Good Succeeds by Creating Useful Products


Google, Inc.

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An old friend from Excite@Home, Jeff Huber was quoted in the NY Times on Google's product marketing strategy and the issue of data privacy:

"We do have a philosophy that our products should speak for themselves. We tend not to make a lot of noise," said Jeff Huber, senior vice president for engineering at Google.

As always with Google, the price point is appealing: zero, if you don't count the amount of personal data that I am trading for all that utility. With Google, it is always simple, and any engineer will tell you that simple is hard. There had been a lot of talk within Google about creating video chat as a PC-only application, a much easier endeavor for the company, but it would not have been simple for the consumer.

If Google owns me, it's probably because I am in favor of what works.

"I'm glad to hear it," said Eric E. Schmidt, the chief executive of Google, who was in New York last week. "We want a little bit of Google in many parts of your life."

Mission accomplished, at least on my desktop, but I asked Mr. Schmidt if I shouldn't be worried that I am putting all of my digital eggs in one multicolored, goofy-lettered basket.

"That depends on what you think of our company and our values," he said. "Do you believe we have good values?"

Mr. Schmidt seems nice enough, but I sometimes wonder if I will come to regret the easier, softer road I have chosen. A record of my surfing lives on its servers for 18 months --- not by name, but still. Google continues to insist that my IP address is not me, but a motivated government with a subpoena in hand could find me, lots of me, on Google's servers.

Most data privacy experts would call me a fool to index my life into any one company so deeply, and diversification in all matters is just common sense.

Mr. Huber countered that I am free to come and go as I wish.

"The nice thing is that we don't force you to use only our stuff," he said. "It is not tied tightly together, and the content is all easily exportable. If you feel like we are letting you down, or you don't like our products or we are failing to innovate, you can pick up and go where you want."

From The Media Equation - Google Seduces With Utility - NYTimes.com
Referenced Mon Nov 24 2008 07:04:42 GMT-0700 (MST)

Interesting when your SVP of engineering is speaking about your marketing strategy to the Times.