Google’s announcement of a less than scintillating free web site service this week has a number of folks scratching their heads as to whether Google can ever branch out beyond the web search and Internet advertising space. Mark Evans makes the case that their attempts to do so are scattered and unfocused. Conclusion:
As much as investors love Google, let’s be clear here: it’s a one trick-pony, although the trick is extremely lucrative. For all the talk about Larry Page and Sergey Brin becoming strategic visionaries, it’s hard to see a vision unless it’s about creating new real estate for AdSense – regardless of whether these new services are any good. Maybe there’s a master plan happening that the rest of us can’t grasp yet but it would be nice for Google to commit itself to doing something really well when it introduces a new service – rather than coming out with something that disappoints and doesn’t move a market forward.
Google certainly wouldn’t be the first company that did one thing very well, but despite repeated attempts, couldn’t manage to add anything else to its repertoire. It’s too early to judge, but they really aren’t showing us much so far outside their core business despite all the distracting hoopla. On the other hand, as Dare Obasanjo succinctly explains, the distraction for competitors like Microsoft is very real whether intentional or not. Maybe that’s enough as Google continues to build their main business.