Michiko Kakutani reviews Auletta’s latest media book (author also known for “Three blind mice” and “World War 3.0). “Googled” points both to Google‘s successes (especially its ability to sustain incredible rates of growth) and its potential weakenesses (especially its ability to stay focused).
Google is constantly pushing into new territory like cloud computing, the mobile-phone business and even a Wikipedia-like encyclopedia called Knol. As it does so, it is not only taking on new competitors, but it is also risking, in some critics’ view, a loss of focus. Google is “doing too many products and peanut buttering everything,” says one former executive, referring to a famous “Peanut Butter” memo once written by a Yahoo senior vice president who contended that Yahoo was spreading its investments thinly, like peanut butter, over too many ventures.
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