From the Business Community: Thank You, Google.

If you're passionate about business like us, you love to study great companies -- and not-so-great-ones. Google debuted its Google Finance app yesterday. Seemingly filled with lots of flash and AJAX, you won't have to continuously load your browser. Until recently, the best we had was Yahoo! Finance. While a great application on the whole, we felt it lacked strategic information at specific phases, during a company's stage. We found Yahoo! useful to study companies based on pure numbers -- but that's about it.

Numbers Don't Say Much

Judging a company on previous trends, and numbers, ignores a company's hidden potential. Where is the company headed? How has it responded to shifting consumer demand? Is it jumping from opportunity to opportunity, or is it exploiting its inner strengths? What values does the company hold? More importantly: how does it enforce it? Warren Buffett didn't get rich playing the numbers game. He got rich because he saw potential in companies.

Why Use Google Finance

Now, with Google Finance, you can better predict a company's potential by (1) studying stories corresponding to a specific stage, with a simple drag of the stock chart; (2) participate in strategic discussions about the company, with a far wider audience; (3) get opinions from a variety of outlets - from the WSJ, to your banker's boss, to your uncle's neighbor; and (4) easily scan and compare rip-away-tear-apart financial statements. Google Finance's not perfect yet -- it's still a little on the slow side with the biggest criticism being flash consuming huge bandwidth. We're sure they'll take care of the situation, as that seems to be the biggest gripe. (Side: Om Malik has a constructive criticism piece on GF, as well.) It's just a beta phase, there will be good complaints. Ultimately, when it comes down to it, the potential of this sucker will ease all of our pains.

How You Can Use Google Finance

Google offers much increased interactivity when studying your company. The official announcement describes its features:
You'll find interactive charts that enable you to zoom through different time periods, headlines mapped right on the charts and are based on Google News, which means you're seeing unbiased and relevant results from more than 4,500 English-language news sources. And you'll get insightful comments from bloggers about public and private companies, plus Discussion Groups moderated by enthusiastic community advocates, which should foster some quality exchanges about the companies you care about.
The heightented interactivity you'll experience in the near future will help you study your companies, and make much wiser decisions for your portfolio. If you're passionate entrepreneurs and business-builders like us, it'll help you inch that much closer to building a great company.

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Posted on March 22

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