Global CIO: Google Derangement Syndrome Erupts Worldwide - InformationWeek
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6/3/2010
07:42 AM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
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Global CIO: Google Derangement Syndrome Erupts Worldwide

The new and widespread antipathy toward successful and disruptive companies like Google and Apple is cowardly and counterproductive.

What's behind the current fad of despising companies that have become preeminent in their fields? When did we in this country begin to hold greatness in contempt? Can't we root for the underdogs without despising the big dogs for their success?

The latest example of this odious trend is the rapidly spreading global epidemic of Google Derangement Syndrome that's causing hordes of politicians, bureaucrats and journalists to morph into delusional nut-cases glomming together to portray Google CEO Eric Schmidt as the tech industry's Manchurian Candidate.

And speaking of nutcases: the New York Times, stretching overstatement to the point of utter absurdity, ran an apparently serious piece this week called Is Steve Jobs Big Brother?.

Yes indeed, two fantastic global companies, Google and Apple, that are engines of economic growth, job creation, widespread prosperity, and exquisite creativity, and our prevailing anti-business culture manages to lampoon them as The Manchurian Candidate vs. Big Brother.

Oh the irony: do a Google search on "Is Google too big?"and check out some of the 222,000,000 responses.

This anti-success, cut-'em-down-to-size tub-thumping really matters because, in spite of what to most people is the obvious absurdity of this situation, the political climate in the country today doesn't just tolerate but craves more regulation on business, more government oversight, more growth-stifling taxation, and more acceptance of the disturbing notion that being big means being malicious.

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I don't know about you but I like big, confident, smart-as-hell companies whose hard-earned swagger gives them not only the confidence but also the resources to plow into new areas with new ideas, to spend more than $9 billion per year on R&D (thank you, Microsoft), and that offer great compensation and benefits to tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people.

Startups are fabulous as well and long may entrepreneurial passion and dreams keep them coming—but to love startups does not mean you have to despise big companies and their big profits and their big influence.

So back to the Times' tin-foil-hat guy with his serious assertion that Steve Jobs is a brutal despot. What astonishes me is the event that triggered this writer's dive down the rabbit hole: the interesting but hardly unexpected surge in Apple's stock price that has pushed its market cap higher than Microsoft's. Get the water-tight causality there? Success equals higher stock price equals brutal, authoritarian, spirit-crushing dictatorship. If you think I'm overstating the matter, just take a look at these charges from the hyperventilating author, all within the first 100 words of his hallucination:

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