Friday, April 22, 2005

Wal-Mart and Google: Separated at Birth?

Wal-Mart and Google: twin business behemoths that help define our age.

Both rose quickly from nowhere to eclipse established players and now dominate their industry. And having achieved unimagined success, they continue to plan their next ambitious assaults on our minds and wallets.

Great story this week at entitled “Why Google Is Like Wal-Mart,” by Adam L. Penenberg. It’s funny, insightful and ominous, all at the same time.


Here is how Google and Wal-Mart are alike in terms of In-house technology:

• Wal-Mart: Developed information technology (it operates the nation's largest private satellite communication system) and perfected the use of the bar code to speed up the supply chain so that both Wal-Mart and the vendor know exactly how many blenders, brooms and baseball gloves they have sold, and how many need to be delivered to specific stores.

• Google: Developed algorithms to rank web pages by link popularity so that searches are not only fast, but also yield the most useful results.

And here, the “Quote the company most regrets”:

• Wal-Mart: "I pay low wages. I can take advantage of that. We're going to be successful, but the basis is a very low-wage, low-benefit model of employment." -- Founder Sam Walton

• Google: "We are moving to a Google that knows more about you." Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

There's lots more. For the full story, see,1284,67287,00.html

No comments: