Google’s lost philosophy
Google started with “Don’t be evil” philosophy. Today, this stands at the sixth place of core Google principles. You can learn a lot from lessons Google forgot.
When you look at Google’s philosophy, you will see that “Don’t be evil” is still there. However, Google’s insisting on pushing Google+ results in front of everything else provoked a lot of uproar.
In a weird turn of events, engineers from Facebook, Twitter and MySpace joined forces and created a browser plug-in called – ironically – “Don’t be evil.” This browser plug-in allows you to perform searches in the old way, without Google pushing Google+ results before you see anything else.
It’s definite that Google got lost along the way and forgot its own philosophy. What Google forgot are some very sound principles and it is good to be acquainted with them.
“Wise men profit more from fools than fools from wise men; for the wise men shun the mistakes of fools, but fools do not imitate the successes of the wise.”
- Cato the Elder
1. Focus on the user and all else will follow.
Pushing something like Google+ on unwilling internet searchers is not what I would call “focusing on the user.” This sound business principle is something that brought Google to where it is today. If you follow this rule, your own business will never stray from the path to success.
2. It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
Nobody can say that Google’s search engine and accompanying advertising program (AdWords) were not top of the line. Google Search was more than really really good. It was The Best. All other internet portals, at the time, tried to push their own results before anything else. Google was unbiased and offered everybody the same chance.
However, if Google keeps pushing forward unwanted things, how long until somebody else steps forward and take over? You would do a good thing if you remember this rule. It is definitely a recipe for success.
3. Fast is better than slow.
Well, this is one thing still in Google’s focus. It is quite obvious and really does not deserve too much analysis. Better, bigger, faster will always be better than worse, smaller, slower.
4. Democracy on the web works.
Democracy on the web works only so far as it is not abused. Google’s new algorithm favors Google+ pages. It is not democracy at work anymore. When Google used Twitter tweets and re-tweets to judge popularity of a link, it provided search results that were more honest.
In your own business, remember this, and never forget social networks and their power of influence. After all, Arab Spring started on Twitter.
5. You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.
This is one of those rules that Google didn’t forget. With the explosion of iPhones, iPads, Android phones and tablets, you dare not disregard mobile users in your business. Today, everything is mobile and wireless.
6. You can make money without doing evil.
Yes, it is possible. Ironically, the Google is one company that proved that it is possible to create big success without succumbing to self-serving actions. Now, such actions could be the undoing of this corporate giant.
We all know that it is difficult to follow this rule. However, if you do your best and try to incorporate this principle in your business, nobody will condemn you. It will ease your sleep and give you nicer dreams too.
7. There’s always more information out there.
After the internet showed up, this one thing is always true. Google seems to try to forget this and penalize or favor sites with self-interest in mind. Well, Facebook and Twitter can promote information Google hides.
In your own business, you should know that there is no possibility to hide your competition from your clients. If you do offer the best (information), your clients (readers, visitors, customers...) will never need to look anywhere else.
8. The need for information crosses all borders.
Internet does not belong to any single country. People on the other side of the globe can read what I write here as soon as it is published. Google still thinks internationally and you should too. Why should you discard six billion potential customers just because they do not live in your country?
9. You can be serious without a suit.
Well, we are all aware of this and Google is too. However, there is a time and place for formal as well as for casual. Extremes are never the best choice. Try to find balance and realize that there is no reason why your work cannot be fun too.
10. Great just isn’t good enough.
This is one lesson you can take too far. Too many changes in too short period can create more problems than you can handle. Google seems to be swinging backward and forward on this. In their beginning, they focused on one thing and made it the best. Google search was The Best! You should strive to be the best in your own niche too. It is true that being great is good, but being The Best is the best.
Learning from your own mistakes is good, but learning from mistakes others make is much better. We can all learn from Google.