Flashback to Google Year 2003

In 2003, Seth Godin published an online article entitled “what should Google do?“. With something like 100 other people, I submitted my suggestions. It’s fun to go back in time. Most of my ideas seem obvious today, but none of these were available in 2003 when this was published. My suggestions are below (I fixed one typo, otherwise original). For fun, I’ve added updated commentary in [italic brackets].  By the way, it’s fun to read the other suggestions – especially Seth’s!

  1. Google subscription service on topics to pull together all views on specific topics- kind of like Drudge, but on a much larger scale. [Google Feeds, RSS, Facebook, etc now do this]
  2. Invest in TiVo type technology to “re-make” TV into a more interactive, choice-based medium (i.e. search for shows, content, etc) [Many examples of this in the market – Netflix, Roku, Google Chromecast, etc]
  3. Become the philanthropy web presence where web advertising that follows you around (voluntarily) will contribute to charities (of whose choice?) based on time and usage. These would be mixed with ads that added revenue for Google Add a forum for people who search on the same keyword or series of keywords (and want to be listed) can talk (to compare notes on specific topics, etc) [I think I struck out on this one. Maybe still a good idea???]
  4. Incorporate voice recognition (and other technologies) into engine so that cell users can be directed to specific sites (like WAP, but voice-based)… [Google Android!!!]
  5. Provide translation services to web sites for foreign visitors (to increase readership). Also, work to reduce trade barriers of e-commerce, especially Intellectual Property based goods and services through unifying the .com with the .country into a more coherent searchable space [Google Translate and newer algorithms that cross suffixes]
  6. Add a “business to business” site for searching to help businesses trying to research products and services and to help businesses increase their web presence more efficiently. [Arguably, this is what the paid search section does – which didn’t exist in 2003]
  7. Build a “one sign-in” infrastructure that allowed shoppers, business buyers, researchers to easily and securely communicate with sites without needing to sign-up everywhere (then control access to this kind of like EBay protects their customers with rules) [Login with your Google account]
  8. Provide “premium,” subscription based research tools that involve more AI and human intervention (like some cell phone services are starting to provide today, but more focused on research ownership) [Google’s enterprise suite has some of this now…but, getting “searchees” to pay is probably a much better way to accomplish this – again not happening in 2003!]
  9. Provide education-oriented searching for schools, universities and academic research in general that was a more “finite” and “controlled” “mini-web” [I don’t know if Google does this, but there are many vertical specific engines like this now]
  10. Create universal, secure Internet currency (an idea that has been tried before, but never “post boom” by such a well-known company). The goal would be to break down international currency/trade barriers and provide secure/maybe anonymous purchase of all sorts of goods and services. [Bitcoin and dozens of others are available now. None were in 2003.]

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