James Governor's Monkchips

On Google and constraints: DHH agrees (concisely)

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I just got a trackback from from David Heinemeier Hannson. I love blogs.
Not surprisingly his take is somewhat more concise than mine…
Google would surely be one of the last companies I would ever file under “big in constraints”. The company hires ten times the size of 37signals every week. They chase a thousand science projects while collecting a billion dollars per quarter in revenue.

No harm in that, naturally. Google is great at what it does: Solving really hard problems by throwing more ph.d’s, money, servers, and resources at it than most small countries have at their disposal. In effect, they’re a celebrating the triumph of an abundance of resources: Making all information searching for the whole world.

But champions of constraint now? Hmmm.

I still have a blog in the hopper from last week’s Carson show about David’s speech. He is a lot more combative than I expected, which is goodness… more on that later.


  1. Efficiency is good. Innovation is just as good. Efficient Innovation is fantastic. But let’s look at it from the user/consumer POV. From an individual user’s point of view one constraint is attention and Google rightly or wrongly with search, Earth gets credit for having saved us tons of time. For enterprise it is TCO. If you as a vendor are not empathetic to a customer’s budget (how much your integration partners make if you are SAP, how much pain your next release causes if you are Oracle etc) it does not really matter how efficient or innovative your own shop is. Also when comparing shops, you have to compare Google to bigger players. Microsoft spends annually $ 6 b in R&D, IBM almost $ 2 b. Are they really innovating or just tweaking? Those are unconstrained budgets any CTO would love to have or if you ask buyers, money which should come back to them in lowered prices. I do not hear that complaint about Google – yet.

  2. ” Making all information searching for the whole world.” –

    I beg to differ, Results are being pulled for
    a) In China
    b) Cartoon of Mahmood in the US/EU :)-
    c) The List goes on. “Abu Gharib” Pictures (indexed in getty but not in GoogsImages)

    ..now go figure..!!

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