Posted on | May 24, 2007 | Comments Off on What happens when companies become number one?
(this was written as a comment on Frank Shilling’s blog. Regarding Google making a deal with Dell to install by default what looks like spyware in Dell’s computers) As time goes by, Google will start to pay the price for being number one. Their previous (current?) motto “Don’t be evil” just makes matters worse.
I think Google is being led too agressively towards the money making side of things, and the guys in the PR departments have to deal with these storms later. They should balance their priorities and public perception before they make this kind of deals. Today it is google, but expect more evil deals in the months to come.
I think that the idealistic spirit on which the company was built is quickly vanishing.
Some days ago I predicted in my personal blog that at some point, Google may well be forced to split up somehow. I know it is an outrageous claim today, but most people and companies underestimate the power of public perception. We can see the public’s perception of Google changing very rapidly before our eyes, with and without reason. People hate number ones, that’s why -responding to a previous comment- they’ll go heavier on Google than on Yahoo making the .cm deal.
We just saw all this with Microsoft some years ago. Same thing:
1) company offers quality
2) company grows and becomes market leader
3) people start to dislike them (with or without reason). At the same time, due simpply to their speed of growth, they start to take the “wrong” decisions, and their corporate image suffers
4) they make enemies all over the place, since they became so big that they start to choke the niche niche players
5) they may be sued (it has already started with Viacom) or their products boycotted in many different ways (remember McDonalds related riots in France)
6) once they are sued, the judges are influenced by public perception against the company (although they shouldn’t be) and the company is seriously and excessively fined (“after all, they can pay”) or forced to split in one way or another. That was the beginning of the end for Msoft (that and many strategic mistakes along the way)
In essence, most people in this society, as Mark J. in his recent article puts it, hate number ones. It is psychological and unavoidable. Human nature. Will always be so.
Domainers and other successful people would do well to keep a low profile. If the “what is in it for me” question is increasingly unanswered for most people, expecting them to react in any other way presuposses most individuals have an intelligence and good heart that unfortunately, most lack.