After fucking up their core search business in favour of ghost-town Facebook clone, Robert Scoble+, innovationally stunted advertising megacorp, Google, have decided to have a crack at destroying part of their other global success: Android.
If it aint broke, don’t fix it, Mountain View.
So now that Google are (illegally) combining their privacy policies into one so your browsing habits can be tracked across their online estate far more aggressively and you can be bombarded with far more increasingly creepy adverts, Google wants to bring together all of your book readin’, app downloadin’ and movie watchin’ into one giant, behaviour-sucking place. They’re calling it Google Play. Which is also broken, straight away.
Beleaguered mobile device maker, Research in Motion (RIM), launched the “PlayBook” tablet last year to a very confused public. Why were they confused? RIM is famous for the Blackberry phone, with its email services and businessperson kudos. So what the hell were they doing releasing something so obviously consumer orientated that it was called PlayBook?
It turned out to be a flop, mostly because it didn’t even support the email and messaging services that made RIM a
household boardroom name. It was a confusing message, it was too disruptive. Don’t get me wrong, disruption is a good thing, but it needs to be a step forward (and not remove the features you’re famed for!) and for the right reasons.
I.e. Not just a thinly veiled attempt to soak up more information about you to make cold, hard cash.
It’s all about Trust
The problem with Google is that it is turning into Microsoft circa 1998. The one mighty and respected company is getting very big for its boots and ignoring its customers over trying to make profit.
Right now, as we move to a world where everything is done and stored on the Internet (AKA, The Cloud) people are becoming increasingly savvy about who they trust with their information. People now have options. From Amazon EC2, iCloud, Dropbox, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace and others, the differentiator isn’t going to be who gives you the most freebies, but who gives your data the most respect.
It really, truly is all about trust.
That’s why Google turning its back on its users is so critically important and can’t be overlooked. That’s why Amazon’s little lie down in 2011 got so much coverage in the technology press; despite that article – for every business customer out there, there are 50 private customers ready to be wowed (or pissed off) by your cloud company – not everybody has backup infrstructure. It’s also why Microsoft’s Windows Azure outage on Leap Day 2012 was so unfortunate: Microsoft really are trying very hard to be the good guys on the Cloud.
Why are Google trying so very hard to be the bad guys?
The trust relationship was very tense after you started to force RobertScoble+ on us all, even if we didn’t want him. It reached breaking point when your conjoined privacy plan exposed you as the money-grubbers you are. And now, hot on the heels of that PR calamity and others, is the rebranding of a trusted mobile device App Store.
It’s all just getting a bit much. GoogleExposed has put it, “Help! Google Has Fallen And It Can’t Get Back Up!“.
If You Don’t Have a Solution, You’re Part of the Problem
What does Google need to do? The solution is a weird one: They need to start charging for their services.
If you’re even slightly concerned for your privacy, or if you’re just never going to click on an advert on Google and want them to go away, Google could offer a $1/month no-ads package that means you don’t get tracked, you don’t get shown ads, but you do get to run wild around Google’s ample, multicoloured digital fairground.
Google still gets their greenbacks. You still get their services (which are good, let’s face it. They’re a multi-billion-dollar company for a reason). But the advertisers don’t get their hands on you and your info!
And for people like me, who have suffered the sharp pointy oblivion served to less-important AdWords customers, I would gladly pay a fiver to get my questions answered. My AdWords account activated, and the odd quid here or there from fine folks like you to keep this place running.
I’d even stretch a ten-spot to feel like a valued customer.
There’s your Universal Selling Point, Google. Be the one Cloud company who puts your customer first. Treats them like gold.
Be the Good Guys again! And then your customers really will want to “Play” with Google.