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How Should Google Spend $26 Billion?

By Sven Larsen (@zemoga) Did you hear the news? Mashable reports that Google had an insanely profitable first quarter and they now have a war chest of over $26 billion. That’s a lot of lettuce. And even though they’ve been on a bit of an acquisition spree lately, there’s still plenty of things they can Read more

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By Sven Larsen (@zemoga)

Did you hear the news? Mashable reports that Google had an insanely profitable first quarter and they now have a war chest of over $26 billion. That’s a lot of lettuce. And even though they’ve been on a bit of an acquisition spree lately, there’s still plenty of things they can do with that cash.

What do we suggest? Well having read GOOGLED, we know that Google is the digital equivalent of a perpetual motion machine, a feedback loop that gets stronger and stronger as time goes on. Google makes more money the more people use the web, so it’s in their best interests to make the online experience as frictionless as possible.

The company is already making some moves in this direction with their movement in to the mobile space and their interests in developing high speed broadband. But why not take it further? Google could …

1) PROVIDE FREE ONLINE ACCESS IN AIRPORTS – The company actually did this during the holiday season last year. And everyone loved them for it. Why not make it a year round program? Google could even charge a premium on ads served through this network as they would be reaching business travelers and other  desirable demographic groups. Sure Boingo wouldn’t be too happy with this but that’s nopt really Googles problem right?

2) PROVIDE FREE ONLINE ACCESS IN PUBLIC SPACES – Philadelphia and New Orleans were both supposed to have citywide online access but those plans were curtailed by protests from phone and cable companies. Google doesn’t have to worry about being re-elected and they’ve got the marketing power to stand up to outside interests. If we can’t have citywide access, how about free online in parks, libraries and other public spaces across the country?

3) BUILD A 3G (OR 4G) NETWORK THAT WORKS – Yes, AT & T’s 3G network is an issue. But we all know that Verizon et al would have similar problems if 50 million heavy data users used their networks too, right? Google should invest in building a network with enough bandwidth to handle the constantly increasing demands of the growing mobile platform userbase. isn’t that why they developed Android in the first place?

There’s lot of other ways for Google to spend their huge warchest. But whatever they do, they need to remember their company motto, “Don’t Be Evil”. As their company gets bigger and bigger and their motives come under greater and greater scrutiny, maybe it’s time to modify that slogan.

How about “Don’t Be Evil … and Do Some Good While You’re  At It?”

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