24 octubre 2012

What is Google for you?

For many of us, Google is basically internet although some might not be entirely aware of it.

Let me give you a few examples.

The keyword most searched last year was "facebook". Well, why? Because people do not type the URL (internet address) anymore, they simply search for it. People doing those searches were not looking for information about Facebook, they simply were lazy to type www.facebook.com, they let Google doing for them.

One more, how many times have you been told "please, google it". We use it as a synonymous of search. Years ago, family long discussions were sorted out with grandparent's best guess or oldest memories. Now, someone, most probably the kid, googles it. That is all. There is no need to wait to see who is right, you just go google it.
Google have changed the way internet looks and works and maybe, for most of you, it is just the way it should be.

But it was not always like that.

When I started using internet and I wanted to get to my bank's website, I had to browse the Yahoo! Directory all the way through their category tree. Sometimes, only to learn my bank was not in that directory which could mean two things: it did not have yet a website or it did not pay Yahoo to add it.
Unfair? It looks stupid now but it was like that before Google made their move.

Such move was to democratize internet providing relevant instantaneous search results to all users anywhere and for free.
This, together with other factors, has pushed forward internet industry with incredible traction and, now, for many of us, would be impossible or really hard to understand our live without being online.

Google has revolutionized internet, clear. But a great product alone, even a search engine, would not make Google the giant it is at the moment.

Besides, they have created a company where innovation is the most important corporate value and a must for every employee.

And, for Google, innovation is not something triggered by bad financial results, it is an ongoing and continuous activity all across the company.

You probably have heard already GMail, Google Maps and Google News were initially developed as side projects by some employees who were encouraged to innovate. Innovation for the sake of innovation, for every employee, during 20% of their time. That really worked for Google.

But there is no secret spell only in the hands of the Google guys. They have "only" taken internet communities best practices and managed to use them with a tremendous business success.

They outperformed in the execution but the values and principles are well known: deliver as soon as possible and iterate, make mistakes well and make them quickly, build on top of other's ideasKISS: Keep It Simple Stupid, don't be evil, hand over control to your users/stakeholders ...

My intention is to deepen on them in future posts.

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