Techcrunch posted an interview with Google CEO Eric Scmidt, and Eric tells us what he thinks about being a one-trick pony.

Q: The biggest knock against Google is that it is a one-product company. how do you respond to that?

Schmidt: Google is a one-product company. It is called Google. We think about features, not products. People usually talk about text ads when they say that. While the vast majority of our revenues comes from text ads, there is no single large category of text ads or geography. It is well diversified. We serve text ads against content that is not searchable.

4 thoughts on “Nuttin’ But a G-Thang

  1. “Content that is not searchable?”

    Does he mean content that is not generated by search, or content that cannot be indexed in their listings? I’m confused. What content is inherently not searchable?

  2. I’m not sure what he meant by that. I think the important part of this quote, though, is how Schmidt differentiates between “products” and “features.” I think that’s exactly the kind of distinction that differentiates web apps from other forms of software.

  3. I’ve always thought of features as being components of a product. It can be (arguably) said Google offers 3 distinct products: AdSense, AdWords and Search. Whereas each has its own array of features that may be somewhat complimentary, the products themselves have little overlap in terms of application.

    When I buy a razor and shaving cream, they’re not 2 features of one product – they’re clearly 2 different products, however complimentary their function is. I need them to perform one task, but I can’t substitute one for the other.

    What Schmidt is saying sounds like new-agey Web2.5 marketing buzz. He’s reinventing the wheel by calling it a “diametric-spherical slice”.

    Well, maybe not. But I hardly think of Google as a one-product company anymore than I think of a woman as a one-service organism…at least, not anymore.

  4. I think what Schmidt was getting at was that “Google” is the product. What that product does, moreover, is index information — whether that’s for search, to serve relevant ads, or manage email.

    So the product is an information index, and it has a variety of features that that users can use to interact with information.

    More to the point, however, I think that this kind of approach to the product/feature hierarchy is something that’s distinctly web app. Take your shaving example: the shaving cream might be the product, but using a can as opposed to a brush is a feature.

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