Google Anti Trust or in Google We Trust?

Been seeing a trend this week that forces are turning against Google, or at least, acknowledging that Google has become too powerful (strange, I’ll be at Google NYC next Thursday for SEMPO NY @ Google: Data Stories , an event I helped create, along with Sara Holoubek ) with Andy Beal‘s post on Government is Going Through the Motions with Google/Apple Antitrust Inquiry and Google: A ‘natural monopoly’? – which I thought was a pretty good post because it questioned weather having a monopoly was bad, maybe it’s good, in some cases, according to James B. Stewart’s article in the Wall Street Journal

“Google’s continued gains in market share bear out my contention that Google is that rare breed: the natural monopoly. By natural, I also mean lawful, since the monopoly derives from Google’s skill and qualities inherent in the business, not from anti-competitive behavior.”

Adds Stewart: “I sometimes get the sense that antitrust regulators, in their single-minded zeal to promote competition, ignore the fact that monopolies, in and of themselves, aren’t illegal, or even necessarily bad.”

So go ahead. Call Google a monopoly. But the government hasn’t turned up anything untoward yet. And whatever Google’s doing, it’s making it very hard – for now – for anyone to unseat it from its throne. “

Google countered that it’s not really a monopoly because it has just a small share of the advertising market…

“..Google has been arguing that it isn’t a monopolist because the market is much broader than search, or search advertising. (Pointing to a report by Cowen & Co. that says Google has just 3% of the global advertising market if you count things like billboards and radio, Google says it is only a bit player.)”

But I don’t think the word for Google is monopoly (which if you read past this point, you’ll see that I’m coming to support, but for different reasons than anyone else I know), rather, Google is it’s own “Economy”, self contained -with it’s own ability to regulate it’s prices, not based on competition (because it has no “real” competition in search) but it’s own stock price and quarterly reports – it’s the same kind of stranglehold the United States has with the Dollar in international markets, where most oil money is transferred back to dollars (as best as I understand this – and I’m no banker – thank god for that!).  However, in reporting declines in revenue, bear in mind, Google controls much of even that decline they reported on Thursday in Google Press Day, Live

…..Cost per click decline: 10Q showed a 14% CPC decline, asked to comment. Eric says they won’t comment much beyond the public statements.

To me, The Google Economy is an argument for regulation – not because Google isn’t better than it’s competitors, it is, it’s more that Google is so good, so big, meaningful competition, which our economics health is based on, can no longer emerge coming of search (organic or marketing).   Right now, any new competitor that had a viable technology would either be stroked into the Google Circle, acquired, or totally ignored.

Google Press Day, Live covered by Michael Arrington at TechCrunch showed more ways that Google is looking to dominate in the future, by …

Monetization of social networks: “we’ve learned a lot about how to monetize this inventory, we believe there are ways to monetize over time but different from search because by nature different from search.” Says they’ve been working on how to serve those ads differently, talks about ads in activity streams.

Google and Twitter: Marissa says lots of interesting things happening. Interesting from a search perspective. Some overlap with google trends. “we’re interested in being able to add microblogging into search, but no specific plans.”

Actually, I figured out what needs to be done – let’s not counter Google, or discourage it, since it actually is better at a lot of things it chooses to go after, lets’ become more like Google.

Here’s what I mean, and I wrote about it in a post I wrote from my iPhone recently on Being Clear

….. It’s almost as if, being present, mindful, alert, yet relaxed, at the very same moment, is that optimal “zone” from which to operate out of.

Steps to reach that place might be different for each person; tried to mentally note what did it for me.

Analytics work can often be full of dry and tedious, diagnostic details and procedures, and I suspect, the very nature of Analytics might interfear with creativity; but in some cases, it enhances it.

Let me put it another way, why does Google excel so much?

Is it just the search algorithm and vision of the founders?   I don’t think so.   I think it has a lot to do with the free time and fun that employees are encouraged to have – their creativity is “harvested” for Google’s benefit and the employees benefit as well- tangibly, every day – not just in stock, but in quality of life.

Right now, most companies work on the Shareholders and Investors benefiting – and Employees are encouraged to own stock – that’s it.  The big cats on top and institutional investors benefit, and the workers just get poorer and poorer.

What Google did,- make working for them fun and rewarding – now people are leaving Google, more and more, to go found their companies, or go work for Facebook or Twitter, the new kids on the block (even there, Google found a way to benefit – see CNet’s  Contrarian Google launches investment fund).

I maintain, we should not bother to compete with Google in their natural monopoly, but instead, learn from Google, and become like them in how Employees are treated.  Like I said earlier, employment needs to move from using the worker (at-hire surf who works their way up the ladder if they’re lucky) to a relaxed, alert worker to finds rewards to work for the company – real rewards, not just a few extra bucks a week – quality of life rewards that lead to ..

…..being present, mindful, alert, yet relaxed, at the very same moment, is that optimal “zone” from which to operate out of.

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