Google is taking over the world.
For starters, they own this site.
But beyond that. Every time I poke my head into Google labs, there’s something new and awesome. Often, it’s something that only the week before, I said “gee it would be really cool if Google had this.” (Thank you, I know that was a terrible sentence. You understand what I meant, you grammar Nazi.) I don’t know if the engineers at Google are somehow reading my mind, or what, but it’s pretty awesome. I remember Google back in the day when all the site had was a box and “search.” And now it’s a vast multimedia empire. I ask Google questions, and it answers. I need to see where, exactly, a house I am interested in buying is, and I can look it up on Google maps and see a satellite image. Movie times? Google. Trying to track down a video? Google. I love that when I’m searching for a news item, I can Google it and instantly get ten sides of the story.
I can’t decide if I am ok with Google slowing taking over the world, or not. I wish I had bought stock when it first came out though man. I know that Google uses user information in ways I am sometimes uncomfortable with (for example, scanning my email and customizing ads for me based on the perceived content.) On the other hand, Google does a lot of cool stuff. I appreciate their graphic aesthetic, that all of their sites are simple, graceful, and navigable. For those on slow connections, Google always loads quickly, and that’s awesome. They design really innovative things, and I have a great deal of admiration for their engineers. Google’s got style, I tell you what.
I’d sort of like to work for Google, although I don’t really have any skills they could use, not being, you know, an engineer. But the facility in Mountain View looks pretty excellent, and from what I’ve read and heard, Google is a very progressive and holistic employer. I like that. I like that a company worth a lot of money genuinely cares about the health and well being of employees. I like that women who work for Google get plentiful maternity leave, and meals delivered to their homes in the often busy time directly following delivery. I like that engineers are allowed to dedicate company time to private projects (though presumably Google owns the results, I still think it’s a system that stimulates the thoughtful exchange of ideas.) I like the Google feeds their employees, gives them snacks, has a childcare centre and on-site laundry. These things make me wish I was nerd enough for Google. I adore Google because it constantly keeps me guessing. What will Google come up with next? What company will they acquire, and to what end? Is Google really taking over the world? Are we ready for world Googleation, and what will it be like?
I know that there’s a cult of Google much like there is a cult of Mac–and I’m beginning to think that perhaps both cults have a basis in actual reality.