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What happens when Google becomes “evil?”

So, I have a question that I thought about a little today. What happens when Google becomes “evil” – that’s what I want to know. By evil, I mean a company people think of in the same way people now think of Wal-Mart. Do I need another example? Maybe I can think of one more tomorrow. But notice how it’s politically correct to be against these “big companies” who *caugh* make a profit and do things well?

I’ve noticed a bit of this recently with Google. Ever so slightly. Is Google too good for it’s own good? Now that the company has gone public, has introduced a bunch of new web utilities recently, and appears to do everything with perfection, will we notice public perception turning away from Google (that’s what I mean by evil).

Ok, here’s another one: Fox News. It has a really bad reputation. People call it the “Evil Fox News” and a lot of people can’t stand to watch it. Probably because of its conservative slant (is that so wrong?) and it’s slogan which says “we report, you decide.” This grabs people different ways. Notice though that Fox News is the leader in the cable tv news market. If it’s so popular, why do people say they hate it?

I’m getting distracted by my examples. My point is this… I’ve detected that Google has perhaps tipped and I wanted to see if anybody else was getting this vibe, as well? Google’s created this perfect brand image that says “we do everything right” and I’m guessing people will be dissapointed one of these days.

By Chris Tingom

Principal of Tornado Design, a Phoenix, AZ based web consultancy

8 replies on “What happens when Google becomes “evil?””

Don’t forget Fox’s other slogan “Fair and Balanced” 🙂

Also, did you ever see the Howard Stern movie that came out a number of years back? Basically they said that the average Howard Stern fan listed for 30min a day (numbers approx) and the average Howard Stern detractor listened for 1.5-2 hours a day, just to hear what he will say next.

I think a lot of liberals watch Fox News just to see what they are saying…. and possibly for a laugh 😉

I don’t know. I think most everyone just uses Google for a search engine, and they don’t really follow up on everything they do. Google.com is a pretty sparse, unobtrusive page. It doesn’t get in your way, and there are no freaky smiley faces that roll back prices, like Wall-Mart. However, I do think it’s sad that google is getting bigger and losing some of its “Google-ness.” I think as the company grows and progresses, it will be filled with a lot of pointy-haired managers and office politics, and that will detract from Google’s character.

Yeah. Pointy haired bosses. They are the down-fall that makes every corporation become “evil”. Because of them, people become dis-illusioned and start working at the bare minimum required to keep their job.

So yeah. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if it happened to Google… I mean, they have so many expectations that they have set themselves up for, inevitably they are going to crack. It’s just a matter of when.

“Money is the root of all evil”. And now that they’re public, they have to make tons of money to keep all their shareholders happy.
Thus: google = evil
eventually, anyways.

The academically dominant politic of envy say that success is bad – if it’s not me that’s being successful, then let’s get the government involved to redistribute some of that wealth.

The reasons that the companies you mention aren’t liked are different – Walmart, usually because they have displaced smaller merchants in the communities they come to. Fox News – simply because it presents a slightly different viewpoint than most other news programs. I’ll mention another that is often hated: Microsoft. Perhaps simply because they have been successful, but maybe because they’ve worked enough exclusive deals with sales channels to be simply the only option that most customers see for software – see Windows or Office in the corporate world.

I just don’t see the same kind of thoughts directed at Google – though they are financially successful, it is simply because their products/services are clearlier better than the competition. I think they’ve kept the pointy-haird quotient down by hiring mostly geeky PhDs to drive product development. They also offer one day a week to all employees to pursue their own innovations or personal project ideas, thus giving a lot of freedom and fostering a culture that may produce the next killer app. And they don’t have a foothold on the user’s computer to dominate their perspective of what might be available for options – you have to go to google.com to use any of their services when your browser homepage is set by default to msn.com!

I personally haven’t observed any negative public perception about Google – only thoughts that their stock may be overvalued like many startups of the Internet bubble.

And Tommy, that’s a misquote, though common. The original is “the LOVE of money is the root of all evil”… do you know where it’s from?

Money itself is only a representative of working man-hours, used to facilitate exchange.

Wow, I had no idea anyone would be interested in this topic. Well, I’ll try to expand on it at some future point. Good comments.

I agree with what you say, Ben, the general consensus is that success and bad, and the example of Microsoft is perfect because they got hit hard by the Govt. with the anti-monopoly stuff.

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