First of all congratulations on Google’s financial results and on the re-design of Google Plus. Please don’t let the whole #whitespace thing get in the way of building a place that is truly unique.
But this is not a letter to praise you and the Google team. This letter is a challenge to you, coming from someone who lives in the United States and that has to travel to Europe on a regular basis.
You see, I love Android and I love social networks. I love both so much that I made the latter my business and promoting Android my evangelist mission. You know what gets in the way of me performing better at these two things?
1. Carriers, carriers get in my way all the time. My HTC Desire HD works fine in Europe but doesn’t work in the US (I can only get EDGE speed on AT&T with that device). So my proposal to you is simple (I know you love simplicity): Take some of that $3.1 billion that Google has in free cash flow and start laying the infrastructure to launch a global mobile carrier, one that works seamlessly all over the world, that doesn’t rip off users when they are roaming, one that understand the global nature of the world we live in, and that Google embodies so well. A carrier that doesn’t care where you are to provide exactly the same service powered, certainly, by Android devices.
2. Full integration between web and mobile: Google+ is a great idea, I especially liked the “social spine” expression used to describe it. However for Google+ to be really become that social spine you need to understand that the mobile experience has to be exactly the same as the web experience. One of the things that has become more and more of an obstacle to bring clients to Google+ is the fact that they can’t update their pages via mobile. In a world where content is becoming more and more visual, where images and videos speak for a million words, you really need to put your team working to make this experience seamless and simple. By simple I am talking about Instant upload for pages, the ability to manage pages and get access to stats (Ripples Mobile?) on the go.
3. Global access to the Google experience: I really enjoyed the news regarding Google Currents, that was made available to users outside of the United States. What I don’t enjoy is that several Google services are not available outside of the United States: it’s confusing to be able to use them and 8 hours later not having access to them. I know that there must be lots of legal issues behind why this happens but I see no reason why your team doesn’t start cutting the middle-man and make services, like Google Music, available worldwide: Go to the artists directly, give space for new voices to be featured, empower those artists and send the clear signal that you understand the global nature of the world we live in.
4. Jet lag: OK, I don’t think that you can do anything about that but maybe Project Glass can make it easier to support the time zones.
We are living in extraordinary times where the world is shrinking due to the amazing technological tools that we have available. When I am away in Europe I use Huddle (sorry, I can’t get myself to use the word Messenger) to be in constant contact with my family, I use hangouts, I use my Android phone to share photos with my family, friends and the amazing network that I am a part of on Google+.
You, and Google, have the opportunity to take the next step and make a difference in this world: a world that is truly connected, that knows no borders, where language is not a barrier and where all of use have access to the same information. As a bonus you will still be able to sell advertising and keep that cash flow growing.
PS: If you are a Google+ user head to this poll and vote. Thank you. #GhostTownMy…