In a recent column Tom Foremski ponders The limits of Google’s limitless business model.

He compares Google to Microsoft for its penchant of entering markets with, evidently, no intention of monetizing them, thus sqeezing out competitors.

Google, You’re No Microsoft
Yet there is a vast difference between Microsoft’s and Google’s impact on their markets: once Microsoft incorporated a feature, it owned the market. Google has no such power. Look at their rank and marketshare for some key products.

Property Rank Market Share %
Search 1 47.4
Gmail 4 2.5
Google News 5 1.9
Google Finance 40 0.29%
Google Maps 3 7.5

Which points out Google’s real problem: monumentally bad marketing. Not just promotion, but product planning, product rollout, tweaking, partnering: all the hard work that goes into understanding the hydraulics of a market and changing them to favor your company and products. As I’ve pointed out elsewhere academics create academies, not companies. A great place to work. Not always such a great place to invest.

Google Is A One-Trick Pony
Eric Schmidt is a smart man and a talented babysitter of Sergey and Larry. But for some reason Eric and his team have been unable to extend the Google brand beyond search. Superior products [IMHO]. MUCH lower costs, especially storage. Great brand momentum and recognition. Lousy market traction.

Google has a bad case of “build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door” syndrome. Sometimes, yes, as with PageRank. Mostly – like 98% of the time – no.

It is time for some layoffs at Google – starting with Schmidt and going down through everyone with responsibility for developing market share. You are young, rich, and [currently] perceived as successful. There is no better time to go.

I finger Eric, because despite the corporate bio touting his entrepreneurship, the man couldn’t sell beer on a troopship. Technology is not Google’s weakness. The folks coming after Google are doing it with marketing. Once the perception grows that Google is a one trick pony, all the other wonderful stuff, like the stock price, will head south. A great opportunity to build a company and bring huge benefits to billions of people is blown.

Of course, this won’t happen. Eric, Sergey and Larry control a majority of shareholder votes. So a monumentally poor piece of corporate governance will help crash what could have been the Valley’s greatest success story of the new millenium. Google has, at most, 18 months to get its marketing in order. After that, fini.