to the article, Google is a company like no other because it is producing its own versions of things that already exist. Perhaps I've missed the point, but from where I'm sitting, this actually seems to be something that nearly every company does, and many of the bigger ones have their fingers in a lot more pies than Google do.

    IMO rather than proving Google are somehow "built almost entirely out of stem cells", this actually shows that Businessweek publishes artices built almost entirely out of bullshit.
  • We here in Slashdot land are not known to like "shiny, pretty" things...we like functional. However, the vast majority on computer users like pretty guis, etc. that they can click click click and be done. Google is a great search engine, and they have some great technology. However, until Google decides to make it's portal functional for the masses as YAHOO does, I don't think Google will be all things to all people. It will remain all things to all geeks. YAHOO will remain all things to all people.
    • Google doesn't...
      - Compile my code
      - Index and store my code
      - Back up my sensitive information
      - Provide my game content or hardware
      - Serve as my rendering engine or have any other graphics role
      - Have anything to do with my cell phone
      - Handle my email
      - Provide my browser
      - Search my local content

      It's a pretty good search engine...but that's pretty much it. Even though Google COULD provide serve some of those needs listed above, the avera
  • Hmmm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Wellington Grey (942717) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:19AM (#15105922) Homepage Journal
    Google is on the verge of achieving the holy grail of branding--being all things to all markets.

    The fastest and surest was to displease everyone is to try and please everyone.

    -Grey [wellingtongrey.net]
  • The nonsense about AdSense [timesonline.co.uk]

    Remember how in US airports a person could be denied to take a flight, but due to "national security" wasn't allowed to see which law was applied? "National security". Um... yeah. Right.

    Well, Google can remove your membership because of "Click fraud", but due to "trade secret" you weren't allowed to see the fraudulent traffic.

    Um... yeah. Right.
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:22AM (#15105950)
    being all things to all markets.

    Google Beer. I can hardly wait!

  • I'm not knocking Google. I've been using it as a search engine since the beginning. However their financial stats scare the hell out of me. A stock price of over $400 per share. A market cap of $122 BILLION (Microsoft is $281 billion; Apple $58 billion)and a P/E of more than 80. An investor should be veryyy cautious about playing with this one.
    • Are you implying that it's like some sort of spherical "bubble" structure? Yeah right...
      Ooooh it's a big scary bubble, I'm so scared!! I'll just poke it with my trusty bubble identifier and...[transmission ends]
      You crazy Slashdotters... bubble? burst? Humbug!
  • by Wellington Grey (942717) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:25AM (#15105969) Homepage Journal
    From the article: Google Entertainment? Yeah, its DNA can do that...

    Google Hardware? Genetic mission accomplished... The stem-cell question for prospective consumers is, Where would you prefer to buy this hardware...?


    Guys like the author are the reason scientific terms get degraded and clouded in the mind of the public. £10 says this guy couldn't give a coherent description of DNA, stem cells OR why he thinks they apply to the business world.

    -Grey [wellingtongrey.net]
  • And Toyata Cars can use their brand recognition to sell Toyota Chocolate, so what?
    • Actually, that's precisely the sort of example that made me think the 'perfect brand' thing was rubbish.

      Would people buy Google Chocolate? Google Motorbikes? Google Bookshelves? Google Hifi Speakers? Google shoes? Google clothes? Google perfume? Google food?

      Outside of their 'cool tech things' bracket, they have just the same problem as other brands. People have heard of them, but I'm not sure that would help them all that much - not over and above the recognition any other brand gets. Sometimes

  • DNA analogies. They are so true.
  • would you:

    - drink Google Beer?

    - wear Google Glasses?

    - drive a Googlemobile?

    - see a movie at the Googleplex?

    - wear Google #5 parfum?

    - wipe with "don't squeeze the Google!"

  • Confused Author (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eander315 (448340) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:33AM (#15106031)
    The author was obviously not a Biology major. They've based their whole article on a mixed metaphor:

    "What naysayers don't understand is that the DNA of the Google brand is unlike anything ever seen in the modern market landscape. Google is actually the first company with a brand that is built entirely of stem cells: able to grow and develop into whatever form it sees fit."

    I'm not really sure what DNA has to do with stem cells in this sense. The first sentence implies we're going to hear about Google's "parents", perhaps the companies the employees worked at before coming to Google. The following sentence about stem cells is comlpetely unrelated, as DNA isn't really what makes stem cells interesting, especially not in this case.

    I know it's kind of nitpicky, but frankly it's annoying to see this kind of stuff when the audience is relatively scientifically well-versed, at least compared to the general public.

    • The important thing is that the author was able to pick a few important-sounding terms and place them decoratively throughout the paragraph. In this case he chose biology.

      Let's take a look at what would have happened if the author had material from some other field:

      Cooking:

      "What naysayers don't understand is that the garlic of the Google brand is unlike anything ever seen in the modern market landscape. Google is actually the first company with a brand that is built entirely of chicken stock: able to grow
  • I dunno, I'm always suspicious of someone claiming we've reached some sort of philosophical (or marketing, business, educations, military, scientific, literary, etc) "endpoint".

    Businesses go through cycles of "diversification" (hey, I worked for a freight forwarder that owned gold shares in RSA) followed by "focus" (when someone asks why a car maker owns resort hotels and travel agencies). The business MODEL in general might go through meta-versions of these cycles, where diverse, widely ranging businesses
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:35AM (#15106045) Homepage
    They grow everywhere. They are showy and fun for kids to play with. They are showy and superficially attractive, but in reality are destructive weeds that need to be mercilessly extirpated. They can lead to false conclusions, such as that there must be a way to brew wine from analogies. In the end, their seeds are carried by the wind and, thus, they blow.
    • They are showy and superficially attractive, but in reality are destructive weeds that need to be mercilessly extirpated.

      Sorry, your analogy breaks down here - dandelions are fantastic at extracting minerals from poor soils for compost.
  • Sounds like the basic principle behind all human success.

    Our species survived by outsmarting and overwhelming its game. Coming from all directions, cutting off an animals exits except over a cliff or into the spike lined pit. Spears and fire just helped drive the animal. Until those weapons became more advanced.

    Today, the military tries to do the same thing; Come from every direction, with so many different weapons, so many different strategies, each co-opted for their strengths that the enemy can't cha
  • by aldheorte (162967) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:54AM (#15106209)
    Others have pointed out that this article is very hyperbolic, but Google itself is built entirely on hyperbole. It is perhaps the greatest con job ever perpetrated on Wall Street and the business community, and on its own terms. Look at what Google has become. Google is just Yahoo more than five years ago, just with a better interface and a stronger marketing brand.

    Let's look at the main services Google has rolled out: Search, News, Mail, Maps are the principle ones. All available on Yahoo fairly quickly after the Web took off. Image Search and Froogle - I'm not necessarily sure that Yahoo had these linked off their main site, but such search engines for images and pricing did exist back when Yahoo had reached critical mind share and Google was relatively unknown. It's arguable as to whether the improved interfaces are because of good design, or more capable Web browsers (I suspect the truth lies somewhere in between).

    This is not to impugn Google's business acumen. In fact, they have proven themselves most capable in this respect. Heck, they were even dictating to Wall Street how their IPO would go. But the bottom line is that Google has offered absolutely nothing truly new that wasn't available years and years ago when you look at the big picture of service offerings. They are simply another Web portal, which were in vogue around 1997 or so. I know people will come out of the wood work saying well they have this beta lab app that Yahoo didn't have, but, you know what? That's a beta lab app. Until they roll it out and no one else has it, big deal, and, from a business perspective, is there actually a revenue stream there or is it just a technical novelty? The only actual significant thing that Google does that makes money is sell text ads.

    The question now becomes how long can Google keep this marketing charade up before people realize it's just another Web portal and move on? So far, so good, but keep your fingers crossed.
  • ...are not inextricably linked, but in this case they should be. When people start talking about companies in terms of grand metaphors like stem cells and "all things to all markets," it's time to abort the stock. The days of meaningful growth are peaking.

    Call it the business analysts' version of jumping the shark.

    Happy Days and Long Nights -
    - Supergus
  • Virgin is the leader with that strategy. Branson has put Virgin into a strange range of businesses. Starting from music, he's expanded into soft drinks (Virgin Cola), air travel (Virgin Atlantic), space travel (Virgin Galactic), railroads (Virgin Trains), cell phones (Virgin Mobile), wine (Virgin Wine), publishing (Virgin Books), Internet services (Virgin.net), and lending (Virgin Money).

    Amazingly, it's actually working.

    • Don't forget their prostitution division, 'Virgin Not Virgin'
    • Virgin is the leader with that strategy. Branson has put Virgin into a strange range of businesses. Starting from music, he's expanded into soft drinks (Virgin Cola), air travel (Virgin Atlantic), space travel (Virgin Galactic), railroads (Virgin Trains), cell phones (Virgin Mobile), wine (Virgin Wine), publishing (Virgin Books), Internet services (Virgin.net), and lending (Virgin Money).

      Not forgetting Virgin Vodka, Virgin Vie (cosmetics), Virgin Cars, Virgin Student, Virgin Energy, Virgin Travelstore.c

  • i thought Hello Kitty was the first brand that was into everything. everything from erasers to vibrators.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "Stem cells" are the best and the brightest engineers and, although I've heard that google hires such talent, I was rather disappointed when I actually went through their interview process. Basically, I met 5-6 people, many of which were Ph.D.'s but some of which had dropped out, and all of them asked me the same inane questions: implement BFS in C on the board, implement a linked-list on the board, implement some-other-stupid-algorithm-for-which-you-would-n o rmally-just-download-some-code on the board...

    I
  • You could say the same thing about Yahoo, Microsoft, Amazon, or EBay. The web is becoming a superstore for all information, entertainment, and communications. Google just happens to have the best search engine and the highest stock price right now. There is nothing preventing many other companies from competing with Google.
  • Google is on the verge of achieving the holy grail of branding--being all things to all markets

    Todays closing price for GOOG: $409.66 per share.

    Time to sell.

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