There was an important news item today about the purchase by Google of all of the Frommer’s Guides from John Wiley and Company. The news will probably not get the coverage that it deserves, since what it really means is that Google has decided to go deeper into the business of content providing. It is clearly bad news for all Travel related web sites or others making guide books, since the combination of Google’s technical talents and the Frommer content will provide an unbeatable combination against which anyone might attempt to compete. Needless to say, is there anyone who expect the Google travel websites to appear at the bottom of the search result listings?
Clearly, Larry Page is not following the advice he received from Steve Jobs shortly before Jobs’ death– That advice: Concentrate on a few things you do good. That has been the secret of Apple’s success. Google, on the other hand, keeps spreading out into more and more areas. In many ways it is the expected of a company with great talent and plenty of money. The problem (aside from the lack of focus that can result from spreading your project net far and wide) is more and more conflicts with partners– be it from web sites, travel agents, or Apple. Google has not made any money on the Andriod platform to date. Its actions in becoming involved with the Android were defensive– not to cede too much control to Apple. But the result is that Apple is slowly breaking any of its ties to Google. Which would have been better for Google– a symbiotic relationship with Apple, or its current ever-worsening conflicts?