If we have to pick just one company of our age, it could only be Google. Google to us is more than a phenomenon. It is our daily life. To many of us, using Google search is like spelling Ali Baba's "open sesame." By just typing a few simple keywords, a magic door opens and tremendous value of treasure on the Web becomes available. Indeed, however, Google is beyond just a gate to treasures. Google itself is also another extraordinary treasure maker. We are at the age of Google.
By being the symbol of our time, two years ago at The New York Times Google was questioned by Richard Siklos with "GOOGLE: mate or menace?" After two years, however, the question remains. Hence we may want to ask:
1) What has Google brought to us?
2) Is Google truly invincible?
3) How much longer will this Google legend last?
By focusing on answering these three questions, I start this new short series (comparing to the length of the series of Web evolution). I expect the series to bring us better understanding on not only the strengths of Google and the benefits the company has brought to us, but also the weaknesses of Google and the negative impacts the company has taken to the mankind.
Discarding whatever the conclusion I may draw at the end, Google is a modern marvel. The goal of the series is not to question Google. By contrast, it is to question us whether we may pass beyond the height Google reaches. Only by learning from the history, we may have better chances to advance beyond the forerunners.
(the next installment: Open Sesame)
- A Struggle Over Dominance and Definition (The New York Times)