Google's In Trouble. Here's What's Broken And How To Fix It
Google's in trouble, and it's a case study for how, even with best-in-class AI, businesses can still struggle to grow. Google has every advantage, so how is that possible? Let's start with what's broken.
Google's still growing, but they had a bad quarter and missed revenue estimates. YouTube isn't meeting expectations. Long-term bets like Google Cloud are growing but still losing money.
They're losing focus on their core business while chasing long-term bets. Cloud is an entirely different business than Google is used to. They're working with enterprise customers, not all of whom are tech-first.
It took Microsoft a lot of learning to simultaneously embrace both innovative tech-first customers and mainstream enterprises. They adopted their customers' visions instead of pushing their own.
Google's failing to learn from the MS playbook. Google is trying to force its tech-first vision on all customers, which doesn't work. Businesses need solutions to meet them where they are, and Google is struggling to keep innovating while supporting customers who aren't there yet.
You can also see their lack of focus in search results. Many people are expressing how ads and sponsored content are making it difficult to use and trust search results. Search for 'Google is unusable' for more. It's another example of a lack of focus on users.
GCP has a growing customer base in the data science field, and many of us believe it's an excellent option. Google Search is still the best-in-class, but a loss of customer focus overcomes even the most substantial technology advantages. Best in class under the hood is less critical than best in class user experience. That's why AWS and Azure still lead GCP.
As Google works to grow by diversifying its customer base, it will hit the same roadblock repeatedly. A customer-focused culture eats best-in-class technology for lunch. AI-first businesses still need customer-first culture.
There's a deeper problem revealed by their firing of researchers over the last couple of years. Anyone who openly disagrees with leadership is pushed out. Google's creating a leadership echo chamber. There's only one kind of culture that comes from this leadership style. No tech company is perfect, but leadership can't fix what they won't acknowledge.
That's the root cause at play. Google has terrific people, top-tier technology, and best-in-class products. None of that can overcome leaders who thrive on agreement and build uniform teams of like-minded people.
To fix this, Google must do what Microsoft did. MS listened to customers and internalized their feedback. They accepted the criticism as truth and stopped fighting it. MS admitted it had lost its industry leadership position.
MS adopted a challenger mindset and became customer-centric. Google must do the same to grow in the coming years successfully.