Google Nexus One – How Google Lost Their Way
I’m sure you’ve heard by now about the customer service nightmare that unfolded within hours of Google launching their Nexus One mobile phone. The Nexus One was suppose to be the iPhone killer, coming onto the data device scene with a storm (no pun intended Blackberry), and becoming the overnight sensation and success that Google was looking for.
There were a lot of things that happened over night when Google’s Nexus One launched, but “sensationalism” and “success” were not one of them – unfortunately.
Google found itself in the middle of a customer service nightmare in fact. Forums started ripping Google on issues such as 3G not holding its connection and other hardware and software failures. And it was obvious that Google was not ready for this onslaught of customer service requests – in fact, it seemed as if Google wasn’t ready for anything actually. The only customer service line of communication that customers had was to submit a ticket via email to Google and then within 48 hours, supposedly the customer would hear back from the customer support.
The only problem here is that the problems were mounting very fast, and Google did not have the support in place to handle all the tickets. In fact, Google tried to off load the customer service inquiries to other companies, who in turn tried to offload the customer service demands back to Google. Needless to say, it was a gaggle in the largest magnitude of the word.
I see the Google Nexus One phone as an example of how Google lost their way. And what I mean by this is Google is, and always has been, a provider of platforms. Obvious examples of being a platform provider is Google. Google search creates massive search volume on the web, and then Google has a platform (Google Adwords) upon which businesses can get exposure to all of those keyword searches. Another example of a platform that Google has built and thrives upon is Google Android. The Android OS has been designed, initially for mobile phones, but is quickly expanding into other devices such as TV’s and even cars.
You see, the point here is the Google is best at building, providing, and facilitating a platform upon which other companies build products and innovation. With Google Nexus One, Google truly lost their way and completely forgot who they were and what they were best at. Obviously Google has learned this lesson the hard way by launching a product and then dealing with the aftermath. I actually commend Google for trying, but when you look at who “Google” is, and what they are best at, then individual product launches is not their strong suit – platform provider and innovation is where Google excels.