John Krystnak thinks that in a video Google’s Marissa Mayer effectively rebuts my recent calls for Google to work on a product rather than just launch ’em. John’s being somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but I still heartily disagree (as you might expect).
Mayer has some perfectly pleasant ready-for-HBR ideas, but in practical terms her talk is loopy and full of self-congratulatory silliness and ex post rationalizations. For example, it’s easy to say “Don’t kill projects, morph them” when you’re wallowing in AdSense cashflow, but let’s be real. Most companies would do far better to ignore that piece of advice and kill stuff instead. Anyway, none of what Mayer says refutes my core point that there is precious little sign that one-product Google might do well, eventually, to find some way to diversify its sales base.
As an unavoidably personal aside, Mayer’s nervous, Tom Hulce-as-Amadeus giggle throughout her talk is unnerving. Sorry. I had to say it.