Google can’t be everywhere forever

On any given day, at my workplace, I use google services probably billions upon billions of times. Non-existing numbers like that is nice to have, though … isn’t it? … because what is really meant is that I use Google for very nearly every click of the mouse, a hit of the return, and I quickly lose count, and that’s the utility of using silly numbers (c.f. “zillions“).

Anyway. So I use Google services quite a bit. Our internal DNS server just forwards to Google DNS, so then I’m probably using Google Services 20 times per web access at least. In case that stuff right there just went over your head, I’m just pointing out that every time I visit a website (=1 web access) there are 20 additional “websites” that are accessed after that, because any one website has dependences on other services.

Which brings me (finally) to the article I just read, “Peak Google“, which points out that Google may well be like IBM back in its heyday, being really profitable and really scary, but in fact with its business model it actually probably has peaked, and we all know what happens when things peak. It’s a more sophisticated argument than that, so be sure to take a close read yourself.

It’s fascinating to me because to my mind the only truly sustainable software model is that of Open Source. I mean, they recently found a bug that was 25 years old and everyone just sort of laughs it off. Yes I know that’s a pretty unsophisticated summary of what happened with the Shellshock bug, but that vulnerability really is an 11 out of ten, but the world goes on because generally it’s a sustainable model. Imagine if Apple software had a bug like that. Babam.

With Open Source, no one gets fired, no stocks to worry about, just fix it, and get everyone to patch it. Probably it’ll cause adjustments in the community so that such a thing can happen again (alas, but it will!). On the contrary there are a zillion lines of Google code locked behind a company wall and what happens to those if-slash-when Google is just an IBM-of-today rather than the IBM-of-the-eighties?

Weighty stuff.


  1. Hope everything’s cool in KL, I’ll take a look at the article when things are less busy.

    I think there are not only cases of commerical software becoming relegated to abandonware, but also closed-source software becoming open-source when the company can no longer economically sustain itself. e.g. Blender.

    • amorris

       /  October 26, 2014

      Everything is great in KL, just had a holiday. Hope things are less busy for you soon.