"do one thing really, really well"

So, Google is eating up the news lately---today, for instance, proclaiming the beta-born Google Finance.

Much excitement. But the nerdy-underdog-turned-Goliath company has drawn its critics.

The most interesting supposition being that Google has forsaken its sacred task to "do one thing really, really well," in order to evolve into a unmanageable octopus with self-multiplying beta arms. I first heard this at Search Engine Watch Blog, and found it a hard pill to swallow (esp. compared to the rest of the easy-hit gripping). Xoogler Doug Edward replies with his rebuttal, loyal but fair to the core. He says:

I believe Larry and Sergey (and later, Eric) understood that they might occasionally fall short of their lofty goal, but publicized it anyway because they wanted to be held accountable to the highest possible standard... Setting the bar impossibly high in a very public fashion would make it clear to employees that the executive team valued integrity and it would make it very painful for the company to settle for a path of good intentions instead of a road of righteous deeds. Google has taken heat for some recent decisions, but it'’s too early to damn them for trying to deliver on the most ambitious promise a company can make in an imperfect world.
Fair enough, philosophies aren't a business plan afterall, but a boundary and a foundational guide. Yet, a simple glance at a limited list of Google's products and tools leaves a widening gap in the mind between the theory and practice. Each of these new directions was in turn well received and continues to sustain popularity, but is there a point when there's too much on the plate?

Edward tries to make the point that "in spirit" Google remains true to its manifesto for singular excellence, by saying that
"while Google has a lot of products, it's still doing only one thing: organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful."

His claim--even coming from a former exec-- still falls a bit short. It's pretty explicit on the Corporation site, that those idealistic words point specifically at "
Google does search." That's not just a letter, that's an outline of scope. Now, eating my words, let me say this: Google does still do only one thing really well, Search--everything else is just beta! And, jokes aside, I think the philosophy is accomplished in spirit too--in the sense that Search provides the base that supports the popularity of all the other products (and revenues).

Just one final though about those innumerable Google sub-products. Can the nerd-underdog-cum-tech-giant get too big to produce the excellent innovation and management that have brought it to its heights today?