So this month Google officially turns twelve years old. Looking back over that time, three concepts stick out when I think of the many Google services I've seen and used; utilitarian, unexciting, can't live without them.
So this month Google officially turns twelve years old. Looking back over that time, three concepts stick out when I think of the many Google services I've seen and used; utilitarian, unexciting, can't live without them.Think about it. With a few notable exceptions, Google products and service aren't usually the things you get all excited about when you first see them. In general, my initial response to most new Google initiatives has been a blasé, meh.
And that dates back to the key search product itself. When I first looked at Google search back in 1998, there were things I thought it did well and I thought it had some potential. But when I compared it to then top dog AltaVista I wasn't all that impressed and there were other newby search engines of the time, such as Northern Light and FAST, that I thought had even greater potential.
But it wasn't too long before I found myself bouncing over to Google for more and more of my web search needs. And before I knew it, I was hardly ever using AltaVista and the rest of the search engines.
The same thing happened when Gmail launched. When I first started using it, other than its at the time huge amount of storage space for mail, I pretty much hated it.
But I kept on using it. And now Gmail is my primary mail client, and IM client, and calendar and pretty much everything else.
Even more recently we've seen the stunning growth and improvement of the Android platform. When it first came out, many pundits were decidedly unimpressed and couldn't see how it could ever be a serious competitor to iOS. Now it's a huge success.
Of course there have been some Google products that impressed from the get go, such as Google Earth and the Chrome web browser. But for the most part Google products slowly work their way into your good graces until you one day realize that the service you initially downplayed has now become indispensable to your daily life.
So happy birthday Google. I'll keep trying out your new products, some of which I'll like immediately, some which will justifiably be ignored (hello Wave), and some of which I'll be unimpressed with, only to find later on that I can't live without them.
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