Surprise! Google Is Really A Two Product Company!

Posted: September 1, 2008 in Technology and Business
It’s getting about time to start talking about what I’ve been doing the last few years… egad… CAD*. 
Let me start off with… you guessed it… an observation about my favorite company in the world:  Google.
Everyone thinks Google is a one product company.
Not true.
Google owns a big hunk of another market, too.  Turns out Google Earth is based on an innovative conceptual drawing product called SketchUp, originally from a tiny company called @Last.
When it became apparent that Google Earth was going to explode (so to speak), GOOG bought @Last.
That was about two years ago when they had about 0% marketshare in large CAD houses.
Now they’re in about 70% and are giving fits to the 800lbs. gorilla in the precision design space, Autodesk. 
Why?  Because they give away their product for free!  GOOG makes its money selling ads, not software, so they don’t need to sell the software.  They only care that everyone is using it.  Which they are.
And since Google SketchUp is distributed online, Autodesk’s sacred reseller channel — the most tightly controlled sales channel in the history of sales channels — doesn’t even come into play.
Another way to say this:  Autodesk doesn’t even have the chance to strangle the life out of SketchUp like it does everyone else.
Pretty cool, eh?

How’s that for a nicely disruptive strategy all the way around?

* Sorry, my daughter is five, not nine, so I had to prime the Dr. Seuss rhyme just in time!

Comments are closed.