Shinsato Stuff

Just some stuff meant to inspire and benefit friends, family, and kindred souls.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Hey, google this!

A new verb in the english lexicon has only been around for only a few years, but it's something many of us do many times a day -- if you're reading this, you're on the internet. And I'd hope you already know what it is.

On the long drive back from visiting family, through several states (and a blizzard), we listened to The Google Story, courtesy of Audible.com. The depth of the changes that this new company has made to our society, and the changes that it's technology, attitude, and values promise to bring continue to boggle my mind. Google my mind.

A couple of young students at Stanford University cobbled together a great search engine as a fun project at the university, tried to sell it to Yahoo and a few other companies, and when these successful companies wouldn't take it, the young men were forced to market it themselves. They brought a strong value for collegiality, intense intelligence, and a desire to "do no evil". They created a powerful company culture that was about fun and innovation. Everyone at the company was required to spend 20% of their time, one day a week, on whatever project interests them most. Imagine what impact that could have were it to be fostered in all American companies. Imagine what level of passion, enthusiasm, and integrity would be required to make that work. This is what's coming. If your company isn't moving in this direction, you'd better help it get there soon. Or it's going to be a dinosaur. You know, the big beasts that used to rule, but now are gone?

Even having been in the computer industry since the late seventies, I didn't get pushed finally to take Google more seriously until a non-geek brother-in-law showed me some funny videos on video.google.com. I didn't even know about it. Hrumph. But I'd better get used to it. The non-geeks are the ones to watch to that know what's fun and what's cool on the internet.

And when I say fun, maybe I should say funds. Google is rolling in money right now, in case you've been under a rock. If you get a great idea for some web content and if you add an AdSense Google box to your site, you could be earning a decent income from the ads that people click on when they visit your site. Kids could do it. And Google's ads aren't ugly eyeball peeling blinking flashing "LOOK HERE!" ads that make you want to shoot your computer. No, they're low key ads that are designed to correspond to the interests and desires of the people who like to read the content. And they're just a line of text with a link. No flashy images. Just text. But text that earns...

Simple stuff. But brilliant. And it's things like that which will change the way we work, play, and govern. So, you might just want to pay attention! In other words, google this! Expect more companies like google to come around. They've probably already gotten started.

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