If I were Google CEO Eric Schmidt for one year… (GOOG)

avatar By: IS
Date posted: 12.20.2010 (5:00 am) | Write a Comment  (11 Comments)

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With the holidays around the corner, we decided to do a mini series about a few of the tech stocks that we follow all year long. We are the first ones to judge and critic how these companies are run but as they say, it’s always much easier to critic it then actually run a company. So we decided to go ahead and write a series about what we would do with these companies. Hoping you will enjoy the series:

Dec 20    If I were Google CEO Eric Schmidt for one year…
Dec 21    If I were Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz for one year…
Dec 22    If I were AOL CEO Tim Armstrong for one year…
Dec 23    If I were Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for one year…
Dec 24    If I were Apple CEO Steve Jobs for one year…
Dec 27    If I were Ebay CEO John Donahoe for one year…
Dec 28    If I were Amazon CEO … for one year…

Management in the past few years

It’s no secret, I am an admirer of Google and have even called myself in love with the company. That being said, I still have issued worries about the way things were headed, even comparing the way Google is evolving to Yahoo (certainly not a compliment). I generally like Google’s long term vision and the way it refuses to manage with a short sighted vision. I have also been a critic regarding Google’s attitude towards the Chinese government which has resulted in more or less being shut out of the most important growth opportunity.

Android has been the biggest success story in the past 2 years as it has emerged as a strong leader at the center of the smart phone world. It is not clear yet how Google will profit from Android’s incredible success but I think it’s fair to say that Google will benefit tremendously from having Android as the leading operating system and will likely be Google’s next billion dollar business.

General Vision

-Google should be at the center of the web experience, no matter where it takes place (computer, mobile, etc) and how it is done (internet, video, application, maps, etc)
-Google should be a leader in data collection, organization and be able to resell the output from that process

10 Initiatives/Priorities I would get started on

-Youtube advertising: I think there is a golden opportunity for Youtube to launch a competition or tournament that tries to determine the best ads on the internet. The initial goal would be to give entertainment to the users. Think about it. A large part of the audience of the Super Bowl (the largest audience for a yearly event anywhere on the world) is there to watch an event and to see interesting commercials that will then be talked about. Why not try to create another similar but “internet only” event. Over time, this could grow and become a very profitable venture for Youtube …!

-Google has been involved in discussions to buy Groupon for $6 billion. As I argued recently, I think buying Twitter for more or less the same prices makes much more sense both from a commercial point of view as well as for its social strategy

-Keep the attack on Microsoft: Google has been attacking Microsoft from almost all angles and the upcoming emergence of Chrome as an operating system is bound to be another major attack.

-Launch marketing campaign about “Cloud computing”: Google and Amazon would likely be the two biggest winners if businesses and personal users started moving their data and applications to cloud computing. It will likely happen but if I were Google, I would try to get it done as quickly as possible. The marketing campaign should explain the numerous benefits for users and highlight the work that Google has been doing to further secure that data.

-Monetize Google Maps: Many different things could be done to help Google get more out of its dominant maps business. First off, more visibility could be offered to local businesses that pay a premium. As well, coupons could be made available. How? A user looking for restaurants in a city like New York could see the restaurants that are around but also download coupons or deals from the maps website. Business owners would be paying to put those up in a similar way to what is now being done on search results.

-Start webhosting business: Google is one of the more efficient companies at managing incredible loads of traffic. Why not start selling that expertise by letting companies host their web data on Google’s fast & secure servers?

-Launch Financial Data service: We have discussed this in the past. Billions are spent in the financial sector for information. Google has access to a very large proportion of data that companies like Bloomberg are reselling and has other data (about users) that Bloomberg does not have access to. I think this could easily become a billion dollar business if done right. Simply start by selling the data at a very reasonable price in order to get a better idea of what users are looking for. Prices can then be increased slowly over time.

-Launch wireless internet + phone/internet service: This is an ambitious project but I think that over time, Google is a player that could get this done. Start offering high speed wireless internet access throughout the US by starting in a few locations and expanding quickly. Would it be free? No, but it would be a very attractive bundle. Example? Sign up for 49.95$ per month and get internet access + your mobile phone service (unlimited) using Android. This would help Google expand its presence both in the wireless space

-Health system: The health system is one of the largest areas of spending everywhere in the world, it is growing and no where is that more true than in the US. I think Google has a tremendous ability to get data and organize it in a more efficient manner. Helping users track the best insurance companies by not only tracking premiums but exactly what is covered could be a great way to tap into an emerging market. The growth of Google Health could also be a great way to gain insigths

-Sell Data Analytics: Is there an outbreak of a specific virus? What are young teenagers looking for when they search for clothes? What are the movies that users are reading about? Google has the largest set of data and could easily repackage a lot of it in order to be sold. An example? Political candidates could certainly benefit from gaining information about what their constituents are looking for, what they are worried about, etc.

-Work on government contracts regarding data & apps: Google has spent a lot of time working on comparable products to what Microsoft has been offering for over a decade. It’s now time to start getting some contracts from governments and from large corporations that will benefit both the consumer (cheaper & more efficient alternative) and Google (recurring income).

-Increase lobbying spending: No matter what you think, Google’s dominant presence in all kinds of different markets is creating enemies that will likely be using different monopoly laws to try to slow down the search giant. I would continue to work on getting “support” from the government.

Any thoughts or ideas?

I would love to hear your thoughts or ideas regarding all of these initiatives!

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11 Comments

  1. Comment by VeRo — December 20, 2010 @ 10:30 am
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    Wow, very nice in my opinion! Maybe you should send your resume! ;-) I am not convinced about your idea on Health system though. I mean the insurance companies part. I am not sure how trustful could be those data as they are very subjective and how much Google would take the risk of people being unsatisfied. But maybe I only underestimate the power Google has…

  2. avatar

    [...] If I were Google CEO Eric Schmidt for one year… (GOOG) [...]

  3. avatar

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  4. Comment by IS — December 22, 2010 @ 5:23 am
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    @VeRo – No doubt, it is very tricky and getting enough trust from users will be the difficult part but I think if anyone can do it, Google can!

  5. Comment by Guillaume Beliveau — January 1, 2011 @ 12:48 pm
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    Great article. I honestly think that actually, Android developers are starving because:

    A. Google Checkout sucks. (for the moment, but I’m sure they are working on it)
    B. Not enough people use their Android to download apps, which means less revenue for devs.
    C. Google users are used to “free”. They aren’t the same users than the Apple fans.

    Obviously, there will be more and more ppl using the Android OS and then, more money for developers. Like Eric Schmidt like to say, what define the success of Google is that everybody uses it. Even if it’s free for the users, Google make a LOT of money with ads and things but without the enourmous amount of users, it means nothing. I bet from now, in a year or two Android will dominate the market.

    Message to developers: Keep up the good work, it will soon pays off ! :D

  6. Comment by IS — January 2, 2011 @ 9:02 am
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    @Guillaume Beliveau – Very well said, you seem to know what are you talking about, are you a developer by any chance?:)

  7. Comment by Zavi — January 20, 2011 @ 4:49 pm
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    Latest news: Larry Page to replace Eric Schmidt as CEO On April 4!! I think I like this new structure and things will move way faster!!! What is your opinion? If you were Google CEO Larry Page for one year… (GOOG), what would be your first priorities now?

    Right now I think Google is going in so many directions. Which initiatives will you focus on? Thanks!

  8. Comment by IntelligentSpeculator — January 22, 2011 @ 12:59 pm
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    @Zavi – I will probably write about it but it is big news and will certainly have long term effects…!

  9. avatar

    [...] some ways, that is how it feels today. Google was deemed to be crazy by many to have offered $6 billion for Groupon just a few weeks ago. Never mind the fact that the company ended up refusing the offer and is now [...]

  10. avatar

    [...] the company is headed? It’s worth asking the question. When I posted about what I would do if I were Google CEO Eric Schmidt for one year, I did not mention anything about putting Larry back in charge. To be honest, it’s not like I [...]

  11. avatar

    [...] have no doubt that Groupon is a great business but a few weeks ago, I had mentioned that if I were in charge of Google, I would be happy that the offer to buy Groupon had been rejected. That could have been a good [...]

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