Scoble wonders Where was Google? – apparently, the company did nothing at Gnomedex this year.
"See, this is what Google did so well in the early days: it learned from its users and set a “cool and trustworthy tone” by showing up to small events and listening to users."
But, as Robert notes, everyone was using Google there. Robert is, as you might expect, overestimating the importance of small events in the lifecycle of a product and company. Google’s user base has now grown well beyond the geeks that it served only a few years ago. When Google was attending the likes of Gnomedex, the audience were representative of its user base.
Now though, everyone uses Google, and the needs of an customer base that large are very different to those of a small company. It no longer needs to appeal to early adopters. Could Google learn anything more from the Gnomedex crowd? Maybe. Could it return enough to make a return on the investment of going? Probably not.