I recently had a conversation with a business analyst who told me an interesting story: Back in 2005 he had an interview at RIM. When he sat down the interviewer lead with a couple of standard interview questions and then put several different Blackberry phones on the table and asked, "How would you improve these?"
The business analyst reached into his pocket and pulled out an iPod and said, "Make it more like this. Make it simple. Let people put their music on it, take pictures, and record video."
There was a long pause as the interviewer stared at him in disbelief. The interviewer looked down at the phones and then back up at the business analyst and said, "What does any of that have to do with business?"
The business analyst didn't get the job and RIM didn't get the jump on an idea that would eventually resurrect itself in 2007 as the Apple iPhone.
As a business owner I feel that Google is dangerously close to making the same error - and potentially alienating millions of customers.