I used to like Google, because they were a wonder company that made money offering the BEST search engine, without having lots of ads popping up. In my opinion they're still good on this one today, and have not changed tack in it (they've even added features to it, without cluttering it.)
That said... I now think people have given them too much money. They're now a company that's a comparable size to Apple! People have thrown a lot of money at them as they've been seen as being the new "good" company, but now I think they're turning into just another big, evil company that's trying to outstretch itself.
Some opinionated examples include:
- Introducing Android, and then cannibalising their partners by producing the Nexus (without even touching the iPhone's market share... in my view they're just hurting smaller companies by using their "good" image and bottomless marketing funds to drown the market.) Oh and they stole both names from Bladerunner... who's the geek who did that?
- Their business model completely disrespects intellectual property (i.e. content is free for them to index and make money out of... their focus is on making free cash using other people's content.)
- Chrome... just isn't going to kill IE or Firefox, it's crushing the smaller browsers (also it uses Apple's code... it's basically a re-badged safari with a new GUI.) I think Google should have instead pumped money into Firefox.
- Adsense/Adwords... both become stingier by the day... giving less back to Adsense advertisers, and charging Adwords customers more. Both models are notoriously secretive regarding their billing practices.
- Images/Video... while useful... just use other people's images as stock images, and waste their bandwidth.
- Google's spiders spam forums! They sign up (adding hundreds of new 'fake' users) and simply sit around wasting your bandwidth by caching your entire site 24/7.
- They provide meals...etc at work. This is internet startup code for "you can't go home and have dinner with your wife/kids..." subtly evil. I don't want dinner at work thanks!
Personally I think Google has gone way beyond being the next "cool" company. People have thrown a LOT of money at them, hoping they could smash Microsoft's dominance, but instead I'm inclined to think they're basically a small Microsoft now. To me both companies are VERY similar because they both have 1 core product that makes all their money (namely Windows and Adwords.) Since both have monopolies, they can screw customers as much as they like, and use their profits to enter just about any market they like with little financial risk.
Both can (and do) shove 5 billion at markets, simply for penetration, squash all of the small/independent players (or buy/absorb them) and then claim success. I'm sick of Google and very tempted to switch to Bing, just because I already know M$ is a beast of a company, and can't get much bigger. I'm also not going anywhere near the Android, Nexus or Chrome... no thanks! Instead I buy phones made by phone companies (this does not include Apple by the way... although I have an iPod Touch... it's cool.)
Any thoughts? Am I just a crazy ranter? Probably Oh well...