Google as Extreme Programming

Of all the the PC Accidental Empires, Google has what at one and the sametime seems closest and farthest from Accidental. Farthest, because Googles astronomical stock and revenue gains are built on engineering excellence of a tall order. Google has built and refined the often hawked grid computing onto the scale of hundreds of thousands of computers – ahead of everybody else: IBM, Oracle, Sun, and a whole array of small start-ups and huge national and international institutions and agencies that could actually use grids for either ill or good – NSA excepted, they are already doing so. The accident is that just in the nick of time to avoid the fate of that other decade earlier IT engineering wunderkind, Netscape, Google ran into targetted, click-through ads.

And now as good Extreme Programmers, Google is busy refactoring away, beavering through all the different ways that the click-through ore body can be mined clean before any goldrush claim stakers can come in and harvest their gold. And true to form as TopGun Idea Copycatters, Microsoft is dutifully duplicating in their inimitable, proprietary way the Google formula – also building a huge server farm hanger on the Columbia River, getting into grid computing massively, and taking the free Web based services to where they can leverage maximum advantage – the free entry point, but relatively pricey after of Live Office Basics. Basics is lavishly Free Free Free entry into the SMB Web hosting market. This is designed to head off Googles potential intrusion into Microsofts bread basket, Businesses fear and loathing of what many simply dont understand, IT and how fast computing technology is constantly affecting and changing their markets and businesses. Microsoft offers one-stop shopping for ever enticingly promised “indecently easy computing [you should have known better and we have EULA to protect us if you didnt]”. An equally big mother lode as nobody ever got fired for choosing Microsoft.

But remember, Google gals and guys are Extreme Programmers at heart – and to Extreme Programmers “Planning is a game”. No less then Googles CEO, Eric Schmidt, has said the company does not have a master plan, rather like Extreme Programmers, “we delight in not having such strategy”. Rather the company will track major technology directions, engineer heroically – and see where it takes us with Extreme Programmings fast, quick , constantly improving releases of Google Map, Google Earth, Google Mail, Google Translations, etc. etc. And then we will occupy the new IT territory, several quarters, if not years ahead of anybody else – and in due process figure out how to monetize what we have discovered. All done under the mantra of “do no evil”.

Contrast this with the 1 Microsoft Planned Way. We plan two ways. First, genuinely but also inevitably grandiosely for “information at your fingertips”. Then we hack at that target with Bob, Tablets, and Weaving Talking Office Assistants of varying success just like anybody else. Then the second planning method is hardcore. We follow up on others breakthroughs with our hindsightedly engineered better while crushing aside the pioneers with whatever it takes: buyout, cutting off the oxygen, marketing swamp and FUD, standards stalling and/or pollution, and simply the others failure to recognize that we are the Lords and Seigneurs of Computing. 1 Microsoft Way has first choice of all that is appetizing and brings great revenues – especially if you are merely a small peasant start up which we formerly treated with lordly deference when the market was unsure. But now that it has proved to be quite substantial we are here to apply the “coup de grace”.

Now to this mix of battling IT Behemoths enters another Champion – Oh My Gosh ….. its RUP!


(c)JBSurveyer 2006
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