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Is there a company out there hotter than Google these days? The company graces the cover of BusinessWeek this week. Of course, we put Google on the cover in October for a package of stories on the power of search technology as well as the deal between Google and NASA-Ames.

As Google continues to grow, it will likely get even greater scrutiny -- and more detractors. The same way there is a core anti-Microsoft contingent out there, there will undoubtedly be an anti-Google group. My brother-in-law, who works for a high-tech company out in the Silicon Valley, says Google does not have many friends in the Valley.

The WSJ had this story last week:
Google's Growth Helps Ignite Silicon Valley Hiring Frenzy [WSJ, 11.23.2005]
In the office parks of Silicon Valley, Google has helped sparked a hiring frenzy reminiscent of the dot-com boom. Other tech companies are now fighting back as the Internet search firm snaps up talented engineers.

The company's privacy policies have been getting additional checks. Of course, there already have been some issues about the company's Gmail service and its privacy -- or lack of privacy -- policy. [See " Google for Privacy Conscious Users," and GoogleWatch.org's Google As Big Brother. Here is the letter privacy groups sent Google earlier this year... and here is the Electronic Frontier Foundation's blog post from earlier this year aboug Gmail.]

The NYT editorial observer column today notes that as Google grows, the company needs to do a better job assessing privacy issues.

What Google Should Roll Out Next: A Privacy Upgrade [NYT, 11.28.2005]
Google should do a better job of including users in decisions about how their personal information is collected, stored, and shared.

Aside from all that, the company is H-O-T. This week's BusinessWeek story is fascinating. Here is the money quote:

The Google effect is already changing the delicate balance in Silicon Valley between venture capitalists and startup companies. Instead of nurturing the most promising startups with an eye toward taking the fledgling businesses public, a growing number of VCs now scour the landscape for anyone with a technology or service that might fill a gap in Google's portfolio. Google itself and not the larger market has become the exit strategy as VCs plan for the day they can take their money out of their startups. Business founders have felt the tug as well. "You're hearing about a lot of entrepreneurs pitching VCs with their end goal to be acquired by Google," says Daniel Primack, editor of PE Week Wire, a dealmaking digest popular in VC circles. "It's a complete 180 [degree turn] from the IPO craze of five years ago; now Google is looked at like NASDAQ was then." Other entrepreneurs, meanwhile, are skipping the VC stage altogether, hoping to sell directly to Google.

The federal government should have that kind of influence.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Nov 28, 2005 at 12:15 PM


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