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We already know why Google announces so many useless partnerships, or at least one fringe benefit for the company, which is to signify that everyone is on its side, not Yahoo's or Microsoft's. Now Fortune Magazine reiterates: "Working with Google and grumbling about it is quite in fashion." There are so many deals and rumors of deals out there, how can anyone tell which deserve attention? Easy: Which exec made 'em?

Fortune calls Google's co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and CEO Eric Schmidt, a triumvirate. But it's certainly not an equal one. Larry and Sergey have always really been in charge, with Eric around mostly to pacify investors. The magazine's recent cover story, "Chaos by Design," refers to a few Google deals brokered or inspired by Sergey Brin (the purchase of what became Google Earth, a $900 million advertising deal), while ignoring the lesser deals made by Eric Schmidt (such as a deal to include Google data in Intuit's Quickbooks accounting software).

And therein lies the litmus test. If Sergey makes a deal, it's meaningful (if not company-changing.) If Larry makes a deal, he's really Sergey in disguise. But Eric? Don't mind him. His deals seem to start when he sees a fellow exec at a barbecue and says, "You know, we should really do a project together."


Chaos by Design [Fortune]
Earlier: Deal or No Deal: Why is Google announcing so many partnerships? [Valleywag]