Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Google - The great innovation

Apple tops the Business Week-Boston Consulting Group’s list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for the third year in a row while Google maintained it second position (Topped as employer). The Apple iPod -- which has become a cliché of innovation -- evolved from playing songs to displaying pictures to running video, even as it became lighter and thinner. I use an ipod which is excellent and I do feel Apple deserve to be one of the leading innovators. Considering the evolution of ipods in recent years Apple topped the list.

But if we consider 21st Century (last few years); I will say Google is my choice for Most Innovative Company. One can very well ask why? What special about it. Google has a good search engine, but it was designed long back in last years 20th Century. And services like Email, Blog etc are provided by innumerous service providers.

I was introduced to the real world of Google on 2005 and its long 2 years I am using many different services of it, some of which are completely innovative and I was not expected it. It surprised me by modest graphics, robust integration between different services and constant upgradations.

Before that I used to have some Yahoo account and thought its good enough for sending and receiving mails and in some cases Yahoo chat was also good. So I was reluctant to have another Google mail and initially though what’s special about it. But found it much better than any other service providers after few months of use. Though one of my project senior still thinks Yahoo is better :-)

The Google service which impacted me

1. Google Maps and Google Earth: This is the first online map of Kolkata I have seen. There was before some maps but not so clear and detailed; rather scanned copies. It’s under development and yet to cover the small towns and villages. However Google Earth is a fascinating innovation which enables me to find all homes I stayed in the Globe so far starting from Kharagpur Railway Quarter to Henrik Ibsen Vej, Copenhagen.
2. Gmail is very special because of its orientations. Gtalk is embedded and the chained reply messages (mails) are kept in a same folder, which helps to find any message easily. In addition, if it is a group mail, separate colours for different users makes the look and feel really good.
3. Blog: Its just a dream for me. In childhood my dream was to make some dairy kind of thing with my pictures and associated descriptions. I never have though about such an excellent tool which not only make help me to maintain digital dairy, but also can help me to get connected with a cultured global community.
4. Picasa: I just love it, wonderful tool from Google. Its free. I didn’t know I have so many pictures in my Laptop before I installed it. I can mail, blog, print, exports from Picasa. But I use it for changing the look and feel of my pictures. I cant leave without it.
5. Google Docs: Helps me to keep some of my documents online. The important feature is one can convert the doc to pdf from this tool, can make direct blog posting and save draft as well.
6. Picasa Web: For online web album. Public/Private/Protected(Specific users) options are always there, like in blog and docs.
7. There are certain tools which I use, like Google Home page www.google.co.in/ig to customize home page with my favorite links and sites. Google reader keeps track of site browsing, note keeps history etc.
8. And of course Google Search. The most efficient and user friendly search. Any specific search can be carried out through it, like blog or book or image search.
9. Clear voice talk Google talk has helped me to save some money. I usually call my family and friends through this if we both have net connection. I like the graphics and hide/block nature of Gtalk.
10. Of course there are services like Orkut - interactive service (I do not use for specific reason) impacted millions of young Indians of late. Finally I like the Google integration of all services through one ID, some of which I have explained below.
Integration points

#Blogger user id has changed to Gmail ID, basically Gmail Id is the single user name for all services to track all activities

#Gtalk is embedded in Gmail and Gtalk chat history can be saved in Gmail
#Opened any document with Google Doc – the document will automatically be a part of Google docs and spreadsheet.
#The photos shared by Gtalk is saved in local disc and automatically recognised by Picasa
#Pictures can be uploaded in Picasa Web Album through Picasa
#Blog, Mail, export facility is also available in Picasa
#Blog pictures are automatically included in picasa web
#Blogpost can be done from the Google documents and spreadsheets directly
#Blog comments are directly connected to Gmail
#Googla Map and Google Earth has been combined for different views
#All possible specific searches have been kept like Book,Map,Blog etc

"Don't Be Evil" phylosophy of Google is also praise worthy, who never claims money for additional services, provide enough spaces which increases with time and usage. Google has singular focus on users. Even one can earn money by his blog with relevant ads from Google AdSense.

The history of Google is based on innovative research of Sergey Brin, Larry E. Page, (Co-Founder, and now Google President) who still admit that the best innovation happens only under time pressure and employee friendly work atmosphere. That’s why every Google employee gets 15% of their paid work hours to invest in their hobbies/ subject of interest which makes an employee friendly atmosphere and in turn helps to create innovative ideas in employee’s mind. Thus Google is my choice for most innovative company.

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