October 26th, 2006
Please see my first Silverstein/UNC post for additional information.
Google’s Philosophy evidently has been published to the web many times before. I’ll repost it here for my benefit:
The Google Philosophy:
- Focus on the user and all else will follow.
- It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
- Fast is better than slow.
- Democracy on the web works.
- You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.
- You can make money without doing evil.
- There’s always more information out there.
- The need for information crosses all borders.
- You can be serious without a suit.
- Great just isn’t good enough.
Please forgive my paraphrasing of the questions…
What is the most important things that kids can learn today?
Every kid should learn…
(Huge laughs from the crowd)
Then, in a more serious tone, Craig said that people need to learn to critically evaluate information. In the future, more and more information will be available to the public. The most vital skill is to be able to filter which information is important and what is not.
With the recent AOL release of private searching information and with the government’s demands for search engines to release private information, what is google’s ethical responsibilities to protect user’s privacy?
The aol researchers had good intentions but just did not realize how difficult it is to make search engine queries anonymous. Craig said there should be a clear separation between the mistakes of these AOL researchers and AOL as a company. (That disclaimer reminded me that AOL and google do have common interests.)
He also stated that google has learned this lesson before and knows better than do doing something similar.
With google releasing new services all the time, how do they support them all?
Craig said that they make a conscious decision to put them out before they are completely finished. Google wants to know early on in the process if something is going to fail or succeed. Google releases something in beta, provides basic documentation, and then builds a google user group around it. The side effect of this is that the user groups provide a lot of the support during these lengthy beta periods.
How is google answers going to compete with yahoo answers?
To Craig’s credit, he said nothing bad about yahoo (or Microsoft or anybody else) through the entire talk. He praised yahoo’s service and said that it is was a free version built more around respect than google’s model of payments. He thinks the competition will make both products stronger.
Interesting to me, Craig said that many of the people on google answers are actually stay-at-home mothers who can make extra money doing research for others.
How can educators compete in an environment of laptops with competing distractions to a lecture (IM, email, etc.)?
Simply put, they must compete. Educators must sell their information like everybody else. Too many alternatives to information are available for educators to do otherwise.