If Google Believes Mobile And Local Are The Future, Why Did It Neglect Dodgeball?

from the just-wondering dept

While most of the attention from yesterday’s Eric Schmidt keynote interview at the Web 2.0 Expo focused on how the company was finally admitting to its long-rumored presentation application, perhaps a more interesting point came later in the interview. Host John Battelle tried to get Schmidt to suggest what areas the company was looking at for future growth (specifically concerning what types of acquisitions the company was interested in). Schmidt tried to sidestep the question, but eventually said that the two most interesting areas for growth were in mobile and local — hinting that the company would be interested in purchasing companies in that space. However, as a friend remarked to me as we walked out of the hall, it’s pretty ironic to hear Schmidt say such things just as the founders of Dodgeball, a mobile/local startup that Google acquired two years ago, very publicly quit Google, noting that Google “wasn’t supporting dodgeball the way we expected.” So, mobile and local are important and areas of potential interest for Google acquisitions — yet when it makes acquisitions in that space, it neglects them? That’s not a good sign. Who knows what’s going on inside Google these days, but juxtapose those two stories and it would appear that there’s been some sort of breakdown in communications at the company when it comes to the strategic importance of mobile and local applications.

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Comments on “If Google Believes Mobile And Local Are The Future, Why Did It Neglect Dodgeball?”

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Anon says:

Re: Re:

>Buying a company before it became a serious competitor is a perfectly valid strategic move for a company that is committed to entering that market.

And leaving the resources of the strategically acquired company unused is also a perfectly valid move? Seems to me a very dumb ass stand. Especially, when they are not satiate their apetite to acquire enough smart people anyway.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

And leaving the resources of the strategically acquired company unused is also a perfectly valid move?

Yes, it most certainly is. If said resource is not functionally useful, then it is perfectly valid to completely ignore said resource in the hopes that it will voluntarily exit your payroll system.

ESPECIALLY if the appropiation of said resource was part of a bulk appropiation that was designed to do nothing more than provide a rather cost effective manner of eliminating possible competition.


English says:

Re: Re: Re:

>Especially, when they are not satiate their apetite to acquire enough smart people anyway.

What they didn’t hire you? If you resume looks like this sentence I’m not sure I can blame them…

Two things to note here though:

One is that Dodgeball, while a pretty interesting idea, is by no means a mature product/service. It is pretty junior high, but with followers in major markets, a good purchase from a strategy standpoint.

Two, there is always another side to the story as pointed out by FH. So the founders of Dodgeball didn’t get their own pimped out jumbo-jet and so they bail… Tough luck.

AG says:

not necessarily a reflection of Google

There is a great deal of speculation that Google was doing something wrong here. I’ve only seen one place in various blogs that entertained the notion that GOOGLE may not have been doing /ANYTHING/ wrong. Perhaps it was the fault of the developers.

People are difficult to judge at face value. Somebody may have created a great project independently but might be horrible to work with. Consider that as a possibility and move on without speculating further. Let’s think about how the world is actually working and what we can do instead of pointing fingers.

Honestly, the reason I think Dodgeball is a loser in the Google world is because it is available in such a small number of cities… 22?

Going Loco says:

Going Local

I wrote a plan a few years ago about going local and microsoft of course sent it back. There is one way going local can work and that is teaming up with the news outlets because they have a local sales force which can deliver ads by zip code.
Part of going local is to zip code your ads that way you can attract more advertisers.
I am not a programmer and don’t have the resources to get started, but if anyone is interested in hearing more including Yahoo or Microsoft – drop me a line and you will be able to compete with google and do better sooner.

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