Friday, January 20, 2006

What's French for Google?

I don't know Jim Warren of The Hague, but his letter to the editor in today's International Herald Tribune is priceless:

The Google challenge

The article "Europeans weigh plan for search engine" (Jan. 18) provides a very interesting comparison of cultures and economies. In the United States, two motivated young guys with a vision start a company from scratch, hire a bunch of smart people who aren't afraid to innovate and work long hours, and in relatively short order build a massive company. Google is now not only one of the world's most successful and valuable companies, but it is also profoundly changing the way we use the Internet.

In Europe, two governments announce a billion-euro tax-funded program to develop a government-subsidized research center that will hire a bunch of smart people who will work 35 hours per week with guaranteed pensions and who will labor under a dozen layers of management to ultimately deliver, many years from now, a more complicated and unwieldy version of what Google is already doing today.

Anyone who still can't understand why there's a large - and growing - competitive imbalance between "Old Europe" and the rest of the world need look no further than this to see the problem.

Jim Warren, The Hague

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