Google’s Double-Cover Weekend

Some — okay, me — would say that Google landing on the cover of both Time and Barron’s this weekend pretty much nails a near-term peak for the twinned social and financial phenomenon that is Google. On the one hand you have Google the investment, which has very likely already seen its most explosive growth; on the other hand you have Google the social phenomenon, and it is only peaking now.

While I haven’t read the whole Time Google piece, this loopy snippet from the attached Time  interview with the Google-y gang caught my attention:

Is there a grand strategy for Google? It seems as if you’re diving into almost everything.

Schmidt: We try very hard to look like we’re out of control. But in fact the company is very measured. And that’s part of our secret.
Page: We don’t generally talk about our strategy … because it’s strategic. I would rather have people think we’re confused than let our competitors know what we’re going to do. That’s an easy trade-off.

Ah, sensei: Larry Page, Strategy Zen-master. When you can snatch the search engine from my equity ….

More broadly, it is useful to put the Google phenomenon in the context of Nielsen/Netratings’ latest search market numbers. According to a release out late last week, total searches across all engines were up 55% year-over-year. According to N/N, Google now has 50% of the search market — up a gobsmackingly remarkable 5.7 points of share since the same time last year.


  1. That barron’s article was great.
    for more on time magazine covers, see:

  2. Michael Robinson says:

    The kind of obfuscation that Schmidt and Page are talking about in that quote, and the grand scope of the activities which Schmidt and Page allege are ofuscatory, only make any sort of rational sense as defensive tactics against a competitor with even greater discretionary resources than Google.
    Smaller competitors, Google can just squish like bugs. They have the cash. They have the talent. They have the momentum.
    So, make a list. This strategic obfuscation is for the benefit of which competitors?
    Paul: “Larry Page, Strategy Zen-master.”
    No, it’s more like this:
    Luke: Vader’s on that ship.
    Han Solo: Now don’t get jittery, Luke. There are a lot of command ships. Keep your distance, though, Chewie…but don’t look like you’re trying to keep your distance.
    Chewbacca: [barks a question]
    Han Solo: I don’t know! Fly casual.
    Google is on a secret mission to infiltrate the desktop, and is trying to fly casual so as to not tip off the Empire to their plans.