Monday, April 23, 2007

A six-year-old's view of Google Strategy

My six-year-old ("six and a half, dad!") quietly lurked as I enthusiastically showed someone how Google Book Search works. It was one of those typical "Oh wow - I never even clicked that 'more' link!" interactions - where I could have spent an hour boring her on every non-search product on the 'more' page - but we focused on Book Search, since that was relevant to her work. She was very excited to get started, and, as I found out later that night, so was my son.

him: "How do you spell 'Construction'?"...
me: "C - O - N.... S - T - R... - what are you doing"?
him: "Google Book Search on 'construction trucks' - 'c-o-n-s-t-r' what's next?"
me: "Huh? How do you know how to do that?"
him: "I watched you show it to that lady - 'c-o-n-s-t-r' what's next!?"

So he happily gets his list of Contruction Truck books...and later he says:
"Why do you have so many different things?"
me: "What are you talking about?"
him: "There are so many things on that 'more' page! - how come?"
me: (I'll save me 'How to explain Google Strategy to a six-year-old ("six-an-a-half!!") for another post') "You think it's too much?"
him: "uh.. yEAh!" (with that 'look how daddy taught me to be sarcastic' tone)
- and then, here was his strategic advice:
"Why can't you just enjoy what you have? - at the end of 2008, you have to stop - no new 'more' stuff."

I just stared at him - contemplating the impact of this advice...
"wow - that's an interesting idea... I'll talk to some people about that and see what they think!".


Anonymous said...

"Why can't you just enjoy what you have?", maybe that's why we are humans and why we have reached this point (in the good and bad sense).

It's interesting to think about it, because it could be said that we would be better without that desire of having more... let me find a cool cartoon I should have starred in Google Reader... Here is it.

Maybe we are in a bad situation now; but if because the fear of failing or making things worse we don't try to make ourselves better, we will never know if we could have been in a higher and greater level.

Conclusion: We (as a world/humanity) and you (as Google) should keep going with innovations -carefully- with the hope of a better world.


Titanas said...

Imagine that! It would be great to listen to a non biased, innocent view of a 6 year old exposed to high tech and internet.

Unknown said...

This post made me smile :-)

Stu Andrews said...

Didn't Tom Hanks show us the wisdom of listening to kids? I think it was in some movie called "Large"? :).

I think it's awesome that you can tell this kind of story. The clarity with which children see things is powerful, and to see it impacting a company like Google .. well that just makes me happy.

Cheers on your blog! I just stumbled across it via a comment you made on Paul Stamatiou's. Added to Google Reader, under my "_comment on_" folder :).