John Battelle on "Going Google"

07/28/2010 04:30 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

John Battelle shares his thoughts in iMedia Connection about the hidden implications of a Google print ad in Fortune magazine encouraging businesses to "Go Google" and switch to Google apps. From a post that originally appeared on his search blog a week ago John writes:

"I am fascinated by what it means that Google, the verb that means "to search," is being used by Google, the company, to mean something entirely different."

The "something different" means Google is back in the software business as a producer of applications that compete with Microsoft. John references his 2010 predictions from earlier this year, which explain:

"While [Google] flirted with the title of "media company" I think "software company" fits it better, and allows it to focus and to lean into its most significant projects, all of which are software-driven: Chrome OS, Android, Search, and Docs (Office/Cloud Apps)."

Indeed, fascinating; and, as John points out in one of his posts connected to the topic, Google's mission statement -- "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful" -- probably succeeds either way.


What is Microsoft's mission statement? From its web site:

"At Microsoft, our mission and values are to help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential."

In answer to how it plans to do that I suppose no one would be surprised if it said, "By organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful."

If you are a brand junky, as I suspect John Battelle is, you can see opportunity and danger in all of this. If you are Microsoft, tired of upstart Google after years of being the fair-haired growth child, you see a message from Google like the one in Fortune magazine and think, "We draw them into shallow waters, then BLAM BLAM!" If you are most everyone else, you see the message from Google and think, "Sad about Microsoft; proof once again that nothing lasts forever."

Of course, if you are Google what do you think? (Clearly, they're working on it.)

In the meantime, The New York Times has had an especially crisp way to evoke the full-potential-of-universally-accessible-organized-information for roughly 114 years; and, remarkably, we might think, "All the news that's fit to print," manages to overlap the discussion today.


Google print ad in Fortune magazine, courtesy of John Battelle