Why is Google squeezing developers?
There have been a lot of crazy prices coming out of Google lately.
- App Engine Pricing (since revised to be less insane)
- Maps pricing
- Analytics (not exactly a developer-focused product, and the prices aren’t that crazy for the target tier)
Here are some things I don’t understand about this
- Given the number of overpaid MBAs at Google, how did nobody evaluate this pricing against competition (e.g. EC2 vs. App Engine) or sanity (e.g. maps cost per page view vs typical CPM)? Maybe these prices are an attempt at price discrimination and behind the scenes they’re negotiating aggressively?
- Does Google really see these as being relevant revenue streams given their revenues?
- App Engine drives adoption of Google Accounts, Maps furthers the Google brand, and Analytics furthers Google ads. Does undercutting these by charging really outweigh the harm to the overall business?
- If Google is fighting for the hearts and minds of developers with Android and other platforms, why show itself to be tone-deaf and heartless toward platform consumers?
- Google used to talk a lot about trying to make the web better with various free services and making money through search. Did they get bored with this?
- Google is sitting on a gigantic cash cow with Apps. Companies pay less for Apps than they do for fogbugz or Campfire or various other services that are less indispensable. Why undercharge for the one service for which enterprises are willing to pay and which has no real competition? Especially if this money could also go to making these applications better and faster (multiple pricing tiers?) instead of the gradual decline we witnessed once Google cleared the market of realistic alternatives. Google could even make money offering one-click billing for App Engine apps used by Google Apps domains. Why is Google trying to make money in the hardest way available? I assume this is some sort of terrible cost center accounting, and the end of an era.