Poll: Google Needs Innovation to Stay Ahead

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Much has been made of the innovation engine at Google ( GOOG), which has seen the company launch projects as diverse as the Android operating system and even digitized headgear.

TheStreet polled readers asking whether they thought Google was was spreading itself too thin by focusing on too many projects. Some 48.58% of respondents, though, said that Google needs to keep innovating, and should keep making bets to drive stakeholder value.

Conversely, some 33.19% of those polled said that Google "spends countless dollars on initiatives that fail instead of making existing segments stronger." Recent initiatives Google has launched include Android, Project Glass (which includes its headline-grabbing digitized headgear), Google+, and even driverless cars.

Only 18.21% of those responding said they weren't sure about the direction Google is heading in. They feel that some of Google's initiatives are great, while others are very puzzling.

On Google's first-quarter conference call, CEO Larry Page said the company is focusing on certain initiatives, and not devoting attention to so many projects. Google employs a 70/20/10 split, in which 70% of time is devoted towards major company initiatives, 20% is devoted towards personal side projects, and 10% is devoted towards speculative bets.

Google reported first-quarter earnings of $10.08 a share on revenue of $8.14 billion, excluding traffic acquisition costs (TAC). Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected revenue of $8.146 billion, excluding traffic acquisition costs, and earnings of $9.65 a share.

Shares of Google are lower in Friday trading, off 3.43% to $628.66.

Interested in more on Google? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

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-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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