Saturday, August 21, 2021

Why google is one of the biggest failures in history (from my 2014 article)?

(Old articles being restored - an interim excerpt from my article first published in 2014)

(Note/ this is an initial outline and also needs some of the fact base ,e.g. $ figures to be updated )

Internal investments line Google apps, voice, wave, google docs, maps, google drive, phones, tablets., laptops, chromecast, chrome, Wallet, Google+ and external buys like YouTube, Motorola, Orkut To name a few have all been big failures . Had each been independent / standalone companies , then each of them would have been shut down long back either by shareholders/ venture capitals or sold at a throw away price.

The total one time investments in all the internal and external failed missions could easily top over $50 billion (since 2003, estimated). Excluding some if the tightly integrated acquisitions like Adsense or successful ones like android, google has spent a considerable amount of money as investment without returns. The last 5 year returns(profits) from these investment would not have crossed $10B ( after excluding operating costs) and will possibly never break even in the coming decade(s)

One of the few successes,  apart from the search,  that I can give credit to is Android and gmail. Although I am not fully convinced on how well has google has been monetizing it. Possibly helped increase search revenues.

Why has google failed so miserably? My guess is it is to do with the lack of leadership to define and execute a strategy. The founders are still hard running after the next big thing and the next level of management might not be groomed or empowered enough to play a pivotal role.

A well executed strategy involves 4 components - vision, definition of the strategy, execution and  People/leadership. Most of the failed initiatives /investments from Google started with a great vision. However, evidently, Google has failed in the remaining 3 components of it's strategy . Without going into who was the reason behind the failure, it clearly shows that the leadership element is found lacking in most of the above cases, if not all.

Well, it's not all scary about google. Investments like android, NEST and the robotic firms like Boston dynamics could pay off in the future.

PS: All the opinions expressed are personal and not

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