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Greed apparently NOT so evil …

November 16, 2010

Google policy says “Do no evil”. Always wondered what moral code they were defining good and evil by, although getting a clear “Google commandments” document has been pretty difficult. No stone tablets in Mountain View

So, every so often news comes out that gives us an idea of what “evil” and “good” might look like, to better predict their policies – some hints below:

  • Making sure that businesses that demand a lion’s share of communications bandwidth help offset the cost of the bandwidth so individuals don’t have to foot the burden for the  bandwidth hungry businesses (net neutrality): Evil
  • Breaking German privacy statutes due to keeping data on the street maps Google said they did NOT keep : Whoopsie! Do we still have that old thing?
  • Favoring their services & applications with hardcoded links in their search algorithm: Not evil, just business

Edelman says his evidence shows that Google may “hard-code” its own links to appear at the top of certain algorithmic search result pages, including links for Google Finance, Google Health, and other Mountain View-operated web services. In other words, these links appear independently of Google’s search algorithms, undermining the company’s off-stated claims that its search results are unbiased and completely automated.

Businesses will take every legal advantage possible to make their business more successful than their competition in a country where rule of law rules the end game and regulators are truly independent. This0 is called “Maximizing shareholder return” and “ensuring capital necessary to fund growth”

In countries where regulators have favored companies – “crony capitalism” – rule of law applies to some (the less favored companies) and not so much others. It’s setting up a scenario where the end state is monopolistic, not because of competitive advantages or efficiencies, but because of connections.

For how successful THAT turns out to be, take a look at how the European armies did against Napoleon when the officers in the other nations were chosen for connections/blood line and not competence, while in Napoleon’s army, only the most talented rose to the top in a competitive field. 

This is why it’s ok to let creative destruction happen, and it’s not wise to protect well connected companies from talented, competent competitors

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