Looks like Google stock is going to finally start trading tommorrow at $85. Frankly, I don't know what all the hoopa over the IPO is about. First of all, I don't think there is a real customer loyalty for Google. Google is just a tool that became popular enough for the company name to become a verb. Utility does not make customer loyalty nor brand value IMHO.
Google's search engine was effective in the past but it has failed to keep up with the changing environment such as the rising level of noise introduced by search engine optimization (SEO) hacks and blogging. Big IPO means new competitors will spring up to pull a google on Google and, if they offer better results than Google, I expect Google users will happily flock out of Google's grasp.
Gmail is interesting but I think trying to make money off private information is like playing with fire. Besides, others can and are doing the same. Desktop search has more interesting possibilities, but they are vulnerable to counterattacks by Apple and Microsoft.
Finally, Orkut left a bad taste in my mouth. I was favorable in the past toward Google's habit of offering experimental services, but those service didn't require me to invest substantial amount of time and attention. Orkut did and I now feel like a spent laboratory rat. While some people might laugh at Friendster, at least they are trying earnestly to make something out of it.
So, I am sending Google IPO to the null device.