Companies (Google) Don’t Exist to Help Consumers

One thing that people seem to be forgetting with this whole Google-Verizon net neutrality cluster (f) is that companies are here to make money – not to help consumers. This isn’t just a view of Google either, I have seen it in a couple of places where people state something along these lines: “Wouldn’t it be great if Steve Jobs wrote an open letter supporting net neutrality”. The clear answer is yes that would be great, the more support for net neutrality (no matter which individual) the better off we all are. What people fail to realize though, as the fact that it is not the obligation of other companies to speak up, the obligation of all companies (excluding non-profits) is to make money.

In the pursuit of money consumers are usually the ones that get hurt.

Now of course it is important to note that companies are not out to screw over consumers, doing that would doom any business. What I am saying is that companies will choose profits over consumers any day of the week. It takes a special kind of company that won’t abide by that rule – so special that none come to mind. Sometimes (often) choosing to help your customers as much as you can will benefit you financially – however there are rare cases where this does not hold true. Net Neutrality is one of them, insulin is another.

It is simple economics at work, these huge corporations realize when they have you over the barrel and you are at their mercy. If they pass anti-net neutrality legislation they will have such a case. Google I think is assuming that right now they have customers in such a position, search, email and docs are all very powerful tools that many rely on for everything. For diabetics insulin is that product – no matter how much companies charge for it people will continue to buy insulin, because without they may die.

For most companies the thought process is as such:

Customers are number one while things are running smoothly, when we feel threatened our investors start to worry and our jobs are no longer secure, thus companies will begin to do what ever they think they need to do to survive.

But is Google is feeling threatened? Think about it, Bing is doing an impressive job, Android gets very little press compared to iOS (Apple), and Apple is now entering the mobile advertising space (iAds). You better believe that Google is feeling threatened, that is not to say that they think they are on the verge of collapse, or that even I think that – they aren’t. Google though is very much in a territorial fight with Microsoft and Apple, that is why they are putting customers aside in an unapologetic search of more control and profits.

Google must have realized that right now in time they hold a unique opportunity to try going out and screwing over consumers, while at the same time not losing any customers. We need to speak up, loudly.

Originally posted for members on: August 12, 2010
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