Google’s Recession Antidote: Innovation

26 August 09

Google's Recession Antidote: Innovation

Since last fall, the news has been dominated by tales of woe: companies going under, layoffs, downsizing, restructuring, billions of dollars lost. It’s no wonder that organizations today feel handcuffed to the point that innovation takes a back seat to simply staying afloat. But a few companies are bucking the trend and seem to be more focused on growth and innovation than ever before. One of these companies is Google.

In the last 3 months alone, Google has announced groundbreaking new projects such as Google Voice, the Chrome operating system, and Google Wave. These projects, which have been brewing for as many as five years now, are major growth opportunities for a company whose core search business is beginning to plateau. While some companies have chosen to stop work on major, untested new projects, Google has opted to charge forward and is planting a number of important seeds for its future. Will all of these new projects be runaway successes? Probably not. Will at least one of them take off? No one can be sure, but given Google’s track record, it’s very likely. We’ve all read the snippet about Google launching its search business during the dot-com bust in 2000. Read the rest of this entry »


Google’s Shiny Browser (beta)

8 October 08

Google released a beta version of its new browser, Google Chrome, a few weeks ago. Some of us here at futurethink have been using it since its launch, so we thought we’d put together some first impressions and thoughts. 

But first, some background. Chrome launched at the beginning of September, and was publicized with the launch of a little comic book that details its birth and development. The comic is an entertaining read, if, of course, you have any interest in how a Web browser works. If not, here’s the abridged version (and an overview of some of Chrome’s key features): Read the rest of this entry »

A Symbol of Change

12 March 08

futurethink blue monster microsoft

Change the world or go home. That’s what Microsoft’s unofficial mascot, the “Blue Monster,” tells employees. The cartoon was created last year by blogger, writer, and cartoonist Hugh MacLeod as sort of a gift to Microsoft.

MacLeod on the Blue Monster:

The Blue Monster came from a simple observation I made early on in my career as a Microsoft watcher: That most people I’ve met who work there could be making more money elsewhere, and taking a lot less grief from the general public and the media. So what motivates them? The answer to this, in spite of all the baggage that comes with it, is what makes the company so interesting for me.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gates Says, “I Own No Macs”

7 January 08

Bill Gates just got done with an interview with the BBC. In an interesting twist, the questions asked werebilly gates actually submitted by the readers of the BBC.

In it, Gates speaks at length about the future of computing. Apparently, it’s all about “natural user interfaces.” Think touch-sensitive interfaces like the iPhone on every electronic gadget you use. What does this mean? The keyboard and mouse as we know it today will gradually disappear.

There are also some funny moments in the interview when he assesses his competitors. He says of Google: “Google has done a good job”.

File that away as understatement of the year.

And this choice quote when he says he doesn’t use any of his competitors’ products:

“There are no Macs in my house”

I bet that makes him really popular with his kids.

You can read excerpts and watch the interview here.