Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Google's "Free" VP8 Gift to the World -- $mart! Very $$$mart

Last week, the online video world went gaga over Google's big VP8 announcement -- i.e., that it was gifting this high quality video codec to the world, royalty-free, without asking anyone anything in return for it. Quite a gesture, considering that Google paid $132 million to acquire the VP8 codec in the first place.

But, these folks at Google are smart, very smart, don't you think? They've done alright with their core ad revenue business, oh so I hear. And, they believe that they ain't seen nothin' yet. Sure, driving ad revenues on computers has already led them to the promised land -- there are 1 billion computer users worldwide after all.

1 billion -- is that all?

That number is dwarfed by the 4 billion TV viewers worldwide. And, Google wants to reach 'em. How? By accelerating the proliferation of high quality video over the Internet so that video becomes pervasive in the living room. And, Google believes its royalty-free VP8 codec can be a critical driver to make that happen -- by reducing the confusing cacophony of multiple competing codecs in the online video world as relevant industry forces unify under its cost-free umbrella.

That is why it was no coincidence that Google last week also announced Google TV. Google TV is designed to give us all the power to easily navigate all of that wonderful "television" content that will be delivered over the Internet -- in a very familiar, Google'ian fashion. No electronic programming guide needed. Just your father's everyday Google search box.

And, voila. QED. Res Ipsa Loquitur. That's what it's all about. If Google controls the TV experience in a world flush with high quality video content accessible anywhere, then Google gets its nifty little ad money machine to print out evermore heaps of cash.

You think Google is everywhere now? Just wait. Oh, it may take some time -- maybe even a couple years. But soon, Eric Schmidt will be sitting right there, on your couch, in your living room, next to you.

And he'll be smiling with that "don't be evil" grin on his face ...

Oh No She Didn't! Doh! Bart(z) Did! Yahoo! Investors Take Note

The tech world is filled with giants. Great minds! Great personalities! Great intellectual discourse!

Case in point -- the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in NYC. Oh sure, Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal has his All Things Digital "D" Conference in Southern California this time of year. But, Michael Arrington's East Coast affair featured Yahoo!'s CEO Carol Bartz front and center this morning. And, boy was that enlightening.

What did Bartz have for the young impressionable techie minds in the crowd? Tales of entrepreneurialism? Tales of working as a team? Tales of working passionately to change the world? Well ... uh ... not quite.

She did add this little nugget of wisdom for those in attendance though. She dropped the "F" bomb directly on Arrington. Unapologetically. And, with extreme prejudice. In fact, she said it proudly -- with great satisfaction -- like she had won some kind of contest. If you don't believe it, click on this link to watch the video (and go to the 25 minute 40 second mark).

But, note to Bartz -- this ain't about you! It's not about your personal wars. It's about the company and shareholders you represent! Don't they deserve better? The answer must be a resounding "Yes!"

Sad, sad, sad ... If that is indicative of the style of leadership now at the formerly great destination site, then it ain't too surprising that talent keeps walking out those doors ...

Expect blow-back on this one.