Cool Factor' Has Limited Shelf Life} 

5. Privacy issues reign supreme 


Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-09-27 Print this article Print

itle='Cool Factor' Has Limited Shelf Life} 

5. Privacy issues reign supreme 

Google's privacy problems will continue to be an issue for the search giant. And they likely won't make consumers view the company any better. Over the past few years, Google has been struggling with concerns over the privacy of its information. The company faced criticism over its handling of Google Buzz. It's also facing complaints about Google StreetView and its collection of data. Those privacy problems are a black eye for Google. And they could eventually prove to be one of the main reasons why consumers take issue with the company. 

6. Android OS might play a role 

The mobile market is Google's for the taking. And it knows that. But by being so successful in that space, it could eventually lead to some harsh feelings for consumers. After all, it's following a similar strategy to that of Microsoft's in the desktop PC market. And over time, it will likely corner that market. Plus, security experts are saying that Android OS isn't as secure as it could be. It sounds like Windows all over again. And that alone could be a problem for Google. 

7. The 'cool' factor declines over time 

Google is still a "cool" company. It's one that consumers still get excited by whenever new products or services are released. But over time, any company's "coolness" factor declines, perhaps with the single exception of Apple, which continues to lead the pack. Google isn't Apple. And it can't deliver the same experience with its products that the hardware giant can. Over time, the company's critics will see the neat products and take aim at the search company. 

8. If it happens with Apple, it will happen with Google 

Apple might be one of the most beloved brands in the world. But there are also many people who hate it. Those who are squarely in the Microsoft camp believe Apple and Steve Jobs are all that's wrong with the industry. In fact, those folks won't even buy Apple products. If Apple has people who can't stand it, Google undoubtedly will as well. And considering Google doesn't have as loyal a following as Apple, it might only be a matter of time before the company sees an anti-Google group form that's even bigger than Apple's. 

9. Financial success plays a part 

Google has proved to be highly profitable. It has enjoyed such success because of its ability to monetize its many services through the use of advertising. But with financial success comes complaints from folks who are concerned with big business, the size of profits and other considerations. It's unfair to Google, since management's job is to maximize profits, but it's the nature of the market that financially successful firms have targets on them. 

10. The value argument lives on 

As a company becomes more successful, value becomes the clear issue for most consumers. They expect a well-known and highly successful company to deliver the best value of any firm in the space. And if they perceive that it doesn't, they tend to have negative feelings toward those companies. That's what happened with Microsoft. And it could happen with Google if the company doesn't continue to churn out high-quality products that provide consumers with the value proposition they seek.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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