Jeff Jarvis on the Google Killer

JEFF JARVIS, author of Gutenberg the Geek (Amazon Publishing), Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live (Simon & Schuster, 2011) and What Would Google Do? (HarperCollins 2009), blogs about media and news at He is associate professor and director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism.

He is consulting editor and a partner at Daylife, a news startup. He consults for media companies and is a public speaker. Until 2005, he was president and creative director of, the online arm of Advance Publications. Prior to that, Jarvis was creator and founding editor of Entertainment Weekly; Sunday editor and associate publisher of the New York Daily News; TV critic for TV Guide and People; a columnist on the San Francisco Examiner; assistant city editor and reporter for the Chicago Tribune; reporter for Chicago Today.

  • Transcript


Question: Is there a Google Killer out there?

Jeff Jarvis: I don’t see anything on the horizon that can stop Google. And that’s our own fault in the industry because we’ve just really let Google have everything.

In the ad industry we’ve said, okay, they have almost half the ad industry now online. They’ve taken over search not because they’re evil or nefarious but because they’re damned good.

The only water to the witch of Google that I can see is openness. Google is not fully open, it is opaque. And so if you look at Google’s response to Facebook, and its sudden dominance of the new “Friend” market, they responded by trying to create with others an open standard for friend relationships online.

And I think that the response to Google would be not another company but an open network. So I argue, for instance, that we should have an open ad network out there that is more transparent than Google’s, that provides some competition to Google and that provides more real value in the market place.

Unfortunately the rest of the industry just doesn’t have its act together. They don’t know how to cooperate and so Google will only grow bigger and bigger and bigger.

Recorded on: April 30, 2008