Sunday, July 29, 2012

Google Fiber Is The Most Disruptive Thing The Company's Done Since Gmail

Remember how blown away people were when Gmail launched in 2004?
Google Fiber feels like the same leap of innovation. It's been a long time since we saw anything like this from the search and advertising giant.
Back when Gmail launched, the other free email providers like Hotmail and Yahoo Mail were offering less than 5MB of storage -- that's five megabytes. Google trumped them all with 1GB of free storage. With so much storage, there was no need to trash anything. You could archive it and keep it forever.
Better yet, Gmail's search meant you could easily find any email you wanted, even from years ago. There was no reason to put things into different folders, use flags, or any of the other tricks we used to keep track of mail on other platforms. Threaded conversations, while hated by some, were nonetheless a new and innovative way of keeping track of email chains with multiple parties. 
broadband vs compute vs storage
Gmail also paved the way for Google's gradual move into business apps -- most Google enterprise sales still lead with Gmail. Apps is more of a nice but not entirely necessary add-on.
Google Fiber is like Gmail on many levels:
  • It exposes how slow the incumbents have been to innovate. Google Fiber makes the cable-based ISPs look pathetic. It promises to offer speeds up to 1,000Mbps downstream and upstream, for only $70 a month. That's theoretically fast enough to download a high-definition movie in under a minute, although speeds could still be constrained by bottlenecks on the distribution servers or elsewhere in the network. Comcast's best home package offers 50Mbps downstream and 10Mbps downstream. All Google Fiber customers also get 1TB of free storage. If they buy TV service for an extra $50 a month, Google will throw in a $200 Nexus 7 tablet to be used as a remote control. Google is also giving away -- for free -- a package that offers 5Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream. Google even thumbed its nose at the incumbents with a slide showing how slowly Internet access speed has been growing compared with compute power and storage (see above) -- which is exactly what one would expect to happen given the lack of competition most broadband ISPs face in most parts of the country. 
  • Google used its hardware expertise. Google was able to get prices so low, in part, because it designed and built all the hardware for the system itself. This is a good reminder that although Google wasn't a consumer electronics company until recently, Google has actually been designing hardware for its data centers for more than a decade. It was this data center efficiency that allowed Gmail to offer way more free storage than competitors back in 2004.
  • It paves the way for new business areas. For Google, the main business purpose of Fiber is to give people faster Internet access, so they'll spend more time online -- where they're more likely to use a Google product and click a Google-sold ad. But just like Gmail unlocked an enterprise business, Fiber could unlock a whole new business as an ISP and TV provider. This isn't a loss leader -- Google CFO Patrick Pichette said yesterday that Google intends to make money on it. 
This is what Google products used to be like before they started chasing Facebook with one social experiment after another.
It had been a long time since Google blew me away with any of their new. Yesterday, they did.
Now, we just need Google to roll out Fiber to the rest of the country.

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Tell me what you think in the comments!

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1 comment:

  1. Iphone Ipad, Ithingy first out to market, Rich people like to get thinks done quickly, so they can move on. Ithingys are helpful devices with a flair (case design and interface design) Androids 2nd to market, very helpful to lookup information on the web and make a phone calls to get things done. So I see these items as useful tools, Android or Apple. I prefer Android more, because of the Freedom to select what software I will put on it. I like Linux see or to install PuppyLinux 5.3.3 slacko version to a USB Flash Drive.

    Interesting how far the Baby Robots and the other Jewel Robot have come in the past few years. Yes, you can feel like they are real and talk to them like real. Seeing the Baby Robot reach out to be picked up was a heart tugging cue. indicating "Dada Hold me!"

    Yes, I enjoyed the airplane Apple help to get the job done with minimum of hassle. Wonder how less technical people respond to that advertisement? Would they make their next purchase a Apple?

    Eclectic set of Orange Box Overlays. The software upgrade rate of 44% I understand. Sometimes new software is more complicated and worse than the software I am using, so why upgrade when I am satisfied with what is working now.

    Columbus 1492 Flat Earth and 2010 Jersey Shore both believe in unreality! ha ha ha good association.

    orange items 6 & 7, Google and Facebook both competing against Apple with smart phones and working to get paying customers using their internet portals.
    Apple is making a ton of money from iTunes.

    I would like to hear your side of the story about what interests you to put up the 7 items above. I found your link from The Tech Crunch web article about google-fiber-devils-advocate Interesting how google is going to make money from supplies customers with firber and a nexus 7 phone. Maybe supply people with free razors and then sell them the blades over and over again. What do you think?