There is no shortage of articles and think pieces on the Internet about why Google has been successful - and what other organizations and businesses can learn from their ascendancy. I have aggregated a few of these thoughts as they apply to our industry.
It is interesting to note that Google wasn't first. We were all searching on other engines first - Yahoo, Lycos, etc. And who knew when you first opened Google and saw the "I'm feeling lucky" option (which is still right there) that this austere, even bland front page would lay the foundation for a digital media empire. Now they make phones.
From Seth Godin: "Senior management has the guts to ignore Wall Street and build what they want." In short, Google may be a public company but they don't act like one. Market analysts are great at looking in the rearview mirror. Google is always thinking about new possibilities.
From Rishad Tobaccowala: Relevance, simplicity, and speed. Radio truly has the first two elements, but often lacks the ability to study, analyze, and change to meet changing consumer and advertiser tastes. The media world is constantly moving at Mach 3, but radio is still essentially operating like it's 1978, the same problem that has afflicted newspapers and the record labels.
From Avinash Kaushik: Google's employee policy: "Set them free." The trust that Google places in its staffers that allows them time to come up with new ideas and features is unique, and it has paid off handsomely for the company. Like many industries, radio often operates top-down, and many employees feel they don't have the chance nor feel the freedom to create concepts, models, and plans for the future. As salaries have shrunk and budgets have tightened, this problem has worsened. Most radio "line workers" don't feel especially empowered these days. The smartest CEOs in radio - and there are some smart ones - know what they don't know, and increasingly rely on their teams for guidance.
From Gord Hotchkiss: "The obsessive focus on user experience" should resonate with all of us because it is such a dire area for improvement in radio - for both the advertiser and consumer constituencies. Radio still functions like it's the only game in town, but both listeners and agency professionals know better. Whether it's the request lines, production departments, or providing the audience with a way to provide input and get questions answered, radio has a long way to go in understanding how the medium is being used differently.
What Google-isms come to mind that serve as good examples of what traditional media should aspire to? This post isn't about denigrating radio but looking at how the digital media universe has changed, and the importance of rethinking basic marketplace assumptions.
What have you learned from Google?