Google launched an iPhone and forgot to innovate. Where's the passion?

Yesterday Google launched the long awaited iPhone killer. Some folks love it, others don't. What worries me though is the fact that Google didn't innovate at all with this device... they're just playing a catch-up with the iPhone... and that's just sad.


Don't get me wrong, it's not the fanboy in me talking... I actually like Google's innovations and I'm not saying the Nexus One (what kind of name is that?) is a bad phone... it's supposedly even a little faster than the 3GS... but still, I thought Google knew better. After all, they have great engineers... and infinite money.

iPhone re-invented the way we use mobile phones.

In one of my past posts I wrote that iPhone re-invented the way we use and interact with the mobile phones. iPhone brought real Internet to our phones, created Appstore, made us fall in love with the multi-touch etc. What did Google's phone bring? Faster processor. Big deal. Specs don't matter. User Experience does.

Google knows how to innovate... they forgot this time around?

I mean c'mon - these guys reinvented the search - they made giants like Altavista and Infoseek pack their bags and go home. They made search really work.

Google re-invented the e-mail with Gmail - Gmail is the best webmail possible and by a large margin - when it showed up - we had lots of storage and great and super-fast interface, conversations and google-powered search. Just great.

Why didn't Google innovate this time? Answer: no passion.

When Apple went to reinvent the phone, Steve was all passionate about it. He wanted something new, fresh, different. And they did. When Google showed up with search - same story - lots of passion and drive to make something better and new.

The mobile phone market is a "me too" business for Google.

I think Google just wants to be in the mobile phone market and they believe it's a right thing to do. No passion here, no conviction we need to do something better or different. Google is just doing a "me-too" stunt like they did with many of their projects that failed (or are doing so-so).

Passion is everything. You need to be passionate in order to succeed.

I've seen many entrepreneurs or startup owners going for business that they thought was just a right thing to do and even though they had the skills, they failed. I created Nozbe because I needed this app and I keep on using it every day and love improving it. Apple created the iPod or iPhone for the same reasons, and this month they'll change the industry again with a rumored iSlate...

Passion makes the difference. Passion inspires people. Passion is love. And love is all we need.

Don't you think?

--> me I'm Michael Sliwinski and I'm an entrepreneur who's also the...
.. Founder of - a time and project management web application
.. Editor of Productive! Magazine - a global PDF publication on productivity
.. and a blogger as well as a producer of a weekly 2-minute Productive! show.

Posted on Wednesday, January 6, 2010 (google,iphone,nexus)

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Jan 7, 2010 09:44
Google clearly wants to position themselves in the mobile market. And it will grow enormously in the next years. And they have only one shot to do this - hit or miss this time. Google already defined the goal when they introduced Android - which gave birth to a few (crappy IMHO) phones.

Nexus One is a nice move, not only as a phone itself, but it changes the role of carriers. Apple and Google vs AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile.

Nexus vs iPhone? Surely Google follows the good design, the one that millions of people are used to. I do not mind all phones look similar in the next few years. This would make the competition a bit different, but IMHO more interesting.

As a developer, I would also welcome a unified interface to phones - imagine creating application for Android and iPhone. If those platforms converge in some aspects, it would be much easier to port apps from one to another. Or at least keep consistent user interface.

Now let us wait what Apple has to offer. My contract with Era ends this September :-D

Michael Sliwinski
Jan 7, 2010 09:54
Competition is a good thing. For us developes it'd be cool to just convert iPhone apps to Android, this would lower our development costs and make our apps more accessible to a broader public... but I'm not sure if/when this happens.

My post was more of a rant just saying that I expected more from Google. IMHO catching up is not enough to create a valid competition for the iPhone.

Anyway, let's see how this all develops. Michalf, thanks for your comment and good luck exchanging your mobile phone in September for an iPhone 4... or Nexus Two :-)

Tomasz Mioduszewski
Jan 8, 2010 11:31
I just wonder, if Google really wants to compete with iPhone. IMHO it's rather "me to" situation - at this moment. The mobile market (not only phones, but also any mobile devices) will grow larger and larger as everyone want to become wireless. So, that's Google's start position. Maybe they want to make evolution rather than revolution? We will see.
Jan 8, 2010 13:27
I think Google might be approaching this with a "if it ain't broken, don't try to fix it" mindset. The iPhone is unbelievably popular; why change things that people are already proven to like? I am sure there will be critical differences, but these differences may lie in other components like software.

I'm still loving my iPhone, but I have a feeling that we've not seen all of what Nexus One has to offer yet.

Michael Sliwinski
Jan 8, 2010 17:39
Google is definitely following the iPhone's path with Nexus Android phone, that's for sure.

Kang, hope you're right and Nexus One has more to offer...

Anyway, I'm not saying me-too situation is a bad thing, it will definitely be a good business for Google anyway.

All I'm saying is that I expected more of Google. I hoped they'd try harder... they overhyped their phone and didn't deliver.