Please Google, No New Products

Apparently Google is announcing a number of new products next week, including Google Health. I wish it wasn’t. Not, however, because I have anything against health-related services — a friendlier and faster Medline would be a dandy thing — but because I want ever-scattered Google to sit in place for a minute and finish crucial features in existing products.

Examples are myriad:

  • Where is Edgar search in Google Finance? Not done yet.
  • Where is Exchange sync in Google Calendar? Not done yet.
  • Why is three-year-old Gmail still in beta?
  • Why is Google Talk still tottering around with a fraction of features?

Enough already. Google needs to get on some 12-step no-new-service program and finally get something past the 80% complete mark, or at least the 50%.


  1. medline is already friendly. what improvements do you think it needs?

  2. Damn straight Paul.

  3. couldn’t agree more!!

  4. Dan Primack says:

    Reminds me of some advice I recently heard a VC give entrepreneurs: Ready, Fire, Aim.

  5. yeah, this whole taking over the world thing is kind of disturbing. in think google’s inability to finish products may be a sign of flaws in their ‘creative’ development managemnt style.

  6. Google has a touch of ADD — their focus keeps bouncing from one item to the next.
    I think it works for them — they get the public to Beta test stuff, and then can redirect resources based upon what generates the most interest/traffic.
    Thats the advantage of their model — constantly trolling for new search/activity generated content serving, as opposed to say a Microsoft or an Oracle, that require actual sales to prosper, rather than mere page views.

  7. fartikus says:

    amen. google should stick to aggregation, relevance, and advertising…markets where google can continue to produce world-changing solutions. so-so products like google finance are wiping the mystique off of this firm.

  8. Paul, not sure I agree. At the other extreme are enterprise vendors who take years to release product with too many features …version 1 can be light…what I think you are asking for is more transparency on what is being committed to 2 , 3 etc

  9. Franklin Stubbs says:

    Bullseye. I love gmail, but it is still missing some sorely needed features, like the ability to address groups. I am constantly sending stuff to the same batches of 2, 5, and sometimes 10 people. Would be nice to have something that basic… along with some kind of plan for upgrading the storage capacity. Like you, I would gladly pay fifty bucks a year or whatever to up my gigs, increase my filter limit and page displays etc. It seems like such an obviously logical move.

  10. One of the interesting fallacies about Google is their ability to update products quickly. What really has been done with things like Picasa or Hello or Blogger since they were acquired? Doesn’t seem like much.

  11. Adam S. says:

    I suspect employee interest has a lot to do with this. Spec’ing and delivering new products is fun. Whacking bugs and refining interfaces is dull. Google’s culture is built around keeping bright people entertained.
    It doesn’t help that very few of Google’s products have P&L significance. It’s easy to be casual about product management when there are no revenue considerations. I imagine the AdWords team is a bit more focused.

  12. Franklin Stubbs says:

    Doh! Stupid me. I just went back and looked, on a whim, and there is now a ‘groups’ tab in gmail where none existed before. Or at least I hadn’t noticed it before. Score one for Google.

  13. You make a very good point. Looks like Yahoo and Google are taking two different approaches – Yahoo is putting a lot of effort in acquiring start-ups such as and integrating it with its existing products. On the other hand Google buys startups and then buys another startup or launches a new state-of-the-art service. As someone else commented here, Blogger has been left almost where it was since it was acquired. Features such as categories, threaded comments, are sorely missed in Blogger. Also I hope Google is putting some thoughts on integrating all its myriad services at some point of time in the near future. The integration between Gmail and Calendar is at least one step in the right direction.

  14. good comments.
    There are so much product for google to digust.