Smartsheet Blog

Heavyweight fights seem to get most of the attention. Maybe that's why the press won't let go of its desire to promote the Microsoft Office vs. Google Docs fight.

My take - it won't be a fight worth watching. It won't be a 2nd round knockout. There won't even be a unanimous decision for Microsoft or Google. In fact, there will be many Software as a Service (SaaS) providers who realize success in bringing to market high value services. It will only accelerate as traditional and online software providers make it easier for customers to combine offerings.

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I had the chance to give a brief update on Smartsheet's progress at the Under the Radar conference in Mountain View last week.

It was good to see this year's new companies present as well. Interesting products. Smart people. Similar probing from the expert panelists as last year:

- 'How do you plan on selling your service?'
- 'Is what you have any different from company xyz who has been doing this for the past 2 years?'
- 'Does your idea constitute a company, product, or feature?'

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Google search does it right. One page, one search box, one call to action. The result: mass usage and relevance. It’s nearly impossible to get wrong. My father, at 71, can search for the local Thai restaurant as well as I. How many technologies obliterate those pesky learning curves forced upon us by youth or old age? I relate as strongly to Google’s design principle of ‘Keep it Simple’ as I do to their ‘Don’t be Evil’ corporate motto.

Unfortunately, the beloved ‘Keep it Simple’ philosophy is now officially under fire.

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I am reading the latest news on the Microsoft bid for Yahoo. The New York Times reports that “Google emerged over the weekend with plans to play the role of spoiler.” But a spoiler for whom? In the cloudy world of paid search, a Microsoft/Yahoo union may provide more options for a market currently dominated by Google. Today, it is widely known that it is tough to duplicate Google’s paid search results on any other search engine. This gives Google the ability to quickly add new concepts into their algorithm such as the quality score introduced a few years ago.

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