Google Dreams Big

Greg Linden’s blog entry on the Google Analyst day [via IP] is nice both because it includes a link to the presentation, and because Greg makes some thoughtful comments based on the notes that were in the ppt that was originally published before Google replaced it with a PDF:

Google is hosting an analyst day today. I found skimming the 94 slide presentation (PPT, PDF alternative) to be interesting and worthwhile.

In particular, I liked slide 19, 20, and 31, all of which makes it clear that Google isn’t losing its wide-eyed optimism.

Slide 31 says that Google’s philosophy to new product development is “no constraints” and that they initially ignore “CPU power, storage, bandwidth, and monetization.”

Slide 20 says (in the notes) that Google plans to “get all the worlds information, not just some.”

And slide 19 (in the notes) talks about how their work is inspired by the idea of “a world with infinite storage, bandwidth, and CPU power.” They say that “the experience should really be instantaneous”. They say that they should be able to “house all user files, including: emails, web history, pictures, bookmarks, etc and make it accessible from anywhere (any device, any platform, etc)” which leads to a world where “the online copy of your data will become your Golden Copy and your local-machine copy serves more like a cache”. And, they say that they want “transparent personalization” that uses user “data to transparently optimize the user’s experience … implicitly.”

From my personal interactions with Google’s execs, with I completely agree that Google is sincere in this vision, and really is thinking big. But whether it’s Google who builds this platform or someone else, or whether it’s a tapestry woven collectively by many companies and projects, the vision that they lay out is one that we seem to be moving inexorably towards, barring the collapse of civilization as we know it. (Insert your disaster here.)

Also responding to the Analyst day presentation, I received an insightful message from Kris Tuttle of Research 2.0 in email, focusing more narrowly on the financial implications of the presentation. Kris noted:

For investors there are only two areas to pay attention to:

1. How well the advertising infrastructure platform of AdWords/AdSense expands into multi-mode, multi-channel capability. The existing platform has done a fantastic job in the online CPC model. Google in the process of generalizing the infrastructure to work across multiple online and offline networks and more types of content and monetization models. This ties in with other product efforts like Local and Mobile but essentially everything else Google does from a product standpoint is not very important to investors. Debates over the quality of Earth versus Mail verus Talk versus Base versus Maps are not worth the effort. This is where all the money is.

2. Growth in International is a key proof point for the underlying assumptions behind the business model and the ability for management to execute the strategy. Each geography may be very different in specifics but in general the success Google has or doesn’t have internationally will indicate whether their expansion is going to continue or not.

All the rest is just so much noise and there is plenty of it given the intense interest and scrutiny for this company.