Friday, June 01, 2007

[muse] Google Gear

Two thought-provoking posts, from The Read/Write Web and The Motley Fools, well, provoked some thoughts:

1) "Does Google Gear add value to the company?"

To me, Google is a company that makes money from advertising, using search.

But, in order to search (and subsequently make money from search), it needs data.

Google is already the clear winner in many forms on online data -- and expanding all the time.

But, for a vareity of reasons, people still like to keep data offline on their local disk. Hence Word, Excel, Outlook. Tons and tons of data there.

So in order to get their hands on those data, they build Google Gear -- If they built a killer app using Google Gear, they will have access to all offline data managed by it. Maybe it's GMail, maybe it's Google Office. And if someone else built a killer app using Google Gear, why, they'll just buy it.

And that, to me, is a consistent expansion of their strategy -- They've started reaching for offline data with Picasa and Google Desktop. Google Gear is the platform from which they can try to take the rest of pie.

2) "Is offline data relevant in the future?"

Well, let's see. Remember that big hype about "paperless office?" "Once we have everything automated and computerized, we won't need paper anymore!"

And, I am, personally, in fact, 99.5% paperless. But I look around my office, and it's paper everywhere.

Who knows if offline data will really disappear like casette tapes, or if it will stick around like paper. But there's plenty of offline data to be had today, and, Google's got a deep pocket.

If I were Google, I'd hedge my bet and build Google Gear.