What Would Google Do?


We are blog and news junkies here at Native. (We need to be.)

One thing that amuses me is when commentators emerge from the woodwork to direct their earnest advice towards the business and technology strategies of Google.

Google’s huge success in building an empire on search advertising is very well known. It’s enabled them to launch an entire suite of web-based applications.

(It’s likely you might be reading this blog post in Google Reader or Google Mail, for instance. If not, maybe you’re using their Google Chrome browser.)

But daily, hourly even, there is no shortage of people with some nugget of insight. Or withering putdown.

When you’re the best, you are at your most visible and you are the biggest target for ill-conceived challenges. Just ask any boxing champion who has to walk into a bar.

Admittedly Google’s recent 4th quarter financial results were down. But considering a tough market for advertising in general, they continue to do comparatively well – beating analysts’ forecasts with net profits of $382 million.

Media commentator Jeff Jarvis’ overall premise is different. While not without his own critics, Jarvis is not foolish enough to take cheap shots at the fastest growing company of recent times.

Jarvis has some good insights on his blog and Guardian newspaper pieces. I for one am looking forward to reading his new book What Would Google Do?.

His subject scope is large, judging from this book teaser:

It seems as if no company, executive, or institution truly understands how to survive and prosper in the internet age.

Except Google.

So, faced with most any challenge today, it makes sense to ask: WWGD? What would Google do? In management, commerce, news, media, manufacturing, marketing, service industries, investing, politics, government, and even education and religion, answering that question is a key to navigating a world that has changed radically and forever.

So, WWGD? (I’m looking forward to the bracelet and sandal franchises.)

Jarvis’ background is old school print journalism, so it helps to view his commentary as coming from that perspective. You might remember him from his Dell Hell online campaign in 2005 when he openly criticised the PC manufacturer via his blog and became responsible, in part, for the subsequent improvements to their customer service.

If you’re looking for more detail from Jarvis, read The Google Economy and The Imperatives of the Link Economy.

The book is out next week on Collins. (I wonder if News Corporation, their parent company, have anything to say about it.)