Lately there’s been a rash of Hollywood movies, television specials and documentaries concerning the fate of the human race. If you’ve been hiding your head in the sand – Spoiler Alert – We lose. Seems we’re doomed to drown, burn up, poison ourselves or be devoured whole by a creature called Birdzilla.
All this doomsday rhetoric got me thinking about a couple of things: 1.) Start stockpiling birdshot and 2.) Nothing is without end. Which brings me to today’s topic; What is life going to be like after Google? I know what you’re thinking, and NO I’m not insane (not clinically anyway). Google may be the most powerful business entity the world has ever known but someday it will be no more.
How Google will pass and who will be around to attend the funeral is yet to be determined. Perhaps the search engine company will make a wrong assumption about its audience and release its own version of New Coke or Betamax.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt doesn’t think they’ll go out that way. In a recent interview he had this to say:
[Google is] run by three computer scientists we’re going to make all the mistakes computer scientists running a company would make. But one of the mistakes we’re not going to make is the mistake that non-scientists make. We’re going to make mistakes based on facts and data and analysis. What kills a company is not competition but arrogance. We control our fate.
Interesting philosophy, I wonder if Bill Gates subscribed to the same school of thought on the eve of his release of Microsoft BOB?
So what will a world free of Google, or any traditional search engine, look like? Well it’s difficult to say. Ten years ago it would have been virtually unfathomable that we could exist without the phonebook (or stacks of phonebooks) within arms length at all times. But when was the last time you blew the dust off and thumbed through thousands of listings to find the one you deemed most relevant to your search. Ten years from now, will today’s methods seem as archaic?
Whatever lies ahead for Google, and the human race for that matter, is still uncertain. I for one, being a glass-half-full kind of guy, would like to believe we’ll both persevere. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be prepared for the worst. Anyone looking to sell an extremely large bird cage?