Welcome To The Googleconomy

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Information is power. Google knows that. It also knows that information is money, lots of it. The up-until-recently-only-a search company has the world’s most powerful and wealthy corporations reexamining how they see life, the universe, and everything.

Welcome To The Googleconomy
With Google, Information Equals More Than Power

Editor’s Note:   What impact, if any, do you think Google will have on the market? Are major multi-billion dollar corporations overreacting to Google’s presence? Will they change the balance of power? Discuss in WebProWorld.

First it was Microsoft, sitting up on its hill in Washington, watching the truckloads of currency being dropped off at the door, neglecting true innovation, bowing over the sides of its belt with bulky, inflexible applications, enjoying the success of an old-world model.

And then two wise-ass researchers (who reminded those Microsoft executives of themselves, really) started a search company that threatened their status so much they had to go on a diet and get out the woad. Those kids were changing the game.

“What is the game, anyway?” you ask.

The game is channeling information to the people-a business and social coup that would upset the balance of power. The consumer, for example, would know, at the toggle of an open source browser, who had the best price on anything.

Controlling that type of information is important to the traditional retailer. Information about your competition’s promotions is not what you want out there for anybody to see, especially if your price is higher.

Google, in more ways than this example, is transferring power, and to the elite-the economic aristocracy, a proletariat-centered economy is a serious conflict of interest.

“We watch Google very closely at Wal-Mart,” Wal-Mart board member Jim Breyer told the New York Times.

That same article goes on to express the growing concern that too much information will be available to the consumer.

“Wal-Mart is scarcely alone in its concern. As Google increasingly becomes the starting point for finding information and buying products and services, companies that even a year ago did not see themselves as competing with Google are beginning to view the company with some angst – mixed with admiration,” writes NYT’s Steve Lohr, whose revelation on Wal-Mart lit up the blogosphere the next day.

Indeed it is admirable, and in line with Google’s controversial “Do No Evil” corporate model-even if some are unconvinced of their benignity. Even if it seems socialist in nature, it really is a brilliant blend of socialism (power to the proletariat) and capitalism (make money, lots of it, and power to the free market economy). And the biggest of the big capitalists (who don’t really believe in free markets-just want you to think they do) are super upset about it.

“Hey isn’t that what it’s all about? Giving the customer insight in prices and by comparison making it possible to save money?” asks blogger CoolzOr.

Yes, CoolzOr, that is what it’s about when it’s a buyer’s market. But don’t say it too loud.

Welcome To The Googleconomy
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