Webreakstuff blog

Don’t be afraid of Google

David at Signal vs Noise has a great post about how depressingly wrong Paul Graham is when saying the only problem with (the now for sale) Kiko – a YCombinator funded project – was being in the way of Google in the online calendar space. Paul, who’s inspired many in the start-up world, may be trying to cover his tracks by putting the blame on Google for his projects’ demise, but by saying,

The best solution for most startup founders would probably be to stay out of Google’s way.

he’s just being (with all due respect), a little dumb. How are you supposed to do anything (in any area), if you’re afraid of a giant competitor? And thinking about it, wasn’t Google just a couple of guys some years ago? Were they afraid of competition? Paul, please.

Don’t fear, do it properly

Google took the search engine market by storm because they did one thing and one thing better than anyone else. If you have a great idea, even if its already been tried (with little or lots of success), give it a go if you believe you can succeed. Its passion, not fear, that builds great products. Thinking otherwise won’t work for you – ever.

If you have a great idea, go for it. Bite the “stray bullet” and be passionate about what you believe in. And stay away from this new Paul Graham that pitches the idea of being afraid.

  1. [...] Ensuite, David de 37signals réplique sur le blogue de la compagnie que c’est faux et que Google ne rend pas toute résistance futile. Ces propos sont ensuite repris par Fred de Webreakstuff dans son billet “Don’t be afraid of Google”. How are you supposed to do anything (in any area), if you’re afraid of a giant competitor? And thinking about it, wasn’t Google just a couple of guys some years ago? Were they afraid of competition? [...]

  2. Goncalo Fonseca says: August 19, 20063:49 pm

    Say no more… ;-)

  3. Paul Graham says: August 20, 200612:07 am

    Did you read my actual post or just the single quote DHH reproduced out of context?

    That advice about staying out of Google’s way was followed immediately by a whole paragraph explaining that Google’s way was in fact very narrow, and that in anything except that narrow subset of applications, they could be beaten.


  4. Fred says: August 20, 20061:39 am

    I did, Paul, but even though I respect your opinion, I still believe there’s no market Google can’t be beaten on. Maybe that’s wishful thinking, but then again, all great companies are born from that feeling of greatness that accompanies a good idea and a great implementation.

    I believe even though Google’s way may be powerful, albeit narrow, they can still be beaten by smart people. Thats the main point of this article.

    (And don’t take my criticism personally, I have always respected your opinions and took your advice, but this particular article of yours, I just can’t agree with)

  5. Narain says: August 20, 20065:57 pm

    I agree with you Fred. I have my respects for Paul, yet you are spot on in terms of the advice. Google is not going to be the defacto everywhere on the web, yes they do have some fantastic reach and TechMeme and TechCrunch will speak everything & anything google does followed by a million people.

    Do something which solves the problem. Many Web 2.0 startups blindly follow the drawn path and they dont bring any variation or niche audience along with. Sometime back i dunno whether it was Guy or Robert Scoble who said the 58K something TechCrunch subscribers are not the users. He is right on his view. The actual customers are not the TechCrunch followers. I am not denying about the influence of TC, yet the real users spread out there are not TC guys.

    Solve one problem, and solve it perfectly and get “Real Users” Free is good for social networking ;) but for solid apps, Free is not the way to go.

  6. Rob says: August 21, 20069:50 am

    I think describing someones opinion as “a little dumb” is… well a little dumb.

  7. [...] Frederico Oliveira  [...]

  8. Xavez says: August 22, 20061:56 pm

    @Rob: agreed. Never judge a personality by an opinion, or what was it again? ;).

    Nevertheless, I totally agree with Fred here =).

  9. Natalie Ferguson says: August 22, 200611:21 pm

    Kiko are selling because they couldn’t get a business model together in order to compete with Google – who doesn’t need one for their calendar at present. That is not a good way to compete with Google, they will win every time on offering free products with no business model, because they can hold out longer. It’s a pity, but Google is turning into a buyer, not a maker, so the current options are to do something better than Google (and everyone else) and a) sell it to Google or someone else or b) make money off it.

  10. Ryan Nichols says: August 31, 20068:38 am

    In addition, Kiko had a much poorer interface for most of it’s life. It’s a bit better now, but it suffered from bad usability for a while. Google or not, if someone comes along and has something that just plain works better, unless you have a stranglehold on the market, you’ll feel the hurt.

  11. Requisite Kiko Post | Central Desktop Blog says: February 22, 20135:17 pm

    [...] Fred says, Don’t fear, do it properly. /* Share Uncategorized business trends, central desktop, collaboration [...]

  12. [...] Fred says, Don’t fear, do it properly. var dd_offset_from_content = 40; var dd_top_offset_from_content = 0;BioLatest Posts [...]

Submit comment