Skip to main content

Human Technology: Reflections on My Tour of Google LA Office

Last week, I visited Google LA Office with a friend.  We went there to pick up his Google Glass.  Supposedly, I should talk about my experience with the Glass, right?  But in fact, I would rather share with you my reflections on the tour.

I arrived 30 minutes ahead of schedule, but two Google associates had been waiting for me and my friend in front of the office.  They told me they were in the Google Glass Team.  In the LA office, there are about 20 members in the team.  Each team member is also part of the 3000+ “explorers” selected by Google to test the prototype.  For now, the Glass is only available (and tested) in the U.S. market.  Google seeks feedback from the explorers for product improvement.  Google also analyzes what people talk about the product on the internet.  During our visit, the associates spent two hours showing us step-by-step how to operate the Glass.  We were encouraged to spend as much time as we wanted until we felt comfortable with the Glass.


If you really want to hear my true opinions about the Glass, I must admit that I am not very excited about the current prototype.  It needs more improvement before it can become the next big thing.  I, however, was impressed with this innovative idea and Google’s effort on the product. 

Based on visits to Google (I also toured the Google Campus in Mountain View two years ago), it is not difficult for me to figure out why this company is doing so well in the market.  Today, almost 80% of smartphones being shipped in the global market operate on the Android platform.  As of August 17, 2013 (Saturday), Google’s stock is selling at $856.25 a share; Apple and Microsoft are selling for $503.10 and $31.80 a share respectively. 

What makes a company successful?  Besides other contributing factors, it appears to me that a company’s success must root in its ability to provide useful solutions for human beings.  Microsoft was very successful when it introduced Windows, allowing people to “communicate with” computers using the easy-to-understand “human languages.”  Apple became the most admired company when it introduced iPhone and iPad.  Today, both companies are still doing very well, but investors are showing concerns of their future.  At a point when a company is no longer able to provide innovative approaches to solve real-life problems, the halo around the company fades.  I am glad to see Google is very serious about the Glass and is actively seeking feedback from customers.  Because of that, I am expecting to see big improvement of the Glass soon.   

In the end, I would like share with you a 60 Minutes Interview by CBS.  It features Bill Gates on how he views technology and innovation.  I hope more companies and institutions will focus on research that helps people solve real-life problems.  Regardless how “small” a problem may look like, an innovative solution may have big impact to people’s lives.

Do you believe innovation is the key for success in business?  If so, where do innovative ideas come from?   



Relevant discussion:

To check out more pictures about my tours of Google, please visit:
Facebook Album - Tour of Google LA Office

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Luxury vs. Millennials and Their Technology: The Ritz-Carlton (By Julia Shorr)

Embodying the finest luxury experience, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC has been established since 1983. In 1998, Marriott International purchased the brand offering it more opportunity for growth while being independently owned and operated. They are known for their enhanced service level as the motto states, “Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen”. The luxury brand now carries 97 hotels and resorts internationally and is attempting to keep the aspects of luxury while keeping up with the trends of the technologically improving generations. The Varying Demographics of the Target Market The Ritz-Carlton’s typical target market includes: business executives, corporate, leisure travelers, typically middle-aged persons and elders, and families from the upper and upper-middle class section of society .   This infers a large range of types of travelers in which all are similar in that they are not opposed to spending extra for the luxurious ambiance. However, with

Is It OK for Hotel Staff to Wear Piercings and Tattoos?

Time has changed. I see more and more college students wearing piercings and tattoos nowadays, but is it OK for hotel staff to wear piercings and tattoos? The answer is “no, no, no.” According a report at USAToday.com, customers across the board do not want to see any hotel workers with pierced eyebrow, pierced tongue, tattooed arm, or nose ring. Some may argue that tattooed and pierced workers may seem more acceptable in edgy boutique hotels as compared to the big franchised hotels, but the survey results did not find any differences among a variety of lodging products. Many respondents believe people who wear visible tattoos and piercings are taking a high risk of their professional lives. If you stay in a hotel, do you mind being served by tattooed and/or pierced staff? What if you are the one who makes the hiring decision? References: USAToday.com: http://tinyurl.com/linchikwok08042010 Picture was downloaded from http://tinyurl.com/linchikwok08042010P

Besides helping the environment, what other benefits can restaurants see from green food packages?

Restaurant curbside pickup evolved from the old-fashioned takeout service and has gained momentum since COVID. Restaurateurs embrace the concept, and consumers want it. Curbside pickup will remain an essential restaurant distribution method even after the pandemic. Do off-premises restaurant services add a burden to the environment? The surge of restaurant off-premises services (curbside pickup, takeout, or delivery) could harm the environment because many retailers use food containers and packages made of plastic for one-time usage. Research shows that our world populations produce 130 million tons of single-use plastic a year (including more than food packages here), but in the U.S., only 8% of all plastic products get recycled. Some restaurants have begun using more sustainable materials in food packaging (e.g., disposable containers). Their efforts deserve a round of applause! Nevertheless, it is unclear if their good deeds can also bring them monetary rewards. For example, can gr