1) Constant experiments and dropped products (just like Microsoft).
2) Consumers no longer trust your services to stick around and no longer even invest in your platforms (*see most of Microsoft's offerings).
3) The services you do have aren't the highest quality and your brand takes a hit as being "giant mediocre corporation" like Microsoft instead of "high quality company" like Apple.
The more things change the more they stay the same.
And it turned out to be huge mistake for them because they could've really used Checkout accounts from day one of Android, to get people to pay for Android apps. I still believe this has been one of the biggest obstacles on Android, because you need Google Wallet (which is brand new service, I guess) account to pay for apps, and obviously the vast majority of people didn't have one, and didn't bother to make one either, and they'd rather look for the free alternative of the app.
It's been getting a bit better since Android 4.0, since they are asking everyone to make an account at the set-up, but they are still behind, and it could've been much better early on if Checkout was popular.
I use google checkout for pretty much everything I can't buy at amazon. It's accepted at lots and lots of places. and usually it's my deciding factor when selecting for two stores.
I don't use paypal because their system sucks if you have international credit cards and because of the lack of moral grounds they showed. never missed it (but then, i don't send money to random people, just merchants)
edit: well, used.
Paypal still wants my business.
He means you're an outlier, checkout wasn't going anywhere and nobody used it, and it wasn't even international (as PayPal is).
Reality also is that there is often a declining marginal value in additional investments in the same area once you are already doing very well in that area, and that the marginal profit from doing something else mediocre may be greater than the marginal profit from doing the existing thing a tiny bit better.
And lots of Google's experiments that are outside of what are understood to be its core strengths when they are introduced end up as things that are at the top of their field: Gmail and Chrome, for instance, weren't at the center of what Google did when they were introduced.
By what standard? If its just your personal subjective interpretation, it just means that someone has an opportunity to steal you away as a consumer.
If there really is a broadly-shared, unmet need among Google's current consumer base that is both technically feasible to address and easier to address in a new platform (either technically or for social -- e.g., for organizational inertia reasons) than it would be for Google to implement in their own services, then, yes, Google is ripe for disruption.
But lots of people (including people selling rival search engines sponsored by deep pockets rivals) have been saying that since shortly after Google became the dominant search engine, so unless you are going to spend the effort to either make a credible case as to the specific unmet need that supports your claim that Google is ripe for disruption (and "I would posit that Google isn't doing well in search from a quality perspective" is the polar opposite of "specific" here) or, better yet, show me the MVP of your product that not only identifies the unmet need but demonstrates the feasibility of meeting it, I don't see much substance to your position.
That doesn't specifically identify a broadly-shared need among Google's existing user base that Google isn't meeting.
Second, when I do a search for either of those I get personal blogs and/or fan sites on the first page. So, unless your problem is that that shouldn't be the case, I think the perceived situation you were obliquely referencing isn't even accurate.
That would only be true if there was a search engine with better quality results.
I agree that Google has dropped it's quality (compared to itself) but it's still better than anything else.
Is it just a messaging problem? If they had instead said "We're renaming Google Checkout to Google Wallet. We're introducing API v2. API v1 is deprecated and will be turned off in 6 months so upgrade your apps." would that have changed your response?
With the new system, Google has an API to give you the users information, but the merchant must have some way of processing the payment.
So these two are not the same at all.
I can tell you for my ecommerce site, I intend to drop Google Wallet altogether.. After the numerous Froogle/Google shopping api changes, I have no hope that the new api will stick around for any reasonable amount of time. So I just don't think it's worth the effort.
Edit: for comparison to Google Checkout, I get roughly 15x the number of orders with PayPal.. and 25x the number of orders from Visa/MC/Dscv/Amex.
Google's implementation of Checkout was flawed from the start (esp how they handled/treated merchants).. So I'm not surprised it didn't go anywhere.
I don't mean this to sound like Google treated its merchants badly.. because that's not the case. Google was ok, and I don't have any bad stories to tell. But several of their policies were not pro-merchant (some outright anti-merchant)... it was as if the entire thing (from the interface, the policies, etc) was put together by someone who had never used another payment processor in their life. It was like someone just sat down one day, decided how it should work, and did it.. without bothering to understand what any of their competitors were doing.
I don't know how true that is.. but that is what it seemed like from the beginning.
The Wallet API was announced back in November, but it seems never caught on. I remember that 1800 Flowers and Rockport were offering discounts to customers that used Buy with Wallet, but this doesn't seem very successful by the lack of top merchants that aren't adopting it (even when there is a financial incentive like when Google funded the discounts for Rockport and 1800 flowers). Yes all people that buy Android apps have a Google Wallet account, but they aren't using this account outside of the Android ecosystem.
The customer support for checkout just isn't there as well. It has always been via email and extremely slow. With Paypal if you do over 200k then you get a dedicated account manager and they always have phone support. It has always seemed like a product that they are trying to make solve a problem it isn't equipped to handle- like having Android developers setup a Google Checkout account in order to get paid. It isn't designed for developer needs but it works well enough to get by.
Besides that, as far as I can see a merchant would be more likely to get volume discounts on their transactions by funneling them into one payment processor. In this way the thinner Wallet API would seem like an improvement given that no merchant will have Wallet as their sole supplier of transaction processing (as you point out, most people order with CC). Fewer merchant accounts should also lead to less administration.
Checkout was used by merchants that sell physical goods. So the digital goods api is irrelevant.
As you say, Google's implementation was flawed from start. Doesn't it make sense then to fix it and make things right?
I have no idea if Wallet is better than Checkout, since I haven't used Wallet. For all I know Google made the same mistakes with that service as well.
But the biggest reason I don't plan to go along with Wallet: the complete neglect of Checkout. Checkout launched in 2006. I signed up around 2008. Want to know how many improvements Google has made to the service (excluding minor policy changes)? The answer is 0. The service never changed as far as I could tell. Google never fixed a single issue with their interface. They never fixed the major policy issues.
Shortly after Wallet launched in 2011, Google renamed part of the service: When consumers buy an item using Checkout, they are using Google Wallet. So these services are not completely unrelated. I would not be surprised if Google kept many of their policies and other problems...
It does sound like Google has given Wallet a lot more attention than they did Checkout. But I also remember the hype they gave Checkout when it launched.. and this in many ways feels similar.
Checkout could have been quite good. It could have competed with PayPal (like they wanted it to).. It was probably 90% of the way there... but instead of improving the service, they did nothing with it for 5 years.. then they developed a replacement.. and now they're telling everyone on Checkout that it's dead, and they should move to a new, but very similar service.
From their perspective, that's what Wallet is.
The thing is, you seem to see Google Checkout as centrally being "credit card processing" and the implementation problem being how Google handled credit card processing.
Google, more than likely, say Google Checkout's value proposition as "enabling users to pay for goods and services using their Google Account" and the implementation problem being "it required us to be a credit card processor".
wallet fits your value prop.. that came 5 years later
edit: IOW I agree with you.
Google Wallet looks like a big improvement over their old system.
Google Wallet looks like a big improvement over their old system.
I call this the Spaghetti Cannon strategy.
Load up a cannon with cash and different ideas, blow up the cash and see what sticks to the wall.
If we redrew the corporate boundaries of Google and Microsoft, we'd see them as investment firms tasked with turning a reliable long term cashflows into new reliable long term cashflows. Quasi-venture firms.
So far, Google has advertising. And that's it.
Microsoft have Windows, Office, Server & Tools and Xbox.
So in actual fact, Microsoft are proving that yeah, it sorta works. Sorta.
Instead of hundreds of phones, they have maybe a dozen now that they actively promote. Right now I can't leave the house without being bombarded by Samsung advertising, they're in some kind of feverish campaign over their new Note phone-tablet-thing.
And that's just for one "phone brand". Imagine if they do this to every other phone brand of theirs, which are already being called all "Galaxy". Samsung strategy is becoming a mess again. It will work in the short term (a year or so), and then backfire badly.
I think the amount of innovation and creativity that Google pushes for is amazing.
What if Checkout was the next big thing? At least they tried it and can put it in the history books now.
I do agree with point number 2, that they are making their services seem "legitimate" too quickly. Personally I would move them back to their Google Labs days to solve that problem. Where they would make a larger point of this service being in BETA and possibly not a long term goal.
From there if it passes BETA just streamline it, make it profitable, and keep it for as long as possible.
Perhaps that's what they're doing, but seeing a headline on HN every few days about "X Google Service Shutting Down" is incredibly disheartening and damaging to their brand, I agree completely on that one.
EDIT: The "Go Programming Language was first designed and developed at Google Inc." according to wikipedia. And we all love Go on HN. So it's hit and miss just like anything else, but godspeed to them for trying!
Hardware is kind of a different thing. The iPod was pretty nice. But now I want a shinier iPod with more features. Production of the Classic just has to match demand from those with niche uses for it. So a slow death makes sense?
Not sure what the situation is with the MacPro...
Also, the original impetus came from the DARPA grand challenge.
However, Google do deserve credit for recognising that self-driving cars could have a massive positive impact on society, and bringing the various team members under one roof and funding them would bring the concept from the research lab to the road a lot quicker. I bet many car makers have stepped up their self-driving cars efforts in response to the Google advances.
There's numerous companies and organisations that had the resources to bring the likes of Sebastian Thrun into their fold to work on self-driving cars, but Google were the ones with the vision to actually do it.
One company that I've seen not fall into this trap is Dropbox. Dropbox offers one amazing service and pours all it's efforts into that, and from what I hear they have some insanely smart people working there doing that. As a result they can afford to decline a $6 billion offer from Google and then go on to compete against Google's inferior offering.
IMHO The only reason Dropbox is successful because the alternatives e.g. SkyDrive, Google Drive are so much worse.
The biggest gripe I've had with anything Drive-related, has been Google's 'Keep' losing some data from notes I made on my phone while I had a tab open with Keep on my laptop. Apparently my phone didn't get a chance to sync properly before I touched my computer again, so it just totally discarded everything I did on my phone. That was annoying, but it's not really something I associate with Drive specifically, since it still seems like an experimental side project they could potentially kill off at any point.
Dropbox then continued to index all my files and verify that my Dropbox folder was properly synchronized with the server side of things.
Google Drive, however, told me to delete my Google Drive folder and download all my files again.
Since I had a lot of files in there I proceeded by deleting Google Drive and canceling my paid storage instead.
I see no reason why you wouldn't go with Dropbox. Even just for the fact that you shouldn't rely on anything from Google that doesn't have or is related to advertising.
Either way, I use Docs way too much, to the point where I always have a tab with it open, and Drive really ties everything in quite smoothly for me. I also like the Drive app a bit more than the Dropbox app on my android phone, so not really a strong incentive for me to switch back. I actually never made much of a conscious decision to switch to Drive in the first place, it just kind of happened automatically due to convenience, and now I use it almost exclusively.
The only thing that does bug me is the data-loss. I haven't had it happen in Drive proper, but it happening in the short time I've used Keep certainly lends credibility to it being a wider-spread problem. We'll see...
 Not that I feel ChromeOS is 'safe' from the killswitch, but it's still a bit too early to tell what their plan is for that exactly
>IMHO The only reason Dropbox is successful because the alternatives e.g. SkyDrive, Google Drive are so much worse.
Thank you for partially restating what I wrote in my comment.
I also thought Dropbox's Android client was better.
> 3) The services you do have aren't the highest quality and your brand takes a hit as being "giant mediocre corporation" like Microsoft instead of "high quality company" like Apple.
Yes, Apple never creates duds; we are all happily using our Newton.
I think I'm going to start looking into my email setup, just in case.
First of all it's far form an unexpected announcement seeing as they have been developing another payment service in parallel, and second "monopoly" is a specific legal term, it shouldn't thrown around lightly, it's not just another synonym for "big".
As for your points:
1) Experimentation is net positive, and by definition most of said experiments will fail. You can't really be any sort of a self respecting tech company if you shun experimentation.
2) This is anecdotal, they have a selection of core products and when a peripheral one gets deprecated it's done through a reasonable process as spelled out in that post.
3) That's subjective.
First of all it's far form an unexpected announcement seeing as they have been developing another payment service in paralleled, and second "monopoly" is a specific legal term, it shouldn't thrown around lightly, it's not just another synonym for "big".
1) Great things could come out from experimentation so it's a new positive and by definition most of those experiments will fail, you can't really be any sort of a self respected tech company if you shun experimentation.
2) This is anecdotal, they have a selection of core products and when a preferential one gets deprecated it's done through a reasonable process as spelled out in that post.
3) That's subjictive.