Google Secrecy and control freakery

James O'Neil shared a Microsofties experience of trying to attend one of their Google @ Work events.  Find out what happened when Ryan Pollock in the marketing team of Google Enterprise found out!

Now I welcome competitors to our events, so what's up with all this "secrecy and control freakery"? 

I'm going to see if I can sign myself up for a Google event, in fact I think there is a Google software developer conference soon in London.  I'll let you know how I get on! 🙂

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Comments (7)

  1. james says:

    Hi Pete,

    "If this event was for ‘customers’ then surely most of you guys (I don’t work for Microsoft)are already aware of their products and services, so what’s the big deal ?"

    So why do our competitors come to our events? I’m technical, so unless you go to these events you don’t get much info other than what’s available on the blogoshere and news sites.  Better to hear it from the horse’s mouth.


  2. james says:

    Thanks Pete 🙂

    Perhaps what they are going to talk about isn’t beta, it could be a session to gather feedback from customers.  Who knows.

    As for your job – I thought I had a cool job! Nice work landing that one 🙂  Keep promoting your brand and standing by your products.  Does your firm have a blog?  Do you have a community of enthusiasts?

  3. james says:

    I’ve heard this before 🙂  There’s plenty of innovation at Microsoft, you don’t spend billions in R&D and not come up with your own ideas and innovation.  Most of it finds its way into products as small pieces and because of that it doesn’t get the limelight – which is fine.  Because you haven’t heard about it doesn’t mean it’s not happening.  scoot over to MS Research to find out more.

    As for acquiring innovation – it make sense sometimes.  You can’t create all the ideas yourself, it’s just not going to happen. A mix of in house combined with bringing in new ideas, thinking and technology makes sense – always has, always will.

    Google gets it – their acquisition portfolio is red hot, with the likes of Writely et al.

    Their secrecy however, reminds me of Apple – very closed and quite difficult to work with.  I wonder if there are any parallels to draw between company partnering strategies and the way the web is shaping up with collaboration, customisation and ease of access to services and data?

  4. S C says:

    I can understand why google would do something like that.  They don’t want other companies stealing ideas and then repackaging them with their own name and selling it.  There are companies out there that do this to get their "innovation".  I won’t mention any in this comment….

  5. Pete Cox says:

    Blimey, his email was short and sweet ! Thanks but no thanks 😛

    I guess preaching about colaboration behind ‘closed’ doors is a bit of an odd place to be.

    If this event was for ‘customers’ then surely most of you guys (I don’t work for Microsoft)are already aware of their products and services, so what’s the big deal ?

    They should be blowing their trumpets, not hiding them!

  6. Pete Cox says:

    I agree, from the horse’s mouth is the way to go. Indeed, that’s why I made the recent trek up to see you guys at TVP, for your Vista After Hours event 🙂 (which was very good I might add).

    Google clearly feel threatened by a competitors presence at this kind of event which is understandable, if the content could aid a rival to gain a competitive advantage. Although as I previously mentioned, I would be surprised that a customer focused event would contain any technical information, that could be used to gain an advantage in this way.

    I would imagine that the  majority of a product’s features are established by the time it reaches it’s beta stage, by which time these features will be/or are known to communities and competitors alike, so why the big deal.

    I work in a technical role within the IT department at a Brewery (yes I do get free beer, no there aren’t any jobs). We often have public tours around our brewing facility which are open ‘to all’. We have products that we are proud and a brand that we want to promote.

    Maybe the chaps at Google need a beer or two and relax at little.

  7. Pete Cox says:

    Alas, no blogs (yet):(

    We’re looking at implementing a Sharepoint solution later this year, which will be a major leap forward for the business.

    We’ll be primarily setting up an Extranet (for business needs) with our Freetrade (free houses) customers, and also an company Intranet (for techies needs :P) for the rest of the business.

    For the ale, CAMRA ( are a group dedicated ale evangelists !! As for our business, you can find us at

    BTW, the SideShow gadget for the fridge looks like a novel invention (cool pun narrowly avoided) !

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