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Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest

Do No Evil

One of Google's tenets is to "do no evil" as they run their corporation. This article questions their motives as they've changed the agreement for Chrome, their browser.

I don't necessarily think that Google is evil, and in many ways I think they've learned from Microsoft in how to not appear so. They're a corporation, striving for profit and trying to do a better job, but they're going to stumble. Naturally they want to promote their own products, which makes sense, and tie them tightly together.

That's what Microsoft wants as well, though they sometimes go too far in preventing alternatives from being adopted.

It's a fine line that you walk as a corporation, trying to grow, trying to make a profit, and it's hard sometimes to know if you're skirting the line and perhaps doing something unethical. In my ventures we've tried to be fair, but there are plenty of people that have disagreed with our decisions.

Personally I think this is where capitalism fails. As entities grow larger, become more popular, they gain power, and it's hard to not take advantage of that power to grow more. I think many times the most successful companies sometimes appear evil because they continue to do what has worked for them. And those practices often shut out or prevent smaller companies from competing, making them appear evil.

There's no shortage of evil companies, however, with plenty of people willing to make decisions and engage in practices they know are illegal or immoral, all to make a few more shekels.

Comments

Posted by David Benoit on 23 December 2008

I appreciate the link and the comments Very thoughtful.

I think the point of why people are in this business has to be considered, and there are no exclusions here. While some may be desiring to provided a needed service there is still an underlying aspect to providing that service; making money. Google is no different. They are intending to make money and in order to do that they have to be the top in what they do. Chrome was just a step toward that as everything they do rides on top of the browser (from our perspective anyway). Actually it was surprising to me that they took so long to put one out. Having that control "in house" was far too critical to what they do.

...and besides, Chrome is pretty cool. :)

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