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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Kraneland Says Stop Thinking Inside the Box

If David Krane puts the kibosh on the Google Cube chatter, then it's not true for sure.

That leaves the lingering question: just what *will* Google announce this Friday? I'll bet it's more interesting to some of us, and less interesting to others, than the little cheap computer idea.

For me, I couldn't give a hoot about the little cheap computer idea - so "inside the box" you have to think Google wouldn't want to do it. After all, they don't wanna solve "already solved problems." This is why Google also won't offer an even cheaper version of the X10 camera, for example (nor a free version in exchange for you giving up all your privacy - but I digress).

A rule of thumb: if Corel tried it, Google probably won't. So far, we've seen a lot of speculation about "things Google might do" that parallel "things Corel did, that flopped." Java office suites, "thin computing"... what's next, maybe a popular graphics program!?

Also, is it just me, or has this Cringely character been wrong about a lot of stuff lately? Hot on the heels of misinterpreting the Google AdWords quality scoring method and making predictions about big and little Google boxes and cubes, he's now saying that PPC advertising is destroying traditional publishing. Well... if it was that inefficient, it didn't need any help.

Worse than traditional publishing: dot com bubble print publishing that leverages traditional brand-marketer inertia. Did you see that full-page ad in Wired, the one with no call to action, no photo, no nothing, just a blank page with a SubZero logo? Guess the bubble people are getting new fridges this year. Unless SubZero is making computers, or cars, or lava lamps. The ad didn't say.

If we seem obsessed with Google here, we might be excused -- it's my professional life. But for a journalist like Cringely, I surely hope 2006 holds letting go of the Google obsession and thinking about something ... anything... else.

Now it's off to enjoy the very first wash of the year with a spanking new dishwasher. Not made by Google. Nor SubZero either. Rhymes with "wosch." Buy now!

Posted by Andrew Goodman




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