So Larry Page is now Google CEO, again. It’s not exactly news since it’s been announced and covered for weeks. This move has Google engineers excited and managers worried, since Larry is known to favor engineers over managers. It’s been reported that many Googlers think that Larry is going to make Google more nimble, less lumbering giant. But that’s a pipe dream, Google is too big for that, they need managers, and lots of them to keep things running smoothly.
If you ask me, what Google needs is a dose of reality. True, some smart people (OK, some very smart people) made Google what it is now by being “cool” and innovative. But Google is now serving mainstream users, being “cool” and innovative is not enough. What they need to do now is to please the users. And this is where Google is lacking, all their stuff are cool and works well, but sometimes their products just don’t appeal to the average user.
I say this because I’m reminded of the time a Google salesman came to our office to sell us their commercial Google Docs package. The whole pitch was pretty much “this is really cool and nifty, oh and we’re Google”. Everything we asked was either in the works, we can add it to the road map, or it’s not part of the founder’s vision. Pretty much, it’s what we give you and that’s it, zero customization. We still laugh about that.