How Google Really Blew It In Radio

Blodget’s post and link to Jessica Vascellero’s WSJ article on how Google blew it in radio is a bit misleading:

And then there was the culture clash, which is neatly summed up by this quote from Eric Schmidt:

“With an enormous data corpus, our computers can do the math really well,” he said. “But in the audio case, there wasn’t a good signal back to us about which ads performed.”

via How Google Blew It In Radio (GOOG).

The part I would have quoted is:

A look at what went wrong shows that Google misjudged the capacity of its technology to work beyond the Web, and underestimated the human side of the business. Radio stations refused to turn over airtime to a computer algorithm that set prices far lower than their own rates.

The simple truth is that Google walked into this space with their geeky-arrogant, “we can buy you whenever we want” attitude.  That shit does not fly in the world of radio. Here’s a bit about how that difference created conflicts even between dMarc and Google employees:

Google favored hiring seven or so new salespeople, and told the Steelbergs their candidates weren’t qualified, these people say. Google tends to hire only from the most selective colleges; many of the Steelbergs’ candidates hadn’t gone to college. A spokeswoman for the Steelbergs declined to comment.

The lesson that Google should walk away with here?  In business, people do matter.  Relationships do matter.  The real world isn’t as meritocratic as you think it is.