August 7, 2010

If I Were CEO...Google

First off, there are people who either love Google or hate them.  Some people believe Google is going to try and take over the world, stating that Google is gathering every piece of private information about us.  These people think Google is a corrupt giant that is power and information hungry, and is an unstoppable beast.  And to those people I say, "if you can't beat them, join them."

I've joined.  Google has many applications I love and use on a daily basis.  From Gmail to Google's Search engine, I use something from them every day; even multiple times every day.  In fact, the list of products I use from Google includes:
AdSenseAlertsAnalyticsBloggerCheckoutDocsGmailGoogle BuzzGoogle LatitudeiGoogleMobileNotebookPage CreatorPicasa Web AlbumsReaderSitesSubscribed LinksTalkVideoVoiceWeb HistoryWebmaster ToolsYouTube

I love Google.  I'm still not sure I'm going to continue with Apple for my cell phone.  I may still switch to an Android phone, if AT&T ever adds a decent one.  I think the format of Gmail's conversation is so convenient for following a specific line of emails.  I love Blogger.  I love YouTube.  I love free services.  But this is an article about what I would do if I were CEO of Google.  This isn't about the insane amount of services I utilize for free. This is about what I would change.  So here we go...

If I were CEO of Google, I would start with creating a unified page for users to access all the different services they utilize.  There would be a centralized storage system for all the uploaded files, for ease in recalling the files and accessing them for use.  The storage capacity would continue to grow, just as Gmail's storage capacity grows, with the total available to a user based initially on the highest average used by a list of users created from the those who utilize the most the majority of Google's programs and have for the longest amount of time.  Obviously this number would be high, due to the high number of pictures, websites, and other files stored by this type of user.  I would also offer super affordable plans for expanding the amount of storage a user may want.  All this "cloud storage" would allow the user to access any and all types of files from any Internet enabled device, using web-based software to open, view, and edit these files as needed.  Documents, images, videos, music, emails, programs, etc. would all be available to the end user from their cloud storage location.  Secure access and security/protection services would be integrated with the storage of data, allowing users to easily and quickly back-up there systems whenever needed.

If I were CEO of Google, I would add to the list of free (or ad based) services already offered.  I would start with the rumored "Google Music".  I would design the program to help users organize their music and other media for use on any and all devices.  I would design a web-based version and a local version for both cloud and local storage.  I would make it intelligent, with smart playlist creation, song recognition (like Shazam), media editing capabilities, and a rating system.  User created playlists would be designed with ease in mind (drag and drop editing).  Android devices would work seamlessly with the program, but other developers and devices could be modified to work with it.  The designed program would go beyond music syncing and be more of a content syncing program, with the ability to storage any type of media on a connected device.  Music, pictures, files, etc. would all be available to the user as a list of items allowed to be synced with their devices.  I would design the music portion of the program to take a burned CD and apply track information automatically.  For CDs or tracks that do not have track information available, the song recognition software would listen to the track (or a portion) and apply the track information.  I would add listening features that would help match the decibel level of each song to eliminate the drastic changes in levels from artist to artist or era to era.

If I were CEO of Google, I would make Google Docs work more like an actual word processor, and less like a webpage.  I would look into providing an "Open Office" type of local client that saved the created/edited documents automatically to the user's Google Docs account in "the cloud".  I would have page view editing, where what is seen on the screen is very similar to how the document is actually going to print.  I would have more tools for merging, editing, drawing, designing, calculating, and image inserting simplifying the design and creation part of the document.

Customization, manipulation, and modification would all be continued themes.  Simple is better?  I think so.  And if I were CEO of Google, I would continue this way of business.  I understand that a company's success is based on it's ability to earn money.  I would continue Google's ad based business practice and provide minimally invasive ads that provided content applicable ads.  I would look into purchasing an ad based social network like Facebook, and synchronize it with auto updates similar to Google Buzz.  Ad content and exposure would increase exponentially with Google's content specific ads and the large numbers of users.  I would integrate the user's Google account and social networking account.

It is hard for me to really come up with much I would want to change or add to Google, because I already feel they are doing a lot of things correctly.  I think Google can become a location for users to store their files (whether it be music, pictures, documents, inc.), with the added benefits of file editing, use, and access from anywhere at anytime.