Google has one huge problem in general when it comes to hiring. I call them the China of tech companies. They have a lot of engineers and a large infrastructure so they can copy anything that works and use their scale to get market share.
Hearing from friends who have interviewed with Google, it seems to me they are good at hiring great engineers, they've hired bunch of MBAs but they're not able to hire product-driven entrepreneurs or give them space to shine.
Just to give you an example, Inbox precedes MailBox by years. I joined Google in 2009 and they were working its various incarnations even back then.
Also, doing what other people do is not necessarily "copying". When Google entered the Search market, there were plenty of search engines. They didn't "copy" search, they make their own. When they introduced Chrome, there were plenty of browsers, but they put their own spin on it.
It's not just about the ideas, but about their implementation and execution that matter.
Search is more like a platform, not a product, so let's look at GMail the first product that comes to mind, with the many gigabytes and proper IMAP/POP3 access they went all in. Filtering and search, labels and labs, plus it meant people were always logged in even while searching and looking at ads on 3rd party sites (and even though Blogger is and older Google product, not everyone had a blogger account, and I don't know how well integrated that was back in 2002-2003).
Then Maps, with all the bells and whistles. Analytics, you still can do arbitrary dimensions and metrics with it, drive it from a simple API, etc. Calendar, boldly supports ICAL, XML, RSS and so on.
And compared to these Google+ is still a trainwreck speeding ahead by the sheer force of will of Google. (Even Facebook switched back from the multi-column layout fast, because it's unreadable.)
The overarching theme used to be making something very powerful for average users and cater to the power-users/developers (who will then happily evangelize/integrate-with the product). Lately Google does none of that. At least Google Wave had a nice API on launch day to write robots, G+ was just a HTML5 slideshow for months. (Now, even on 1440p when reading comments, even after clicking to show more than one, I have to scroll the comment section in a 518x430 box. Why?)
They have thousands of very capable engineers, and it's great that now I can see the curvature of Earth in all its glory thanks to WebGL in Maps, but simply measuring distance just recently made a comeback.
RSS with PubSubHubbub, microformats and organic evolution of de facto standards would have been completely adequate for almost anything they wanted in this new sharing economy.
Though, to think of it, it sort of started when they elegantly neglected to make the profile (user data) path customizable in Chrome, and continued with the Real Name policy blunders on G+, and now YouTube subscriptions by default are completely useless too. (Because if you are not a simple user, but a channel of some sorts, your likes are not visible on your profile/channel page - nor anywhere else as far as I can tell - but subscribers by default get notified of new content on the channel, then proceed to visit it, and find none. At least users can then tweak this in the well hidden clickable gear menu!)
It doesn't take top pro exec Vic (or anyone) to fix bugs or provide more configurability. (In 2014, just 8 years after You were the person of the year, how fast You just became a wallet to milk.) Or if it does, then all the more power to the startups.
Possibly related to why they acquihire so much?
Now it turns out that a big integrated product really isn't such a great idea - but that's a different problem. (partly because it kills a lot of smaller interesting projects, and it kills the playground where things were tried out; a big platform is more involved with politics (the real name requirement); a big platform is harder to modify - as one has to care about such tricky things as overall consistency, etc, etc).
I want to hear about what he thinks of his decision to focus on business vs product as his company grew. It just seems insane from my perspective, far outside the realm of business leadership.
I guess he presumably felt like it had some kind of effect...
Why do I think this?
Trend: I think that 2014 has led to consumers becoming more actively aware of privacy. Google will be aware of consumer behaviour changing in this space. I have noticed in my general non-techie personal circle that people are far more protective of personal data and changing their online behaviour compared to two years ago. I think this is Google's current Achilles heel.
Tech: Google has so far got the best track record of security implementations which are open to anyone using their end-to-end platforms. They could seriously leverage this capability as a differentiator if it wasn't for the perception that they 'snoop' on its users.
Mission: In contrast to this Trend Larry Page has always been enthusiastic about a big vision of how consumers can benefit from sharing information to the right people, for example in the health space. At I/O 2013 this was a big topic for him: so many people's health could be improved if they would be able to comfortably share their personal data with the right people. The true value of this has massive potential.
Indications for a Pivot: Eric Schmidt is currently touring Europe, stating that Google doesn't 'read' email and does not make its money from analyzing your personal data.
In the end Google's best bet may be to try to transform itself into a personal, trusted data company.
Anyway, point is they do make money off targeted adverts. That's not a bad thing, they're not actually selling your data. Indeed that data is what makes them successful, they are motivated to invest an awful lot in keeping it secure and private in the sense nobody else can have it, only they can use it to target ads. In that sense I trust Google with my data but I know they are using it. Obvious caveat being NSA etc.
But then there's companies that focus less on targeted ads, like Apple. They can market on things staying on the device and never reaching their servers. Things like Apple Pay and Health, like you mentioned, I believe in both cases they claim not to have access. For Google there could be real value in combining that data with other stuff they know and offering unparalleled insights, and using their increased knowledge to better target ads. That seems to be the typical Google approach - and there are clear advantages and disadvantages to both - and again I consider that data to be safe even if Google has it.. With the obvious caveat.
With the NSA etc, Apple's way seems to be safer (with the obvious caveats of being opaque and closed software) or could be marketed that way. They have a lot of money to throw around and could potentially force Google's hand with the right marketing. But I think Google would struggle in that world to provide the services or use the business model they do now.
That said: in an earlier conversation with a Google engineer, I've heard that the deep personal information on search actually provides very little benefit. Even for advertising. Current query + location is the most relevant information. And it strikes me that carrying excessive personal data is increasingly becoming a liability.
If Google actually are learning and internalizing this lesson, it could prove quite interesting. Especially with Apple (and possibly Amazon) nipping at their heels.
This isn't "going the other direction". "archiving by default" has literally been the case in gmail since it came out in 2004. And, like in gmail, the Inbox trash button is still right there, and Ctrl/Cmd-3 still trashes it.
> Unfortunately, for Americans, it also means that after 180 days the US government can get access to them without a warrant (according to the outdated ECPA).
The Sixth Circuit disagrees there, and, as a result, many of the major webmail providers (including Google) require a warrant for access to email, regardless of age. See e.g. here: https://www.google.com/transparencyreport/userdatarequests/l...
In the bad old days before archiving, people got in the habit of deleting emails because there was no better way to get them out of the inbox.
The downvote/flag system is broken as it is on HN unfortunately, and used as a bludgeon to squelch voices.
Eric Schmidt is currently touring Europe, lying to people. - FTFY
I could find no source that Eric Schmidt is claiming that.
20 seconds in he says approximately: "Besides the fact that we show ads in gmail which we've done for over a decade and used the information for nothing". Now that I listen again it seems like an interesting play on words that makes it very unclear what he means.
I've recently been using Nokia HERE Maps for Android and I am liking it a lot more than Google Maps (which on Android has been pretty crappy since the 6.x->7.x transition, IMO, and is forever crippled due to Google's continued pretending that people's cellphones always have a usable network connection). I've been enjoying using HERE Maps to the point where it has me considering getting a Windows phone as my Nexus 5 replacement because Maps was the killer Android app for me before they messed it up.
There are some good replacements out there, at least, like City Mapper.
From all indications 5.0 is a terrific release.
Android had succeeded and under Rubin the team was doing great - except that there was a lack of tighter integration between Google's other properties and Android - Chrome for instance took too long to get on Android and become good. Same with other apps. As is evident now from how much progress Hangouts, Chrome amd ChromeOS have made under Sundar - he was well poised to lead a team that would have all these under one umbrella and Rubin apparently had other interests. So it worked out well for everyone.
ignoring the time value of money
- 3B cash on hand
- 1B tax credits
- 2.4B sale of desktop boxes to Arris
- 2.91B sale to lenovo
What a weird response, but I now realize that I wandered into a thread where you were just looking for some tabloid headlines. Carry on!
Amit Singhal(IIT Roorkee 89), Sridhar Ramaswamy (IIT Madras '89) and Sundar Pichai (IIT Kharagpur '93)
Also the fact these three people come from India isn't that remarkable considering that there are 1 Billion people there. Now if they were from some small developing country like say Sri Lanka or Bhutan, it would be really impressive.