Google's nice and tame? (November 4, 2005)

Dvorak wrote recently about Google and suggests that nice guys can win in big business, that Google is just a bunch of friendly, creative guys who stumbled by chance on unfathomably large amounts of money:

I've pondered this and I think it is purely by the company's seemingly nonaggressive and pleasant nature. The people at Google present themselves as public servants. They aren't making public denunciations of the competition or saying they'll crush the competition, the way Steve Ballmer does.

Also, the company doesn't necessarily "go after" anyone--or so it seems. Maybe someone can show me contrary evidence.

Google certainly does go after competitors, just like Microsoft. Leaving aside the obvious example of their search engine, go ask anyone who bid for a contract to implement San Francisco's upcoming wireless network. Google offered to do it for free, taking a monetary hit in order to position themselves in control a particular network. If that's not a predatory tactic, what is?

Anyway, I share Dvorak's mysticism that Google gets treated as nice and innocent and friendly while Microsoft is treated as the devil. In the computer world, Google is the Xerox or IBM or Microsoft of today, the thousand pound gorilla that can buy out whoever it pleases and who can afford to hire all the day's bright minds. I suspect the reason people react to Google so fondly is simply that Google doesn't (yet?) have vice grips directly applied to too many folks right now....

Lex Spoon