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August 23, 2005  Google's (Changing) Philosophy

Posted: 8/23/2005
Updated: 8/24/2005

Google has changed its philosophy. Their "10 Things About Google" page was recently updated:


Here is Google's explanation (written at the very bottom of the page):

"Full-disclosure update: When we first wrote these '10 things' four years ago, we included the phrase 'Google does not do horoscopes, financial advice or chat.' Over time we've expanded our view of the range of services we can offer –- web search, for instance, isn't the only way for people to access or use information -– and products that then seemed unlikely are now key aspects of our portfolio. This doesn't mean we've changed our core mission; just that the farther we travel toward achieving it, the more those blurry objects on the horizon come into sharper focus (to be replaced, of course, by more blurry objects)."

Conspicuous? Yes. Do I blame them? Hmm... I guess not.

Google has changed. The company that used to preach "Don't be evil" is now blackballing the press because they dug up information on Eric Schmidt. The company that was once a small, quiet place for nerds to code is now a $85B media company. Is Google going to become the new Microsoft? It already is.


As it turns out the timing of the removal of the "Google doesn't do... chat" was not coincidental. Google has announced a chat client called Talk.

Also, it seems that the New York Times and I are in full agreement. Relax, Bill Gates; It's Google's Turn as the Villain:

An excerpt:

"In the day, you'd hear that Microsoft was the evil empire, especially in Silicon Valley," said Brian Lent, the president of Medio Systems, a start-up in Seattle working on mobile-phone-based search. "Google is the new evil empire, because they're in such a powerful position in terms of control. They have potential monopolistic control over access to information."

Mr. Lent, who worked closely with Google's founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, when all three were Ph.D. students at Stanford University, helped introduce Mr. Brin and Mr. Page to one of the company's earliest investors.

"I like and respect the Google guys," Mr. Lent said, "but let's just say that their ultimate aim seems to me to be, 'One Google under Google, for which it stands.' "

In that article is also the first press mention of my new company, Slide:

"I've definitely been picking up on the resentment," said Max Levchin, a founder of PayPal, the online payment service now owned by eBay. "They're a big company now, doing things people didn't expect them to do."

Mr. Levchin, who last year founded a multimedia company in San Francisco called Slide, said Google "still has a long wick of good will to burn off," but he added, "I'm surprised at how fast the company's reputation is changing."

Posted by johnnie at August 23, 2005 09:33 PM


It's totally amazing how in the past few years Google has gone from a popular search engine to a word used in every day conversation.

"Don't worry, I googled it. It's not lethal unless you rub it against your ear."

"Oh my god, I googled him. Did you know he murdered eight people in Talahassee three years ago? I think you need to dump him."

Google is so worldly now!

Posted by: Greg at August 24, 2005 09:05 AM

i dont agree that google is becomeing anything like microsoft...i mean sure, it is getting very large as a company, but by no means is it pushing itself down our throats, which seems to be microsofts way of getting into our homes and onto our computers.

google is an inspirational company that has been widely accepted for alot, if not all services it provides, and i cannot find another company who is more helpful, informative and genuinely tuned in to what people need and the best way to provide it. google is an information hub, in more ways than one, and last time i checked, microsoft hasn't gotten any praise...for anything

Posted by: wilkie at October 28, 2005 05:11 AM

I liked your site.

Posted by: Steven Cole at July 21, 2006 03:14 AM

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