In response to a fellow coder/entrepreneur’s article that Google is the New Microsoft, anaemia I wrote a comment that I later realized should be a post… here is my reply:
I feel your pain… but keep your chin up!
I agree that Google is flattening competition in a very Microsoft-esque way. Their honeymoon should have been over after they started ignoring customers as a policy or maybe when they refused to tell publishers what percent of the share they will get on AdSense. If everyday people were exposed to Google Labs, order they may also have noticed that the number and scope of projects they are undertaking leaves very little space for anyone else.
On the brighter side… in a keynote that David Koretz (CEO of BlueTie) gave at RIT, he pointed out that in all areas other than search, Google is number 2. It doesn’t matter whether it’s calendars, video, picture-sharing, etc… they crush 90-some percent of the businesses, but someone still beats them. This shows that if you can get to a market before Google does, there is still some (although not much) hope for you.
Even with this encouraging news, that’s not going to help you get funding. I’m also trying to raise VC for a web-application, and although my site is in an area that is miles from where Google has ever touched (because “Sergey doesn’t like music”), I always hear the same question: “How are you going to stop Google from coming in and beating you?” I don’t know what they expect to hear in this scenario, because they already have Google built up in their minds as the brightest and fasted coders on the planet (far from true).
Fortunately, Google gives us one parting gift… hype. Their IPO, then their large buyout of YouTube paints quite a picture in the average investor’s mind (talking about laypeople here, not VCs) that The Bubble is Back.
Good luck to you!
For more information about Google, I recommend reading The Search by John Battelle.