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.