Tue Jan 27 2009

On Google's acquisition strategy

What do Jaiku, Dodgeball, Grandcentral and Feedburner have in common? They’re all companies that Google acquired and didn’t do much with ever since.

From an outsiders’ perspective, it is pretty odd that Google is acquiring good ideas and businesses and letting them fade slowly. It is easy to assess why Google acquired these companies (for the talent, technology or just for the modjo), but not having a structure to deal with the new intellectual property seems a bit clumsy, particularly coming from people we’re used to seeing excel when it comes to launching products.

What I’d love to see? Google integrating some of this acquired IP into their core offerings. Dodgeball, Jaiku and Orkut should live together. Feedburner and Google Analytics were made for eachother. Grandcentral would be ace tied to “Google Apps for your domain”. I wouldn’t be bummed if they actually brought all these companies down if their functionality were to appear elsewhere within the Google universe.

I’m pretty sure there’s people at Google who can build and implement this strategy. But please stop leaving these things (some of them with quite a chunk of users) in the acquisition closet.