What would Google do?

by Wojciech Adam Koszek   ⋅   Apr 1, 2013   ⋅   Menlo Park, CA

Yet another Google book

This is a pure propaganda!

Reading this thing lead to mixed feelings, however I consider the overall experience – the aftertaste – to be positive. Praising Google for pretty much every single action in the history of its operation not necessarily agrees with my vision of the Internet, but author’s points are valid.

Google made a huge impact on the relationship between a customer and the company. First of all when I started to use Google it felt more like an institution, than a company, since the main thing – the “www.google.com” – didn’t have advertisements and other annoying and troublesome usability thingies, that designers from other search shops absolutely have to add.

So Google started just from that – useful search site.

I started to feel like something wrong was going on when Google opened GMail. Its advertising was perfect advertising–service available only to a selected group of customers. And only through references. This just makes people sweat and spit and choke and fall into brainless loop of thinking, who might have some free invites left. I don’t remember exactly, but I think you could send out only 5 invites in general. So GMail invite was a crucial resource. So yeah–I started to feel like Google’s customer. Even though you can spot weird thing in getting tons of GBs of free space, nobody could resist.

And then they came–personalized ads based on what you’re sending to your friends, and seeing personalized items on your company’s computer. This is getting pretty bad. Can author see that?

Anyway–book is about a business model in the New Information Age. Think of a cute girl with Emo makeup. You want to innovate, and here he is–Jarvis giving you recipes from his observations.

In the new era of Internet it looks like it’s all about networking. Started from Facebook, there are tons of tons of sites where you can meet selected group of people of your interest. Want to meet people growing Persian hamsters? I’m pretty sure there’s a Meetup group for that.

New Internet is about collaboration–instead of selling a product, sell a platform. And have other people develop for this platform. This is very hard to resist, and even such a weird ANSI C retard like myself is teased by Google’s AppEngine or Microsoft’s Azure.

Like Larry Ellison said: there was this lazy, foggy day in which somebody somewhere figured out: I don’t want a server, disk, networks, cables, switches, operating systems, MB/s. I just want to use the software to do the job. Google is just that. The way I think about modern software architecture is that we’re getting back to the beginning of UNIX computing–trivial terminal with display port + sophisticated mainframe doing hard work. But instead of 1 machine, we have 1000. Additionally when I think about shipping binary app to the customer and finding critical bug in an app 3 days later, it gets depressing. So yeah: web stuff and cloud things can help. For example: the fact Qt comes with a JavaScript interpreter helps a lot. You just make 1 version: WWW version. Then you just write a program with WWW applet in QT, copy the .js files to local filesystem and you’re done. Solution ready.

The idea of putting nearly everything on Google is crazy. We need privacy to a bigger extent like never before, and maybe we should ponder slowing down a bit, to figure out what the long-term results of transatlantic e-networking. He’s the thing: 90% of people in California coffee shops are workoholics or iPhone addicts. I don’t like that.

Idea with declaring thing to be beta indefinitely is a nice one. Will remember that.

Honestly and transparency is great, however I don’t know how it applies to Google. Dear Google, I really want “Make sure my e-mails don’t appear in script-kiddies search result” button to be implemented. I’d like not to get personalized ads based on things which I’ve sent to my friends. Really.

Worth reading to get a breeze of ideas on how to design your “open” business.

“The Automatic Millionaire”

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About the author: I'm Wojciech Adam Koszek. I like software, business and design. Poland native. In Bay Area since 2010.   More about me