Monday, November 28, 2005
If you believe, as I do, that Google is going to be a significant part of our future, it might behoove you to keep an eye on this new blog. Written well by two former employees--and there may be more ex-Googlers joining--it yields valuable insights into our new corporate masters which it would be impossible to obtain elsewhere. And while you're on the subject, you might want to read this article's explanation of why businessmen are second-class citizens at Google and how Google has ruffled the feathers of some Venture Capitalists, or this article on why Google's shares are overvalued.


neuroconservative said...

Wow -- there went my evening. What a great site (be sure to check out the comments as well).

gumshoe1 said...

given what Yahoo and Microsoft
are willing to do to get their slice of the Chinese pie,
and the deadly oddities a UN-run Internet would spawn,i see no reason to give the Google-Barons a pass.

hell, they'll end up the
NYT of the 21st century:

"all the hits
we were paid to deliver."

Google is a stealth form of
"re-writing history-before-it- happens"...much like
Wikipedia is,but without the
Open Source aspect of that particular project.

Rick Ballard said...


Given the dearth of "Since I started using Adwords my sales have tripled" stories, Google may not maintain that rosy glow of health for much longer.

If I were still trading equities, Google would be a short play. The moat is just too narrow and I believe that it is shallow to boot.

Why, someone might note that the guys that wrote a bit of Googles code seem to be available at the moment. I wonder how much more they might remember if Yahoo were paying them to remember real hard?

MeaninglessHotAir said...


Yes, I must say, I think it's the first blog I've ever read from start to finish.

gumshoe1 said...

anybody here read any
of Laurence Lessig?
Lawrence Lessig -
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:


"Code-The Laws of Cyberspace"(2000)

forgive me if you're several light-years ahead on the topic,
i don't work in IT...
Lessig gave me a heads up on some of the roller-coaster ride
we've been on since about 1995-96.

was it Lessig who said:
"software is set to devour just about eveyrything" ??

then again,
i suppose mr. lessig
himself will have to be "watched*:

(Wiki)-"Lessig has emphasized in interviews that his philosophy experience at Cambridge radically changed his values and career path. Prior to this, he held strong conservative political views, desired a career in business, was a highly active Teen Age Republican, and almost pursued a Republican political career. A year abroad at Cambridge convinced him to undertake a second undergraduate degree in philosophy there, and he was converted to liberal political values. During this time, he also travelled in the Eastern Bloc, so acquiring a lifelong interest in Eastern European politics."


would that be the
"Eastern European politics"
of the former Soviet Bloc??


may be he just needs
to study the French riots a bit,
and read some of Hayek.

or maybe he would simply benefit from the Jewish saying:

"What's Thine is Thine
and What's Mine is Thine"
-such a man is a Saint

"What's Thine is Thine
and What's Mine is Mine"
-such a man is merely Average

"What's Thine is Mine
and What's Mine is Mine"
-such a man is a Scoundrel

gumshoe1 said...

a very interesting *scrap* on "incompleteness":

here is a review commnent
by a Japanese who translated
"Code" at the time...his comments
re: "incompleteness"
point to why one might feel compelled to read the whole Xooglers blog in one sitting:
amazon.com review:
"Code:The Laws of Cyberspace"(2000)

Future of the Internet and Democracy,
April 28, 2001


Hiroo Yamagata
(Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo Japan)

I did the Japanese translation of this book. It was quite an amazing book.

First, Lessig argues that commerce and the government will try to turn Internet into a regulable place, and in order to do so, they will rely on changing the code (or protocol) of the Internet.

Now, regulation through code is problematic, because it is TOO good. If its a law or some regulation, you can intentionally choose to disobey it, or rebel against it. With code, you can't do that. He says that this is bad, because a lot of good things in this world depend on the fact that you can't enforce certain laws too strictly. That's where some part of freedom relies on. If regulation becomes too strict, we're doomed.

So, we have to do something about it. We have to force people to create "incomplete" code!! This is the very surprising conclusion of this book. You really should read this, because it sounds too crazy at first glance.

And then, the book becomes even better. He starts discussing who would actually take the trouble to do that kind of thing. And he starts discussing how we should restore the democratic process, and how we are in a process of becoming a world citizen!

It's a book with an amazing scope, dealing with much more than the title suggests. And it's not just some sort of a fairy tale, it's a problem that's facing us as we speak. A lot of people talk about the Internet changing the world, when all they actually talk about is making some petty cash. Not this book. This book will persuade you that the Internet WILL and IS really changing the world. After this book, you're Net crawling will never be the same.

Laurence Lessig -
"Code:The Laws of Cyberspace"(2000)


"most beautiful,
just before"

Doug said...

Thanks for the great links.
Wish I had had time to get to this earlier today:
Will have to finish the great xgoogle site tomorrow.
Knowing nothing about what's going on in online ads, I will take Rick's caution seriously, but I only wish I could go long Google and short 10 times as much "Daniel M. Harrison" stock for a no-lose play.
Mr. Harrison strikes me as long on hubris, and short on knowledge of what has brought Google to this point, believing Google's position is to a substantial degree based on hype.
I'm confident this describes him better than it does Google.
I'll be looking for some pointers here on where I can start my education about the current state of online advertising.
I found this paragraph from your Business Week link to be pretty astounding:

"Last year U.S. advertising spending was an estimated $300 billion to $400 billion. Just $10 billion of that was spent online, even less than for ads in the Yellow Pages.
By contrast, newspaper and direct telephone markets were worth five and nine times as much, respectively.
Yet, according to Forrester Research Inc., households now spend at least 30% of their media time online, while the Internet has just 5% of total ad spending.

That situation won't last for long. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers, online ad revenue grew 34% in the latest quarter, with total 2005 revenue on track to grow by 25%, to at least $12 billion; newspaper ad revenue, by contrast, is slated to grow less than 3% this year.
Baldwin says that Perseus has a backlog of six portal and e-marketing transactions poised to benefit from this revenue reallocation in Google's wake, and is on pace to complete at least 30 deals in 2005, twice last year's tally."

gumshoe1 said...

Foreign Policy:

Seven Questions: Battling for Control of the Internet

Posted November 2005

Should the United Nations control the Internet? Professor Lawrence Lessig provides his views in this interview with Foreign Policy.


Rick Ballard said...


The stock is ahead of sales/profits to the point where the probability of a setback is well above 50%. The company is certainly extremely viable and has done an admirable job of positioning but it is not dealing in a proprietary business dependent upon intellectual property that can be protected.

Teoma is a more satisfactory search engine and Yahoo is no slouch at other aspects of what Google is doing.

There is going to be a stumble - now if I just knew precisely when.

Julian Biggs said...

rick - clusty is pretty good too (http://clusty.com).
Surely some enterprising investment house has done some comparative studies on these search competitors?

Daniel M. Harrison said...


I think you missed the point: I wasn't lambasting Google's start-up success, merely their stock market foray.

Anyway, I took the courtesy to give you (and others like yourself who think I'm more 'hubris than knowledge') an official reply here on my blog:


Daniel M. Harrison said...

Again, I appologise, the link:


Julian Biggs said...

er, got any more tips Rick?? - http://today.reuters.com/news/newsarticle.aspx?type=businessNews&storyid=2005-11-29T222022Z_01_ARM980178_RTRUKOC_0_US-GOOGLE.xml&rpc=23

Rick Ballard said...


Nope. I don't play with equities. I think it's been over a year since I looked at a stock and I only looked at Google because of the post. Now, if you want to talk about handling VIPERS, that's a different matter.

Although I still actually prefer debt. It's just that debt is going to be a bit uncertain for a bit and I hate uncertainty more than I prefer debt.