Google Makes Me Want To Gargle


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Google blows me away with their continuous attempts at spinning things that even a naive waif would know aren’t true.

Look. I think they were one of the most significant CRM-friendly technological innovations of the 20th and 21st centuries, because of the extraordinary customer value that they provide and because of their incredibly stunningly gorgeous progressive disruption of tradition – precisely at the point that traditional business was in need of some continued shaking up.

But I can’t say the same for their integrity as a company or their culture. Aside from my dislike over how they handled China (see my blog entry, “The Inconvenience of the Principles Approach”), they seem to assume the public is stupid when it comes to their intentions. They will simply state something that they (in their arrogance or blindness to reality) think that the public/customers/media/analysts will simply hear, blink once, and buy into.

So look at these typically disingenuous comments, from June 2006, when Google released its spreadsheet and had already acquired online Word-clone, Writely.

“”I see them as complementary,” Jonathan Rochelle, the product manager for Google Spreadsheets told “The Wall Street Journal,” referring to Google Spreadsheets and Excel. “I know a lot of users will use both.”

They seem to spend a lot of time claiming that they aren’t competing with Microsoft in the productivity space for customers.

But what happens?

Today Google announced their “Google Apps, Premier Edition” to the entire known universe. Guess what, despite all of Googles non-competitive protestations about their “complementary” apps to Microsoft Office, this directly aims at…..TA DA….Microsoft Office…and does it as an on demand suite. It offers:

“The Premier Edition adds Google Docs and Spreadsheets; Gmail for mobile devices on BlackBerry; and Application-level controls to Google Calendar, Gmail, Google Talk and Start Page applications that the company introduced as a free service starting in August, 2006.”

The price $50/user per year.

I don’t have any beef with Google’s offering. More competition, a new inexpensive paradigm for enterprise level (though that remains to be seen) productivity applications and lots of mobile device support.

Sounds groovy to me – big time.

But all the protestations of the past year on how the individual applications weren’t meant to be competitive with MS Office and their behavior in China and just the constant flow of bull-lava that gushes from their volcanic throats is astounding and it’s simply time to stop.

As Austin Powers so cutely says. “Google BE-HAVE!”

At some point, no one will believe you, whether you’re as important as you think you are or not.

Paul Greenberg
The 56 Group, LLC
Paul Greenberg, the president of the 56 Group, LLC, is the author of the best-selling CRM at the Speed of Light: Essential Customer Strategies for the 21st Century, 3rd edition. Greenberg is co-chairman of Rutgers University's CRM Research Center and executive vice president of the CRM Association. His blog PGreenblog won both of the only two awards ever given to CRM blogs.


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