We miss opportunities. We screw up. And when things go way beyond control, we try to bailout!
Bailout is not bad; it seems to be the in thing all over the world. Isn’t it? Right from the Small businesses in Africa to the world strongest country; all have executed their lists of bailouts.
But the truth is bailouts don’t work in the long run. We just put our heads and money to delay the ultimate consequence. Hoping that if we put in more resources and bailout this time, probably the economy will have more time to resurrect. I believe this is something that even Google is practicing. Trying to fight back the Social Networking war which it has started losing grip on.
The whole world was supposed to go agog with the new Wave. We were supposed to declare that email is so out of fashion. We just Wave! Unfortunately that didn’t happen. Also there was growing fear from the social networking sites. Twitter was not ready to sell and Orkut dying a bloody death fighting Facebook.
So finally our “Do no evil” friend got into something which at least some of us can definitely term evil. Let see how Google approached this issue. But before that 2 simple things that were required to bounce back.
- Try to build something quick and cool to compete head-on with these sites.
- Ensure that it works and people don’t ‘Wave’ back to this too.
What comes immediately to the mind is Google Buzz. A Twitterish application that is simple to build and shows immediate results. But the final question that Google had to answer was “What can you do to ensure that you launch another damn social networking site and it’s still a hit?” Well, following could be the possible answers.
- Get millions of users free on the launch to use the product.
- Show that there are tons of connections and people are following each other.
- Get all the eyeballs attracted to the product whether they use it or not.
- Make people interact and use your service.
The above four rules are pretty obvious. The strategy was simple. But easier said than done, to execute such results would be an arduous task given that the entry now is much difficult than 5 years ago. Hence, this is the sleight of hand that Google unknowingly did.
- Get millions of users - Integrate Buzz into Gmail, whether they like it or not. This will ensure that they can have a press release saying xyz million users are already jumping on the Buzz.
- Connections - Connect people automatically. Don’t ask them. They will as it is network with a bunch of unknown guys, they won’t crib if you save them the effort of hitting the follow button.
- Get eyeballs attracted - Open up their profiles. Let the world know who they are following (even though they themselves don’t know about it). Follow the ones they email regularly (OMG such a bad assumption). Create some additional features above twitter and say twitter is so much less. (But I believe Twitter is much better)
- Interactions – Even this is handled without people interacting. Whatever I post on my business blog gets buzzed automatically. If I like something on Google Reader and share, it gets buzzed automatically. I never used buzz but there are good number of buzzes by me throwing URLs all around. If I want to stop doing that I need to dig into the settings and stop that, something that is not apparent.
These were the tricks that Buzz ended using. Will this work? For an outsider there are users, there are connections and there’s lots and lots of buzzing but does this add value? I have my own views. This is all less organic and more mechanical. Auto pilot type of stuff that people do on the internet. I believe Google has to come up with some solid ways rather than tricks.
Gmail was different. The only thing that came to our minds when we thought of emails was “More space”. Gmail completed that. It was slick, it was quick and it made sense. Buzz doesn’t have a dire need; neither is capable of creating one as yet.
Finally I would say I am one of those millions of fans that use Google services but this time Buzz didn’t create much buzz to me. I believe working more on Wave or trying to revamp Orkut was a better idea. Wasn’t it?