Thursday, September 22, 2005
I had some great meetings and talks yesterday, and the unexpected chance to time travel and be home in time for dinner. That is, I stopped by Google, then eBay. While eBay is a fun, free-spirited business, it's one that's recognizable as part of our own time and place. Google is Starfleet Academy. (With a significantly more relaxed dress code; and I guess we'll need that next earthquake to move it to its rightful place on the Bay.) Wikipedia's description of the Googleplex and corporate culture, and Steve Jurvetson's pics of the tongue in cheek "master plan," begin to capture the crux of the experience but can't convey the totality of the Roddenberrian conviction and scope. It's nothing short of breathtaking the first time you encounter it.
The real time search projections in the lobbies are mesmerizing. In the few moments I lingered there, I struggled to imagine who exactly was searching for "slow dance tampon," "is annoying song," and "al the chicken heads be quiet." I paid a brief visit and said hi to friends at the second Web spam summit, which was well attended, so somehow people find the fortitude to tear themselves away from the lobby displays to go inside and get things done.
The night before my visit (before I realized just how much Google's surroundings and environs wordlessly pulse with charting the future), I was musing aloud about how if near term clarity is to come to the law of fair use in the digital arena, it will probably come from Google. Toss out enough of those speculations and now and then one of them's bound to hit close to the mark.
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