Google on it’s way downhill?

Google has had a great run till now what with their innovations on monetizing their biggest strength – Search. There also has been a lot of talk on how the last slew of products coming out of Google have not hot the bull’s eye (maybe with the exception of Android and Chrome). We also have seen an exodus of talent from Google to its rival FaceBook and the lengths Google has gone to stop it.

Does all of this indicate the start of the decline of Google as the internet superpower ? Is there someone already in the making who can kill Google on its own turf – Search?

In my opinion in order to take on Google, just technological innovation alone will not suffice. What is needed is to kill the revenue model that they have has built up.

Can someone choke up the ad revenue that Google thrives on? It would be an interesting space to watch out for.

My opinion is that the next couple of years are crucial for Google and there will be multi-pronged attack on the Google’s revenue model by different companies (mostly start-ups including the FaceBooks and twitters of this world).

Can the giant killer emerge from India or the emerging economies? Only time will tell… 

Go-to-market strategies that can kill innovations

I think we can learn a lot from our own failures and also from how others around us fail. I would like to take a trip down my memory lane. Early in 2001, there was an interesting organization called iNabling Technologies founded in 1997 by John Aravamuthan. It also got a funding of  $3 million (B V Jagadeesh, Infinity Technology Investments, ICICI)

Making e-mail access affordable was the mission of Bangalore-based iNabling Technologies. The indigenously developed iStation was a low-cost e-mail device loaded with Engati software, which allows multiple language usage. The iNablers (as they call themselves) had also designed a POP server that costs one-tenth of a normal ISP server.

They had decided that apart from the consumer segment, they would also target Public Call Offices, where iStations can be installed to provide e-mail access at a nominal cost. STD/ISD booths have had remarkable success around India, so the idea of converting Public Call Offices into Public Email Offices was interesting.

They had a good working product providing a much in-demand service at a fraction of the current cost. However, they could not survive in the market for long. This was not because their product got obsolete, but because they were not able to sell their devices.

My understanding of the trouble was that the company hired people from the telecom industry who were ingrained in the philosophy of pushing stock to distrubutors and let them take care of the further downstream channel.

This approach did not work for the following reasons:

  1. The distributors (typically, the telecom distributors) were in no position to sell a niche product.
  2. No body spent time to build a brand around the product for the channel.
  3. Combination of the above lead to the situation that there was demand in the market (early adopters) but no one was there to explain the working of the product to these early adopters. They lost interest in the product and that was the doom of the product.

This is not an isolated instance where the wrong go-to-market approach can kill a good product in the market.

So, pls choose your partners carefully.

Have fun !!!

Are you an “18 second manager” ?

Today, I listened to an interesting video on listening skills by Tom Peters.

Hope you enjoy listening to this and learn from the video !!!

Are you an 18 second Manager ?

Anti-creativity list

I was browsing for some interesting videos and found one – “The Anti Creativity list”.

Very interesting compilation…

The question we need to ask ourselves is this :- Are we one of the guys who use this list in our day-to-day work ?