I have been waiting for this for some time and it's finally here. Gmail detects spreadsheet attachedments and provides a link to open them directly in Google Spreadsheets.
Are You Logged In?: "Before creating the Google accounts, Google used to rely on cookies to save preferences. The new accounts are a way to save personal stuff and all Google services have something to save. But not everyone visits Froogle Wishlist, or Search History, not many people have heard of Google Spreadsheets or Picasa Web. But everyone has heard of Gmail and a lot of people use it, although it's in beta and it still requires invitation. I think Gmail was created to make people have a Google Account and remain logged in.
(Via Google Operating System.)
I agree with her analysis of the Google business model. Create products that appeal to 80% of users and to reduce negative press if it fails; release it as beta. Her analysis was in response to articles criticising "Google Spreadsheets" as being brain dead. I happen to like Google Spreadsheets. It has just the right amount of functionality for me. I do not need nor do I use charts and pivot tables and the like. I do not know too many people who do. I think Spreadsheets is aimed at the majority of people like myself who use Excel for tracking personal budgets etc.
I also use Google's Writely, Calendar and Gmail. These applications satisfy most of my needs and I expect the needs of most people.
According to Jennifer, the principles for Google's success are:
- Many products are too complex for a lot of people (domestically and internationally.)
- People don't like to pay for what they don't use.
- Many would be willing to pay less for a niche product with less functionality.
- Unserved and over-served markets can often be larger than established markets served by incumbents.
- Industry disruption happens with innovators create simple, low-cost options that are initially scoffed at by established markets.
She then draws parallels to Google and the Japanese automakers of the 1970s.