Google always gives off an image of the good child caught with her hand in the cookie jar. “We haven’t done anything wrong!” exclaimed its legal director innocently upon receiving a questionnaire sent by the authorities of its competitors in Brussels.
Either good or bad, Google easily summons up ways to morally justify its strategies or to defend its positions. But the firm, which boasts to want nothing more than the happiness of all mankind, is finding it increasingly difficult to hold onto this Christian ideal. European inquiries, convictions of Italian leaders, trials everywhere ... not a week goes by in which the wealthy Google isn’t called out on its practices.
But it’s not Google's fault. The California-based company is only submitting to the iron law that plagues innovators, whose careers always begin in a state of euphoria and end in the courts.
Innovation is by definition a beneficial rupture, a little miracle for the consumer. And who would deny that everyone’s lives have changed after the appearance of this extraordinary search engine? Thanks to Google, we are able to hold the hand of an effective and intelligent guide and are no longer alone in the vastness of the Internet. It is similar to how life changed with the introduction of Microsoft software or the Apple iPhone. However, the capitalist world is not paradise and the reverse side of the coin is defined by words such as profitability, growth, dominance, power and … abuse of power.
If Google wants to maintain its role as the good Samaritan of the Internet, it should have followed Wikipedia’s path of volunteerism. Star of the U.S. stock market, the search engine only advocates being costless in order to increase its profits. Furthermore, after saturating the advertising market, it should use its power to explore new territories.
This is all at the risk of multiple conflicts of interest, as well as the risk of one day stumbling onto a coalition of opponents. Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo! and ATT are already on the warpath, at the risk of finally getting too caught up in their own adventures and missing the next step. That’s what happened to Microsoft, which was in control of the Internet for 15 years and failed to stop Google. Google, in turn, has not taken the time to adequately prepare for the Facebook revolution. Good children grow up, get stomachaches and are passed up by a new breed — one that is full of candor and is unscrupulous.