Eric Schmidt reanimates el cheapo PC zombie
Get out the shotguns
The Days of Muppet Pointer Shuffling Are Over
When it comes to justifying their business, Google loves to harp on Moore's law. Computers get twice as powerful every year. Squeezing every bit of performance out of a machine just isn't as important anymore. You can program in Java or Ruby instead of wasting time shuffling your pointers about in C++ like a muppet. This is great for a programmer, but for the vast majority of users, we have just gone rocketing past the point of diminishing returns.
Computers may get twice as powerful every year, but users don't have twice as much demand for computing power. There's going to come a point, likely very soon, where people will begin to ask why they need a 4GHz processor and 8 gigabytes of RAM to do word processing or spreadsheet manipulations – the same word processing and spreadsheet manipulations they have been doing for the last decade.
Web 2.0 really felt like it was going to work too. It's like we saw a great performance by the Mamas and the Papas and thought "Boy, that Michelle Phillips is a real dish, and she can sure sing". But now, we've figured out that Mama Cass was the only one with any real talent. No matter how much you want something, you just can't will it so.
And No One's Getting Fat Except Eric Schmidt
Google's arrogant hubris in all of this is just a reflection of Silicon Valley's shit-don't-stink attitude towards, well, everything. And what of this netbook subsidy business then? Are web apps struggling so much that we need to bribe people with shiny new shit to get them to use our software? Or can web entrepreneurs simply not admit to themselves that their new, smarter economy has failed?
I mean, this business model has already been proven - proven to suck. If the computer subsidy really does rise from the grave, it's just the next iteration of people not admitting it when they're wrong. The more your business model is abstracted from the fundamental transaction of selling shit to customers, the more you need to wave your hand about the specifics of making money.
Come to think of it, this sort of shystery, I'm-smarter-than-everyone attitude toward business is what has just given the world economy a baseball bat to the windpipe. Well, that and the idea that everyone has to be buying shit all the time. For being such a self-proclaimed moral pillar, Google certainly capitalizes on this, and although they've been somewhat cushioned by their magic money machine, advertising still comes down to customers buying things from merchants.
"It's a reasonable bet that Americans will go back to what they do best, which is spend money," Schmidt says, admitting that you can be as unique a snowflake as you want, as long you click on the occasional AdWord.
On second thought, Eric, maybe you should buy everyone a new computer. It'll ease up that credit card debt load come the next market crash. ®
Ted Dziuba is a co-founder at Milo.com You can read his regular Reg column, Fail and You, every other Monday.
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