Why it doesn’t pay to play nice with Google

Everyone is so in love with Google. It seems that 99% of the time they can do no wrong and when they do it’s forgotten by the time of the next news cycle. We are always hearing people singing praises about their web apps. GMail rules, GReader rules and iGoolge .. well okay maybe it doesn’t rule but people still like it.

What happens though if you create an application that is equally loved as anything that Google puts out?

Well if you are Remember The Milk (RTM) you do your very best to play nice with Google by integrating yourself inside their most popular web app – GMail. After all it’s a smart business move – right?

At the very least you get some great press and make your VC backers very happy. At the very best you get that great pay day everyone was hoping for when Google buys you up.

Now I don’t use RTM but I see a lot of people talking about it on Twitter, FriendFeed or their blogs. It’s all the snitz with the social media crowd. It wasn’t until I was reading a post by Stowe Boyd where he quite rightly pointed out how easy it was to switch from RTM in GMail over to the new Google Tasks that got launched today that I realized that playing nice with Google might not pay off.

While Stowe didn’t come right out and say this move by Google to basically rip off RTM with their Tasks integration with GMail it’s not hard to see the effect it will have. Sure I know this move by Google doesn’t necessarily spell the end of Remember The Milk but damn, it sure is a slap in the face.

Considering that the majority of the market for RTM was the same do everything on the web crew that are big fans of GMail the integration of the two was a natural. Not anymore though it would seem and with that section of the marketplace now having a native Google option to RTM that’s gotta hurt the bottom line.

I guess in this case it was really cheaper to create something in-house rather than buying up an existing company – much to RTM’s downfall. No longer does it seem a case of if Google wants your application that they buy the business. Nope .. now they’ll just kill it off with their copy off it.