Google is one of the most impressive if not the most impressive technology company of the last decade. However, Google has been continually pussyfooting around for at least the last few years. I have three examples; all of them bold bets that could significantly change the way people interact on a daily basis, yet instead of storming the beach, Google is dipping it’s toes in the water.
1) Google Express: Same day delivery for the majority of daily grocery/necessary items. The successful implementation of the above concept will eliminate one of the few remaining hurdles into the destruction of brick and mortar retail stores. The urgency factor of shopping would be eliminated and now Google would effectively be able to compete with Amazon. I have used the service in San Francisco and it is great. Prices are fair, delivery is often within hours, the delivery is correct and drivers are friendly.
However, I have spoken with somebody who handles logistics for the drivers on Google Express and all employees have signed agreements that if Google does not think they can compete with Amazon on Google Express then the product will immediately be shut down and everybody will be fired. All employees must agree not to sue if this happens. Google is throwing in the towel from day 0 while only beta testing the product in 2 markets.
2) Google Helpouts. A team of over 40 led by one of the original top Google employees Udi Manber, have been working on this product for over a year. The premise is bold, that anybody can help out anybody, skills, classes, whatever and whenever all over online video chat. Imagine the possibilities, you are cooking a dinner for your girlfriend and you pay $5 over hangout for a live as you cook tutorial from a chef on exactly how to prepare the dinner. Neither of you had to leave your homes or travel anywhere.
3) Google Glass. I ordered a pair and like almost everybody else returned it. They sucked. Even Google employees have stopped wearing them. All the talk about partnerships, improvements, app stores, and yet only marginal differences in a period of over a year. Instead of focusing on creating a great wearable product that would augment our daily lives, Google has been wrapped up in privacy concerns, security features, and is moving at Microsoft like speed. A bold idea most definitely, but it looks like Google is swimming in the shallow section instead of the deep end like these guys: Meta .
As a consumer, and an avid Google user, please Uncle Larry step up your moonshot game.