14.2 Million Shares of GOOG

What would you do with $4 billion – the approximate sum that Google’s expected to rake in when they sell 14.2 million shares? It seems like Google is prepping its war chest for more command and conquer style acquisitions. Although, unlike Yahoo, Google seems to take a much longer time to integrate acquired intellectual property (e.g. Urchin, Hello, Blogger) into their product portfolio. Yahoo on the other hand lacks the publicity mojo that Google can attract. For example, Yahoo’s peer review-based mapping system, home page redesign and their music service all failed to garner the type of mass market appeal. Microsoft’s MSN division has been churning out products (e.g. MSN Desktop Search, MSN Weather, Start.com, MSN Hotmail and MSN Messenger) and still only gets recognized on Slashdot or other media, months after it actually happens. Perhaps all of this boils down to perception, where Google is viewed as the 21st century innovator and all the others are pioneers of the 20th century dot com.

However, in spite of all this negative public perception what matters most in the end is customer service – a company’s ability to exceed the wants and expecations of the end user. Am I being treated as a customer through my various experiences with the company? Is the company keeping an eye on the pulse of the blogosphere. Are they looking for what products people are complaining about? What people are asking for from a company? Perhaps one can conclude that the ultimate winner is the ultimate listener.