Reading one of John Gruber’s pieces comparing iOS and Android, which I mostly skimmed because I grow tired of reading a fanboi’s attempts at measured reasoning, I bounced to the end and caught a sentence I’ve heard at least once before:
Google is an advertising company that builds popular services that command large audiences.
I remember Justin (@oracletechnet) saying that years ago. I don’t remember why or in what context, but it stuck with me as curious.
I don’t see Google as an advertising company, even though the lion’s share of their money comes from ads. I see them as a technology company, a mix of software, hardware and over-the-air (ok fine, cloud) services. This is what they do.
But is this what they are?
I don’t disagree with the assertion that Google is an advertising company. It just feels like the answer to a totally different question. Like someone asked you what you want to eat, and you replied “I prefer a four-wheel drive super car.”
Then again, I’m too close to the problem to see clearly, so what do you think?