Google is Failing Me

I’ll admit it, I am a Google fanboy: I believe in Saas – I’ve spent the last 10 years working in the field – I love the ubiquity of the web, of not being tied to a single computer.  I used gmail exclusively for 3 years until about a month ago when I got back on Outlook, which felt very retro.  I love the idea of Google docs, of the interconnectedness of the apps, of the fact that you should be able to move data around easily.

And I have always been a little bit suspicious of Apple’s hermetic, oh-so-perfect and minimal world.  I kind of liked the fact that Google is a little bit dorky.


But you will notice that I am writing on WordPress – this after a year on Blogger.  Here’s the deal: Google’s software products are just plain ugly and klunky to use.  A while ago I tried to use the presentation tool in Google docs but the product is like Powerpoint designed by the Soviet Politburo.  Ugly! Klunky!  A much better web based presentation product is sliderocket, which does all the things you would expect web based presentation tool to do (great media connections, presentation options).

You can find a much friendlier and more integrated set of web based apps at Zoho.


Gigaom wrote a great post in December about Google’s problem: it has a disparate collection of apps that are not well integrated (getting Youtube videos into a blogger post is a pain) and a culture that knows nothing about and does not value design, engagement, simplicity.

Now Google does lots of things really well: Chrome is a delight to work with and its voice activated search is very, very cool.  But in the end, ease of use and design really do matter.

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