Is Google Broken?
Recently a friend approached me for help on a project. A large wholesaler of home improvement products suddenly woke up to the world of the Internet. It’s an exciting project; the wholesaler wants to leapfrog over retailers and hit consumers directly. They’ll have unbeatable prices (heck, they make the stuff they’re selling), full control over inventory and a very deep understanding of the industry. We sat together one Saturday night to put together a proposal explaining how my friend could build the online business our wholesaler friend desperately needs (I personally did not plan on being involved with the actual project, short of consulting as needed).
To be clear, the proposal didn’t need stats. Normally I would include as much validated information as possible. In this case, the potential employer fully understands the need, so we didn’t really need to define it for him. I wanted to because I compare the situation to that of a hungry man entering a resturant for some grub. He knows he’s hungry, he knows what his options are, but the big posters of delicious looking food help drive the point home, translating the hunger into action. In this case as well, the point of including stats was to drive the point home.
In the past I’ve had no issues running Google searches. In fact, my research has saved hopeful entrepreneurs at least $50,000 in cash they were going to spend on business ideas that ultimately were proved to be unviable after I shared my findings. But on Saturday night, my searches proved to be fruitless.
It took far too long to find out how many people are actually using Magento (I eventually found data in a 2012 Quara post). I could not find any stats on the rise in popularity of online sales or any numbers displaying the benefits of selling through Amazon. To be fair, the information I was seeking could not easily be found. Amazon and Magento cater to a whole range of sellers, each one with different products catering to a different industry. There is no magic number of how much an “average Amazon seller” makes online. I was, however, expecting something beyond CNN Money articles from 2011.
This is all too new and Google really on crapped out on me once. I don’t have a method for my searches, I just type in what I’m looking for. I wanted to document this occurrence now because I’m very curious to see what will happen in the future.