Just Because You Can...

... is a really, really bad reason to do something. Whether we're talking about product lines, technology, or marketing. Google is the perfect example. They have a campus full of incredibly smart people and gigantic piles of cash. So they can do pretty much anything they want. But right now they are getting into the smart power business for homes. Which, I'm sure there is some connection to their search strategy somewhere, but at that point, you're just rationalizing. They are getting into smart power because they can. And it's a bad move. They do and/or will have significant challengers in search, advertising, mobile platforms, web browsing and web apps. A case could be made that they've already spread themselves too thin. But at least all those had some connection back to the core search philosophy. Ultimately, not only will efforts like this distract them and leave them vulnerable in some areas they now dominate, it will dilute the brand. Or worse yet, it could reinforce the low Google backlash rumbles that have already begun. They could end up not just standing for nothing, but playing the role this decade that Microsoft played in the 90's and IBM played in the 80s: a big, arrogant, stagnant bully.