That is the message from Quentin Hardy's interesting article in the current issue of Forbes: The Google Industrial Complex. He makes a good case for it. "Every time you run a Google search, you make its brain more powerful...With every ad click comes a little more revenue." (Of course Forbes was also on the ball with this issue's pre-acquisition cover story The YouTube Revolution.)
And we work for Google in terms of the programmable web:
As Google reaches for a billion dimes, it is fostering an industry of a billion little businesses and developers...And by opening up select bit of these programs to outside software developers, Google Chief Schmidt thinks he can create a monster new computer industry, with Google at its core. "The number one goal is to build the most powerful platform to build these new businesses," Schmidt says. "This area will be as rich as what we saw in PCs."'
Towards the last third of the story Quentin looks at APIs and mashups:
To many in the business, mashups are still a Hula Hoop, a game for kids. Not to Google's Mark Lucovsky, who wrote much of Microsoft's computer server software before leaving last year. Microsoft was sad to see him go. Lucovsky testified in court that, during his exit interview with Steven Ballmer, the Microsoft chief executive threw a chair across his office, vowing to "bury" Schmidt. Lucovsky's main job at Google is to spur growth in mashups. At least 30,000 sites use Google Maps, using the programming hooks provided by Google. This, he says, is "hard-core real-time software development that no one has seen before."
ProgrammableWeb gets a nice mention in the article and there's a brief history of how Paul Rademacher's Housing Maps mashup kicked things off, how Virender Ajmani (who has 12 mashups listed here) makes some side money from his mashups and that Jeff Marshall (7 mashups listed here and creator of HotCaptcha) does mashup consulting at $150/hour. As the story concludes, "See, we all work for Google".