How To Beat Google?
Par Julien le jeudi 5 juin 2008, 17:07 - Lien permanent
2008 marks the 10th anniversary of one among the most recent successful companies, Google.
Looking at the WWW today, one can see that Google is everywhere, nearing Microsoft like monopoly, in many domains such as revenue growth, brand recognition, management practices and computers' network expertise.
Facing this kind of power, people tend to have one of two kind of
Being angry and trying to beat the player in front of states' court.
Being fascinating and trying to beat the player in front of people, offering a better solution to them.
I am definitely at my humble level in the second category.
In this text, I will expose some of my thoughts about the way a group may
beat Google in front of customers.
1) Beating Google by doing better
Even if the company has been digging in many territories in recent days as Microsoft's been moving around Windows+Office, the main role of Google is to provide what we call "search".
Search for me is an unnecessary complex word for a more simple activity: what's Google actually doing is answering questions from people.
When you're typing words to tell to Google, you're not actually "searching" but morelike asking a question.
Except for a very small subset, the way Google's answering is very primitive.
It's just getting from its giant memory the pages in which the words are: the main value in this process is so not in "what" Google is getting but how it is ordering these pages.
The main limits of Google answers is so:
You always needs to read pages to get the "real" answer.
Sometimes, the fact that Google just see "words" and not "proper nouns", "common nouns", verb or adjectives is that it misses completely the point and you're wasting time either refining your question or reading more and more pages.
Google does not read between the content words and actually encourages people not to type them.
Google is working well to answer to a person, but not at all for a computer.
The last point is the most important: the limits of Google for answering to
a person is a waste of time.
But the limits of it for answering to a computer is a dead end. Because of that, one of the main aim of a computer, that is to do something for a person is lost.
When you want for example to know in which cinemas you can see a film, you'll type the nouns, Google will answer probably the pages of cinemas companies first, you will read these pages and get it.
But if you want to tell a computer to tell you that when one of the cinema is in the city where you are, there is no chance it will ever be able to do it for you, as from the words to Google, it won't read the good information.
Thus there are many room today to beat Google by doing better and actually many companies trying to do so.
One of the main problem of them, beside technology is the second way of beating Google.
2) Beating Google by doing it different.
The real reason of monopoly is rarely the undefinite leadership of a company at the product level.
It's more often a particular core pre requisite that's almost impossible to defeat.
Intel and x86 has been there for 30 years because backward compatibility kills any chance to win with a better set of instructions.
Microsoft has been the endless leader of software because of a killer business model, selling to computer makers and so spreading any new Windows version with the PCs growth.
Google is a very solid leader not because of what they do, but because of what they have to make what they do, that is the most powerful, big and efficient mainframe ever made.
It always made me laugh to see that Google's always been pride of telling that you can know anything from Google. Actually, one of the stuff you can not know is about Google's computers. Simple but customized machines, numerous (500000+), dispatched all over the world, this system is fascinating.
However it promotes a model of computing that was popular in the 60's, the mainframe, centralizing all the information and computing resource under a single group.
The main reason why all the Powerset, Twine and al will fail is not because of their product.
It's because they're following the same architecture idea that's to make a super mainframe, and at this game, no one could out beat Google.
In the same way that Microsoft defeated IBM, to beat Google is to do it differently by pushing forward personal computing with P2P and not backward to mainframes.
To do that, there's even not a need to invent complex new protocols, but to come back to what the first vision of Tim Berners Lee for the WWW was: a person's computer that is able to GET and POST as a 'browser' but also to BE GOT and POSTED as a "server".
Promoting this approach, you may decentralize the Google system and gain more privacy, more scalability and more freedom to publish your information to anyone.
This will also put back personal computers in light to rediscover a role lost that's the third way to beat Google.
3) Beating Google by monetizing different
The main thing that's people are seeing from Google is software.
But as all the successful software makers, Google is not selling it to users.
Microsoft is selling to computers makers, Apple is selling the computers and Google is selling spacetime for ads.
As told before, a computer is aimed both for a person to do something AND to do something for a person.
The first is the main pushed by Google because in this one, there will be an interface for the person to do on which you can put ads.
Thus Google's business model is pushing a person to do more and more where a computer should also be a way for a person to do less and less (unpleasant) things.
Automatisation is thus really the way to attack Google business model not by trying to grab a share of it but by repurposing computers on tasks that limits its scale.
Many companies are today looking indepently at these 3 axis to compete with Google.
I think that it's in the combination of both 3 that a new leader would emerge.
This will come and after the US government, IBM, Microsoft and Google, will hightlight a new leader in the 5th generation of computing.