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7/11/2008
07:24 PM
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn
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San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom Celebrates Google

On Thursday evening, Google threw open the doors of its San Francisco office to members of the media and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. Though Google's San Francisco office has been open for months, the dust has cleared and Google wanted to celebrate.

On Thursday evening, Google threw open the doors of its San Francisco office to members of the media and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. Though Google's San Francisco office has been open for months, the dust has cleared and Google wanted to celebrate.The view -- looking east toward Treasure Island, the surrounding water and the Bay Bridge -- is to die for.

But don't look up: The FBI and the Secret Service, in the form of the Bay Area Electronic Crimes Task Force, maintain a regional office in the Hills Plaza building on the floor above Google.

Just think: Information sharing between Google and the government can now be implemented using the shout protocol.

Newsom spoke to the assembled Googlers and guests, celebrating the city's "dreamers and doers."

Newsom referred to San Francisco as "forty-seven and a half square miles surrounded by reality." The city's transcendence of reality -- the sluggish economy elsewhere -- he suggested, was due to the intellectual capital flowing into the city.

Newsom took, and seemingly deserves, some credit for that, due to his efforts to bring high-tech companies into San Francisco. He noted that 46 biotech companies had opened offices in city and that other technology companies have been setting up shop as well.

"At the end of the day, it's always about people," Newsom said.

Having set up his answer, Newsom then posed a question: "What makes Google so much better than its competitors?"

If you guessed "Its people," you're right.

Of course, Google's brand and business model both count for a lot, too, nowadays. But the praising people always goes over well when addressing those very same people.

I mean, how much applause do you think Newsom would have received had he said its all about patents, servers, lack of competent competitors, and consumer inertia?

Better to stick to the script and celebrate people.

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