Google is Coming Out with the Meaning of Life

May 10, 2006 - Get free updates of new posts here

More and more great ideas are getting shot down because large companies could do it. The title reflects that eventually Google could do this but will they? The phrase you hear most related to this is:

“(insert big company here) can easily create (whatever you are working on here).”

Pretty much anything can be done by these companies. The question most people neglect is:

  • How long will it take them to come out with it?
  • Is it really a priority for them to do this?
  • What things can you do that won’t fit in with their company?

An example of this is Box.net, a site my friends Dylan and Aaron created which does online storage. I am not saying its the best or worst site but people speculate for days that Google is doing Gdrive and Microsoft is doing LiveDrive and I haven’t seen anything yet.
My best suggestion is to just do what you want to do and don’t worry about the big guy. You have advantages they don’t: speed, no politics and no pressure. A great example is YouTube which launched early and fast and is still the #1 video site post Google Video launch.

The one thing to be aware of is the other little guys competing against you…

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7 responses to “Google is Coming Out with the Meaning of Life

  1. Raphael Kang Reply

    I’ve been a Box.net customer for months, and it’s better than all the other online storage services out there. I’ll stay a loyal Box.net customer unless Google or MS comes out with a FREE service which is just as stable.

  2. Matt Estes Reply

    I think another part of that mentality is a product of a “winner take all” world. Just because Google, MS, and others(big or small) dupe your product doesn’t mean that you you will lose. Small groups have the ultimate advantage: it doesn’t take much profit to be “wildly” successful.

    Of course, this is a from a guy who is working in a 2 person “startup” that is writing, among other things, a personal information manager(the most crowded product space of all time, ever, and yeah, I do know that groupware is bad…)

    On a completely unrelated note, I just discovered this blog a few weeks ago, and I’ve been enjoying it immensely, keep up the good work.

  3. Tara 'Miss Rogue' Hunt Reply

    Totally nailed it Noah.

    I wrote about this a little while back as well in my “Why the Small Shall Overcome” post.

    Big companies are not only not prioritizing this stuff et al, but they are also:

    1. clueless when it comes to community

    2. slow to change (why fix what ain’t broke)

    3. not paying attention to the little guys anyway.

    Think Technorati vs. Google Blogsearch as well. 😉 Yeah, Google finally prioritized it, but blogsearch really sux.

    T.

  4. Russell D'Sa Reply

    Yup, totally agree Noah. Actually Paul Graham highlights your point at the end in one of his essays: pay more attention to the little guys (which one is often unaware of) with the same ideas as you!

    I remember watching a demo of Healthline (vertical search) over @ MSFT and one guy in the crowd asked him, “What if Google is working on this thing already?” (which according to Marissa, they will be rolling it out soon)

    The guy responded, “If I think about whether Google was doing what I’m doing every time I have a new idea, I wouldn’t be starting any companies…”