On Google I/O and Freebies

No More Google I/O Freebies

Some are hoping that Google gives away nothing at Google I/O 2011.

I strongly agree.

It’s possible that I’m motivated by sour grapes aftertrying to register forGoogle I/O mereminutes after registration opened, to be met with a sold out notice.

The quick sellout is partly areflection of the astonishing success of Android, coupled with thesetup that last year’s attendees were given first dibs over the precedingweek: They knew with close to certainty that they’ll leave with$1000+ in freebies, so it’s a pretty easy choice.

Now that I’m not in the running for what willlikely include a free Motorola Xoom and Nexus S, maybe I’m justtrying to urinate in the waters.


But really, such giveaways do provide the wrongmotivations. Trade shows are notorious for this, with herds ofincredibly cheap attendees — hotel and flight paid for by theiremployer, if not simply locals — motivated primarily by free pens, t-shirts, and soon.

Such a spectacle is an embarrassment. It was, I suspect, one ofthe things that killed COMDEX: When most of the floor is occupiedby people just looking to enter draws and score swag, the value ofthe show is seriously undermined.

“Yeah, great demo. Where’s my freebie?”

I refuse to believe that it enables development for Android. Isthere really a credible Android developer who couldn’t accommodatethat minimal capital expense themselves Does Apple need to giveout free iPads and iPhones?

Worse still, it devalues the entire ecosystem because it makesyou a sucker if you paid real money for something. Itmakes buying that Xoom for development even more painful becauseyou know that so many got it for free, courtesy of Google, quicklyflipping it on Ebay.