Today Google’s Eric Schmidt talked of the Gang of Four and the fact that Google “screwed up” (Eric Schmidts’ words) on social networking.
Schmidt, Google’s chairman and previous CEO, admits that he screwed up with social networking and failed to recognise the important of Facebook early on and also failed to work with them.
He went on to talk about the Gang of Four and how they dominate the web today. The Gang of Four are Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook. Between them they cover most of the Internet and although there is some overlap they really are all strongest in their own segment of the market.
“Facebook has done a number of things which I admire. Facebook is a great site to spend time with your friends”. – Eric Schmidt.
The technology sector is still relatively young and change is rapid and often unexpected. Google is still working on moving into the social networking market. The LinkedIn IPO proved that there is still a lot of demand for shares in Internet businesses. Facebook is thought to be next in line with an IPO in 2012.
Google have been working on their own social networking platform for a while but their approach is (rumoured) to be an attempt to combine all their current sites and services into a unified system. Facebook does not really provide anything that Google does not already do, but Facebook offer all their services under one roof, Google is fragmented and many people are not aware of the services it provides.
Maybe Google has spent too many years focusing just on search. It is still the dominant search engine and it is hard to see how any other company will replace Google in that arena but some critics believe that Google could be left behind on the wider Internet in the future due to its focus on search. People use Google to get somewhere, that place is often Facebook.
Google was founded in 1998 and had its IPO in 2004. It offers a huge array of services, although most people consider it just a search engine.