It looks like Google is out to start competing with the likes of Amazon and Apple. The trouble is they have a fledgling store in a marketplace of two excellent, massive stores and everyone has already chosen a side. They believe they can change that with a shift to producing excellent hardware.
But in the end, Google is still the same company it always was. A company driven by data, not by products. They’re losing that edge. Steve Jobs’ advice to Larry and Sergey have made an impact. Google is trying to focus. They’re trying to become Apple. It’s a bold move, but I’m afraid they won’t succeed until they return to their roots.
Thing is, they still can. With podcasts.
Stitcher has the right idea. In fact, I’d advice Google to snatch them up. Then integrate with Google’s voice library. And allow publishers to start uploading their own podcasts to Google. Start transcribing the podcasts. Establish the largest database of podcasts in the world and put them everywhere, phones, computers, the web. Establish the most popular way to create, record, upload, live stream, listen to, discover and talk about podcasts.
Even integrate Google+. Very simple chatrooms to talk about podcasts, while they’re recording and after the fact. Use the podcasts to build the community.
Don’t worry about music or movies too much. They might follow if you gain popularity. But don’t count on it. Focus on integrating the PC with the cloud. Give users ONE application to install on their computer that will integrate Google with everything. All your music available to you in the cloud. All your movies, all your TV shows, all your podcasts, all your playlists, all in Google Play. But that one application should allow manage all your photos, all your documents, anything else on your computer should be available in the cloud if you want it to be. Easily.
Google is driven by data. You are driven by the stuff on your computer. When the stuff on your computer melds with your Google account, you can do anything, anywhere. It’s the kind of hope Dropbox tries to build. (Oh, Google? Please buy Dropbox and ask them to fix your Google Drive.)
Google? Become the way people consume information. Apps like Pocket need to be part of your system. Users need to know that Google is the best way to read or listen to something. Become the user’s memory. Help them remember what article they’re thinking of, or where the hell is that document from five years ago. Assist me in finding that photo of my grandpa, or which lecture from my history class contains the information on Henry Clay and I’ll be forever grateful.