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Has Google lost its way?

from the wall of Buck's Restaurant in Woodside, CA
Steve Jurvetson
from the wall of Buck's Restaurant in Woodside, CA

What is Google's business plan? The company, fueled by its successful search engine, seems to be going off in a zillion different directions: Android, Youtube, Gmail, Voice, Maps, Blogger, Picasa, and Docs, just to name a few. Many Google products are given away for free. 

Analysts have recently noted Google's expenditures are rising faster than its revenues. This comes as no surprise to our technology commentator, Strategic News Service publisher Mark Anderson. It reinforces what he said about Google in his list of predictions for 2011.

Here's what Mark predicted last December:

Google Loses Its Way, failing to answer the critical question: “What Business Am I In?” even as Android, Google Phone, and e-ditions prosper (mostly without revenues). The company will be perceived as confused and unable to develop or support long-term strategy. Is this death by a thousand profitless successes?

Why has Google lost its way? Mark says the company began with a search engine, but no real business plan. Now, it needs to focus on what it can do best and not try to do everything.

How would Mark answer the "what business am I in" question for Google? Google has developed strong expertise in mapping and Geo applications, and Mark says that's a direction he thinks the company should focus on.

Dave Meyer has been anchoring KNKX news shows since 1987. He grew up along the shores of Hood Canal near Belfair and graduated from Washington State University with degrees in communications and psychology.
Mark Anderson is the CEO of the Strategic News Service® (SNS), SNS was the first subscription-based newsletter on the Internet, and is read by Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Mark Hurd, and industry leaders and investors in computing and communications worldwide. Mark is the founding chair of the Future in Review® (FiRe) Conference, which the Economist has labeled “the best technology conference in the world,” as well as of SNS Project Inkwell, the first global consortium to address technology design changes for one-to-one computing in classrooms. He is the founder of two software companies, a hedge fund, and the Washington Technology Industry Association “Fast Pitch” investment forum, Washington’s premier technology investment conference.