I’m not going to use Google for search, Gmail for mail or Chrome for browsing. Nor do I suggest anyone else should. But the aforementioned “pay-for” Internet proposal should mark the death of our naievete when it comes to Google.
I know that many people saw Google’s launch stock value as a landmark for things like open source software and internet freedom. Others thought it was a last gasp of the .com bubble.
It was neither. Google didn’t have gold that we could point at. It had something more valuable but purposely less tangible to those contributing to it; like a spittoon in a gold-miner’s bar.
What’s better than gold or oil or a tangible product? A map to everyone’s gold and oil, and precise details of how to encourage them to part with it…
I suspect that a vague general sense of “too good to be true” with everything that Google is offering and branching into may have been a part of the failure of Google Wave to succeed.
Most of Google’s employees are there for the reasons that made us all so fond of Google. And for now, that’s reason enough to keep me from seeing Google as Microsoft21k.