Friday, October 14, 2005

For startups, Google is the new Microsoft?

Dare Obasanjo posts some parting thoughts on the Web 2.0 conference, including that is seems that:
Google has replaced Microsoft as the company that Silicon Valley companies love to hate because it enters nascent markets and dominates them.
We at Findory have experienced this firsthand. I have been surprised to hear VCs tell us that they wouldn't fund Findory because it eventually might compete against Google.

But I think Dare overstates things by casting Google as the new bogeyman. The rapid rate of Web 2.0 innovation, some of which is coming from the search giants, creates uncertainty and risk. Some fear that uncertainty, some embrace it.

See also my previous posts, "Yahoo and being underfoot" and "Sucking up the talent".


Mind Valley said...

Hi Greg. I completely agree with you. I am in the same boat as you since I have a startup ( that is also very close to Google's turf.

I have heard the same questions and same reactions many times. However, I think just because Google is right next door is not a good reason to stop innovating and to stop embracing change.

Anonymous said...

Interesting Blog. As another guy with a startup, I'll state it more strongly.

If we all listened to the VC lemmings nobody would do anything interesting. These are smart guys put in charge of money beyond their abilities, and they really have no clue about where things are headed. Don't be suckered into believing they have any insights into your markets - all they may help with is some contacts. I've been lucky to avoid them altogether with both my companies, but my friends have done deals with VCs and most now regret it.

As for Google, they and more importantly their aura will blow up soon enough - these guys are way over their head. I do think they are playing this well in terms of their culture of small teams, freedom, etc. But once you get hyped way beyond your capability, bursting bubbles ensure nasty endings.

None of this means it wil be easy for us. These seem like pretty good times even with the overhyped Google around (in some cases because of it), so best to make the most of it.