Something in me switched this week regarding Google. We all know that no company can grow infinitely large in a rapid fashion without having massive communications failures that slow decision making down. Eventually companies become political messes that go nowhere.
I remember so many times that companies acquired so many others that no one in the organization knew who did what.
I spent the day with someone who consulted with Yahoo! for years and he explained the experience as a year of dealing with mediocre middle managers who couldn’t make a decision and when confronted with the idea of taking their competition head on, they responded that it wasn’t their way to do so.
The point is that Google will eventually fall into the same problems that have plagued other fast-growing companies in the past.
Tip: When your aisles look like Grand Central Station
it is time to reevaluate your growth plan.
What makes me think Google is at a dangerous point in its life? This morning I logged onto Google Adsense to see the traffic levels on certain parts of TMCnet. Google recently improved this site and now allows for multiple user accounts on one Adsense account.
I followed the directions on the site and tried to register an existing Google account on the service. This didn’t work and I received an error. I then decided to hit the browser’s back button and pretend I was the original person on the account.
When I did this, I entered into an infinite loop that never ended. I gave up.
Later in the day, I went to TMCnet and Google Gears flashed me a message telling me our site is asking to access Google Gears and it then asked me permission to allow it. I did and then checked with my web development team and they told me they get these messages at times as well for a variety of suites and we made no changes to our site to work with Gears.
What does all this tell me? Nothing conclusive but just that the growth Google has experienced is not translating into perfect business expansio. Let’s face it… Every company has problems scaling quickly… It is just until now, these problems were minimal and so many challenges in one day leads me to believe there is something bigger behind the scenes that needs addressing.
The author is a shareholder of Google and has seen countless tech companies grow quickly to a point of incompetence coupled with arrogance. He hopes Google gets any problems fixed quickly before they potentially spiral out of control.