The Beauty of Google

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The following is a passage from Kevin Kelly’s book “New Rules for the New Economy”, a powerhouse of a book to say the least…

“So tremendous is the fount of plentitude in the network economy that having to deal with nearly infinite choices and mushrooming possibilities may be the limiting factor in the future. Navigating sanely through an expanding ocean of options is already difficult. The typical supermarket in America offers 30,000 to 40,000 products. The average shopper will zoom through the store in 21 minutes, and select out of those 40,000 choices about 18 items. This is an amazing feat of decision making. But it is nothing compared to what happens on the web. There are one million indexed web sites, containing 250 million pages. To be able to find the right page out of that universe is astounding, and the number of pages doubles every year. Dealing with this plentitude is critical because of totals of everything we manufacture in the world are only compounding.”

And there you have it: The Beauty of Google.

Before Google, you would search on Yahoo or some other search engine and just find links to random cat websites. Now, if you search for something, you know you’re going to find exactly what you want. Whether or not you know what you are looking for, Google finds it for you instantly in the vast realm of the internet-verse. Their algorithm is truly amazing. Most of us take it for granted…

If you haven’t read “New Rules for the New Economy”, and you are trying to run a business in the new age, you seriously need to revise your life strategy…

 

As a side note: could a plethora of choices a bad thing? Well… who in their right mind would say that too many options/choices is a bad thing? The world is diverse and infinitely complex, and as such, necessitates the existence of options.

Of course if you can’t make up your mind, you’ll end up like the equally thirsty and hungry donkey stuck half-way between water and food. But (and this is the beauty of the free market), if you for some reason can’t make up your mind, the combination of the power of the consumer and information markets (like Google), make it possible for you to make an informed decision (and relatively quickly too). That is, the power of the free market both a) gives you options AND b) helps you choose (if you can’t make up your mind).

And… if you seriously considered answering “yes” to the above question, chew on this quote by former Russian President Boris Yeltsin when visiting a supermarket in Houston, TX in 1989 (when Russia was under a state-run centrally-planned economy, i.e. the opposite of a free market): “When I saw those shelves crammed with hundreds, thousands of cans, cartons and goods of every possible sort, I felt quite frankly sick with despair for the Soviet people.”

 

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