Time vs. Barron’s on Google

Perhaps this is just me, but I found the Time magazine puff piece on Google this weekend much more bearish than the _intentionally_ bearish Google hit job by Barron’s. The company (implicitly) brags to Time about turning down a low cost new $80mm revenue stream, brags about its obfuscatory strategy, demonstrates capriciousness in how it analyzes opportunities, and continues to generally show an over-reliance on centralizing all decision-making in its ruling triumvirate.


  1. PR, PR, PR. PR is the area where Google maintains the largest lead on its competitors. Don’t read too much into the latest version of their talking points memo Paul.

  2. I would say of all those risk factors, the last one is the biggest: centralized decision-making is a recipe for disaster. I was encouraged when Sergey Brin said awhile ago that some of the company’s best ideas were ones that management never thought would succeed. To the extent the company loses touch with that, they will get increasingly bureaucratic and inflexible, and then they will be a sitting duck for some other newcomer…

  3. My contacts at Google tell me that the company remains a strange mix of decentralized and centralized. You have a great deal of local (engineering only) lattitude for action, but there is this everpresent sense that BrinPage could show up at any moment and capriciously kill anything.