Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Is it evil to be rich

During the early stages of Google it was the darling of the IT masses. However as the company grew it slowly started drawing criticism from different circles. Google has remained the same with the same corporate policies and the same objectives, the primary objective being - to make money and more of it - as with any other company. So what shifted the attitude. The perceptible difference is that Google is richer by several orders of magnitude from what it was during its pre-IPO years.

Everything that google does these days is being observed carefully to identify if there is any evil in it. People don't usually understand something very fundamental - companies exist to make money and that is what they are supposed to be good at. Making money is a game where you dont always have a win-win situation. Sometimes you do but mostly not. The winner in all cases should be the company. So when the company takes certain steps to ensure that it wins more games and that it wins handsomely people starts complaining.

As long as a company does not indulge in illegal or unethical business practices there is no reason to complain that the company is not doing anything good for the system or the people. In the first place that is not the company's job. It is the government's job and it is the citizen's job. Moreover when you are talking about a private company you are not talking about a single entity amassing wealth. It is the whole set of shareholders amassing the wealth. Yes the total set of investors of all the companies would comprise a small subset of the total population, but they do a very essential process in the economy - creating wealth.

When google was incurring losses/earning very little income by giving away services for people for free, it was the apple of everybody's eyes. But now that it has grown into an IT behemoth earning in billions, it has slowly started becoming an eye-sore for some. I guess one simple explanation would be - jealousy.