WWGD?

One of the biggest corporate success stories of the last decade, Google has dominated its industry. So what’s the secret? Why Google? And how? Jeff Jarvis, in his new book, What Would Google Do? takes an in-depth look at the giant and how its overwhelming success can be implemented by the rest of us. He explains that today, faced with any challenge, it might behoove us to ask, “What would Google do?”

Jeff Jarvis is one of the web’s most prolific and popular media bloggers, a writer for the Guardian, and the creator and founding editor of Entertainment Weekly. A trusted source for all things media, Jarvis is also on the faculty of the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism in NYC. If that’s not enough, this blogging wonder was named one of the 100 worldwide media leaders by the World Economic Forum at Davos in both 2007 and 2008. Whew. Long list of accomplishments, eh?

In his book, Jarvis says he set out to “reverse-engineer” the principles that have made Google great. WWGD serves as a guide, full of ideas that are perfectly timed for this current economic whirlwind. He proposes a list of 40 “Google rules,” ostensibly to help guide us to emulate Google’s monumental success. These laws of modern business are pithy and concise, just the way I like ‘em. Some include:

  • Your customers are your ad agency
  • The mass market is dead – long live the mass of niches
  • Middlemen are doomed
  • Customers are now in charge. They can be heard around the globe and have an impact on huge institutions in an instant
  • People can find each other anywhere and coalesce around you – or against you

Amen, Mr. Jarvis.

He takes these Google-derived rules and applies them to various other businesses, from the car industry to restaurants. The basic message? Open up to customers, whether in the design process, the menu or the concept. His best advice is something we in the SEM industry know all too well: It’s a relentlessly changing world. We’d better learn to adapt. And quickly.

My best advice: Get What Would Google Do now; read it quickly and glean what you can. After all, the rules may change tomorrow.

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