I like testing the new stuff out. That’s one thing that I can look back at and see as a consistent pattern in my life. It’s also one of the things I really like about the web and technology fields. Give me a beta test of the next Big Thing and I can pretend I’m special and important!
So when Google (of which I am admittedly a decent fan of) launched their web browser nearly a year ago, I happily installed it and got to know it. I’ve been using it as my primary browser since. Not because it’s all that super-amazing and better than all the others, but because it’s SIMPLE. There’s no overload of features and functionality. No toolbars and all the other add-on crap that makes me hate using a browser. It starts up. I open tabs. I get things done. Sure, knowing that each tab uses its own system process makes the geek in me happy, but that’s just bonus.
But my thoughts here are not about Google Chrome. It’s more big picture and where my usage of chrome is leading me. The other day, a post in a Chromium developer group mentioned some of the plans Google has for getting Chrome to be able to sync info like bookmarks across different computers via your Google Account. At least, it’s starting with bookmarks. Read this article by Ryan Paul for more insights and analysis.
Why is any of this of note? Just more to watch from Google. Look at how they are “independently” assembling all the various aspects of what you need to run your business or your life from “the cloud.” Email, web browsing, document creation and management, calendars, instant messaging, advertising, discussion forums, blogging, image storage and manipulation, shopping, news, maps, videos, voice and even more. Plus the ability to search it all. They have some of everything, but each little piece can also live on its own.
Now, take the ability to tie it all together via the “cloud” of the Internet and you’ve really got something. The reason I think this is particularly significant is because instead of talking about it and hyping it and making a huge deal out of it through some marketing push, Google is simply doing it. They are telling us what they have done. Not necessarily what they are going to do someday. And all of these things together are quite an impressive suite of FREE services.
Keep paying attention to this. Consumers are going to naturally gravitate toward the easiest, most intuitive and economical solutions out there. Without really thinking about it I changed my browser from FireFox to Chrome simply because Chrome got out of the way more. And now I’m VERY excited that I will be able to sync something like bookmarks and preferences across multiple computers easily and automatically without having to use del.icio.us or anything external. What can you do in your own business to get your customers the things they need and want without getting in their way?
Google’s growing as a platform for technology, business and simply interacting online. They are trying on a lot of different “shoes” in the form of projects, technologies, strategies and everything else they can think of. One of them might be a big kicker, but I think it’s the comprehensive suite of interrelated and compatible services that’s going to help keep them running far ahead of the pack for years to come.