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Google fast & loose, Yahoo slow but consistent

Noteworthy story in the NYT today, with an interesting take on the differences between Yahoo and Google.

The key example is Google Maps, which has lots of gee-whiz features, but doesn't have an address book or a way of even remembering your default address -- something that makes Yahoo convenient. The response from Google is eye-opening: Its engineers can't be bothered with the basics.

When asked about the lack of an address book in Google Maps in an interview last fall, Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president for search products and user experience, said it was a gap in the product. She said it was much easier to get the company's engineers to spend time developing pioneering new technology than a much more prosaic address storage system


Alan Eustace, a senior vice president for engineering and research at Google, said in an interview last week that the company had made a conscious choice to play down copycat features: "We are trying to come up with something that is new and different, that makes people say 'Wow.'"

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Definite maturity issue at Google: producing new and shiny vs. added value to their customers. They need some product managers with some gravitas to help make some tough decisions.

Joe Standi on July 24, 2006 3:10 PM
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it is difficult for google PMs to make decision coz engineers are making shots

sd_e on July 24, 2006 6:23 PM
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Google, its partners, and users would benefit from a federated ID. this would enable convenience (single sign on) for users across the myriad of Google partner sites, enable personalization (search and content), and enable ad tracking for all of their partners. This is something Yahoo has across their network and has the ability to extend to their partners.

Drew Lanham on July 25, 2006 12:20 PM
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Yeah, they aren't great with non-gee-whiz stuff and integrated stuff together. Well, they hire some other company to attack those issues. Its just a matter of money, isn't it?

So what, the delicate geniuses can't be bothered with the mundane. Good for them. Management is supposed to see that the holes get plugged. Time for Eric to get on the stick and hire a chief mundane officer.

Al Brown on July 25, 2006 11:01 PM
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