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Google turns evil
Old 07-21-2011, 10:55 PM   #1
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Google turns evil

I wouldn't sell Google shares (not that I own them), and I certainly wouldn't short the company.

But they've crossed the line from "startup success story" to "Megacorp": Google is shutting down Google Labs.

Scott Berkun (who left Microsoft after leading part of an IE development team) articulates their newly obtuse behavior way better than I do:
The end of Google Labs « Scott Berkun
Quote:
When you see phrases like ‘extraordinary opportunities’, ‘prioritizing’, ‘process’ and ‘huge amounts of learning’, in reference to something being killed, you know you’re in the fantasy land of press releases. Winding down sounds oh so graceful, like winding down a party. And mentioning Google+, their current darling, is a well-played card.
And the kicker of course is the by-line:
Posted by Bill Coughran, SVP for Research and Systems Infrastructure
When a company has two levels of VPs (SVP = Senior Vice President) you know the days of free willing autonomy and entrepreneurial inspiration have faded.
I guess Google has decided that instead of growing their own entrepreneurs, they'll just buy them...
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:20 PM   #2
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That is a pretty classic PR spin. I'm pissed that never heard about Google Labs it was barely mentioned in Plex and now they've shut it down.

Still evil is too strong, grown-up or boring more like it.
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:36 PM   #3
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I do own stock in Google and as you said Nords, am not about to sell it. However, I too was disappointed to hear of the shutdown of Google Labs. I liked the idea that it was a place that Google could experiment with ideas to see which ones worked. The road to success is paved with many failures and if you don't allow yourself to fail, well, you're not going to have as many successes.

I'm sure they'll manage to "grow their bottom line" (or whatever the current corporate-speak is for this kind of thing) for quite a few years to come though.
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:55 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clifp View Post
That is a pretty classic PR spin. I'm pissed that never heard about Google Labs it was barely mentioned in Plex and now they've shut it down.

Still evil is too strong, grown-up or boring more like it.
I think Nords was referring to Google's own corporate motto "Don't be evil".

I only heard about the motto recently while listening to an interview with Doug Edwards, who was employee #59 at Google, and he had just released a book called "I'm feeling lucky".
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:14 AM   #5
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Yes I know about the motto. I read long book about Google, which talks about the evolution of the motto. Short version, the engineers loved, HR and marketing weren't happy, the engineers won..
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Old 07-22-2011, 05:13 AM   #6
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Once one ascends to the top, the trick is staying there.

I don't know anything about the decision... because I have not spent time analyzing google.

But...

Apparently google labs is not working out the way someone thought... whether it is a short-sighted or savvy management decision is yet to be determined.

This does not mean they are stopping R&D... just one method of incubating ideas.

My guess would be that they must see a better way to focus their R&D $.
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Old 07-22-2011, 06:45 AM   #7
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Thanks for the heads up. I am currently just starting to look at how to use the Google Labs App Inventor application. Fortunately for me, Google posted in the forum for the application that it will move URLs, but continue to be available. I wonder if part of the reason for closing Google Labs is to continue developing in-house, without giving an early warning on product ideas to competitors.
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:02 AM   #8
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I still like Google. I wish they had been able to digitize all the books in the world. The certainly have become a big company but that doesn't (yet) mean they are doing evil.
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