Google has something that too many other organizations don't seem to value: A sense of humor.
Google has something that too many other organizations don't seem to value: A sense of humor.Case in point: Google's new Wave notifications -- real people who come tell you that you have a new Wave message in your Wave inbox. It's deft satire of a real issue in Wave, the absence of a critical mass of users.
Google's ability to make fun of itself may seem trivial or frivolous. But it's good public relations. It's proof that there are people behind the corporate facade. It's the reason that gaffes like the Google Buzz launch look more ham-handed than evil. It's one of the reasons that Google's brand is so beloved.
It's something Microsoft, not to mention the even more humor-deprived Apple, dearly needs. What's the message from Redmond, Washington, on April Fool's Day? A press release about how software piracy is no laughing matter.
Microsoft clearly has the capacity for humor, as CEO Steve Ballmer has proven. But such incidents seem more likely accidents than the subversive silliness coming from Google every year at this time.
Consider Google CEO Eric Schmidt's blog post announcing that Google has changed its name to Topeka, in honor of Topeka, Kansas' name change to Google in an effort to become a test site for the company's ultrafast broadband network.
But I can't think of any other large company that takes humor quite so seriously.
Thanks, Google, for a few good laughs.
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