Google, it used to be I couldn't wait to see your cheery face in the morning. Now I'm not sure I can even get a straight answer from you.
When you first showed up out of nowhere, I was charmed like everyone else. You dressed simply. There was nothing artificial about you. You just did what you did better than anyone else. You were so low-key about it that I never would have guessed you'd become rich and famous.
[ See "Jailbreaking the Internet: For freedom's sake" by InfoWorld's Paul Venezia. | Read "Google, land of the spoiled brats?" by InfoWorld Editor in Chief Eric Knorr. | Follow the latest developments in business technology news and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter.]
Then you did -- and I thought you deserved it. When you figured out a foolproof way to make billions, I was happy for you. You were making an honest dollar giving people what they wanted. The American Dream couldn't have happened to anyone nicer.
Then you got into news. Some people said you were freeloading off those who created the stuff; I thought you were just helping people get what they wanted in a new, hip, timely way. Yes, competition for your approval was fierce, and I guess I should have seen that as a bad sign. But I gave you the benefit of the doubt.
When you got into the tool business, I was thrilled. You were giving them away! And you were flying in the face of a big, bad company that charged too much for the old heavy versions. I didn't see how you could possibly be making money, but somehow that made it even cooler. It was David and Goliath all over again, even if you were growing so fast that some people said you'd be as big as Goliath in no time.
When you started dressing for birthdays and anniversaries no one else remembered, I thought it was a little eccentric, but charming. Some hinted it was pretentious, that professional designers had a hand in it. But I didn't mind. To me it just seemed like you.
You may have bought your way into video, but I didn't care. You were still giving stuff away free, even if critics said you were giving away stuff that wasn't yours. It was like Robin Hood. And a point of pride that they tried to pass laws to stop you from doing it.
I even defended you when Meg Whitman attacked you for those exorbitant lunches. It was your money. You had good taste and always picked up the check. What business was it of hers?