Sunday, November 14, 2010

When Google Powers the Digital Economy – A Story for Indonesian

One day my daughter cried since she forgot to prepare a present for her good friend that lives in France. Then I typed in Google search to find 'buy teddy bear Nice France' – Patrick Pitchette

The problem is solved within a few minutes. That's how amazing how Google is able to help our lives. This is a story that truly touch me, a story about lives, not about technology. An evening to remember, when I was invited to Google office in Singapore, thanks to Erika. Patrick Pichette is the Chief Financial Officer of Google and used to held position at Bell Canada and McKinsey before joining with Google.

Google is a company built by engineers, so it is runs differently with other company. Android team is a small operation, only 150 people around the world. It's hard to explain to the shareholders that giving away software like Android will help them to grow. By any measurement, Android is big, 200 thousands Android phones are sold in a day. People use Google search more in a phone, this will grow their advertising business even more.

The challenge of getting information is tried to be solved by scanning all the printed forms in the planet. Google started to scan. All the books ever printed. Currently they are sitting in the servers, ready to be accessed by any human being. Let all the lawyers worry and solve the copyright problems. Youtube strikes a deal with Indian Premiere League, that it will host live IPL cricket matches in the UK, so the fans are able to see the cricket games for free. This liberates people to access to any information.

Do they always successful? A big NO! 95% efforts of what they do was failed. But they keep trying. Android is a big success. Chrome is also a big success. Failure is part of the success. Those two started by two different team, with different problem as a starting point. Android is designed for a small screen, with no keyboard in mind. Chrome is designed for PC, with the keyboard in mind. So, the problem happened with these success is to find ways to integrate them.

Asia is big, both from engineer point of view and financial point of view. 5 billions people are living in Asia, compare to the 1 billion in which Google already serves in US, Europe and Australia. By storing story of our lives in a server, through cloud computing, in the form of email, data, etc, Google help small and medium business, a common people to stand in the same height of any corporations, without the need to build the infrastructure. Google enables the mantra mention in Thomas Friedman's best selling 'The World is Flat', which is flattening the hierarchy of live, the freedom to access to any information. The power of computing comes to every desktop, to every individual that have access to the Internet. That's what 'Digital Economy' is.

And Indonesia is not only a market in which Google is ready to get into. It is a partner to ease the transition to the 'digital economy'.

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