Journalists read other journalist’s stories with a different lens. So when I read Markoff’s piece (reg required) in the Times today, I was thinking “OK, what does he have that is new – he never writes about Google unless he has a scooplet buried somewhere…”
I found it here:
According to several people close to Google, the company’s reticence has drawn regulatory attention in the past. They say that a continuing informal inquiry by federal and state regulators about the way Google distributed shares to its employees in earlier years came about because the chief executive, Eric E. Schmidt, wanted to avoid a public stock offering in 2002. The company did not register shares granted under the employee stock option plan, which it might have been required to do.
Well and good, but…we knew Google was agonizing over the decision to go public. The real kicker in the piece, for me anyway, came when Markoff gave the following meme the all important final word in his piece. Quoting Inktomi founder Eric Brewer, he pointed out that Google is now an advertising company, as opposed to a technology company, a meme that The Register among others has been banging on for months.
“Because Google arose after the Internet bubble, they were able to acquire a very strong technical team,” Mr. Brewer said. “The irony is that they are really more of an advertising company than a search engine company today.”