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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Me, Too

I got interested in tech stocks and search engines well before I ever did a lick of business, and years before launching this site, as a certifiable, bona fide tech stock discussion (and sometimes trading) fanatic. As such, I tried everything as it came out: Motley Fool, Raging Bull, Silicon Investor, etc. One of my greater moments was shorting Zitel, a "Y2K stock," down to zero. A total scam, Zitel promised to fix companies' mission-critical Cobol problems better than the other Y2K companies could, because they had a "mobile code remediatin' something-or-other." Company insiders were seen proudly standing beside what looked like a big guitar amp with wheels on it.

So needless to say, I've used Yahoo Finance for a long time, and always appreciated its charms.

Though I haven't owned shares of anything for a few years, I am still excited about Google's new Finance offering. Rob Carrick's meticulous review reveals that the product is pleasing in that Free Prize Inside sense, doing a lot of little things better (soft innovation). Building a better product isn't always about having a better idea, it's about steady innovation, as Microsoft proved with Office and as Yahoo proved with products like Yahoo Mail. Now, Google's following on these trends.

As David Vise pointed out some time ago, Google is, in essence, a traditional Silicon Valley powerhouse. Google Finance shows depth, if not the kind of spark we might mistakenly confuse for improvement.

Like Matt Cutts, I like the search feature. It's the kind of "aaaah" feeling you look for in a technology product. The relief I felt in using GMail's superior and fast searchability (as compared with Yahoo's slower one), and G's Desktop Search, which gets everything to you fast (far better than Windows).

I almost always seem to search "wrong" with other Finance apps, winding up on two or three screens. Typing "Tucows," (a smaller company now traded on the Amex) brings up the correct company finance page... not even an annoying menu of options. Cool. I *do* feel lucky.

P.S. One feature many may not have noticed is that you can also pull up a summary page on private companies. I'm not sure, but I think it only works for U.S. companies. I'm guessing they're pulling from as many databases as they can, and will continue to build that out.

Posted by Andrew Goodman




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