Monday, July 28, 2008

Jason Calacanis: Your only hope is that Google will kill you last

I don't think Google has been a search-only company since Gmail.

But I also don't think there can ever be another Microsoft. They filled a temporary vacuum left by IBMs battle with the Justice Department. The PC landscape was unexplored and Microsoft (as much as I'd like to see their worm-eaten remains blasted into the sun) was wise enough to play the part of Tonya Harding in the world of PC software.

There is no loyalty on the Internet though, and switching from one web-based tool to another is trivial. Microsoft has only its own dysfunctional bully-boy culture to blame for not being a player. Nobody wants to do business with an asshole, but some do, just to stay in business. The bad experience is remembered for a long long time. As Google grows into more areas of business it will be harder for them to convince people that they are not evil. They have a long way to go to catch up with Microsoft (and even Apple) though. They also have a long way to go before they compete with Wikipedia. I expect Knol will for a long time offer more authoritative coverage of a few subject areas, but will not (at least for a long long time) have the breadth of coverage Wikipedia does.

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