retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Michael Sansolo

Every now and again I have to use this column to state the obvious, simply because someone has to do it. So here goes:

Google is just amazing!

If you were paying attention last week you caught a flurry of news stories about a strange new Microsoft ad featuring Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld that totally underused the talents of both and told us nothing about new products. Somehow, that inane ad got more attention than the bigger technology story of the week. Google is calling out Microsoft yet again.

Google is unveiling a new web browser named Chrome. If you want to read and learn all about it, simply go to Google.com and check it out. Just the way the company helps laypeople, like me, understand this new technology is wonderful. But that isn’t why I’m writing about Google.

Instead, let’s talk about the traits of a winner, which Google is. There are countless reasons to love Google, even beyond the ease of its ubiquitous search engine.

The company is now consistently ranked as the best place in the US to work and, if you have never read those articles about the work environment you don’t know the essential truth of all our lives. That is, we all want to work for Google.

What amazes me about Google is its constant dissatisfaction with simply having the best search engine. Instead, it keeps finding new things to do. For instance, G-mail is now favored by an extraordinary number of people who say its as good as any service out there. And it is free. Then there are Google documents, essentially allowing us all to use Google for word and data processing. Again, the use is just building, but I have a sense that in a few months or years we’ll all be talking about that too. It’s free, too.

And why stop there. Google now has a web browser. What’s great about this new service is that Google takes the time to educate all of us, no matter how tech savvy we are, on the details of web browsers to explain why Chrome is the place to be. Even if you understand nothing about the technology, but want to sound informed, check out the comic book Google assembles to graphically explain how browsers work and why Chrome is a generation ahead. As you probably guessed, Chrome is free too, but as with all Google products will get the eyeballs for advertising and the gathering of knowledge that will make the search engine even better. (For full disclosure here, I remain a fan of Mozilla’s Firefox, which I love. But I can see a change coming soon unless Firefox keeps pace.)

In short, Google exhibits the greatest trait of winners. The company is never satisfied and never sits pat.

In Woody Allen’s masterpiece movie “Annie Hall,” his character of Alvy Singer says, “A relationship, I think, is like a shark, you know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies.”

It’s a great metaphor for companies too. You either swim forward or you slowly die. Check out Google and appreciate the work of a winner. And ask why the same isn’t happening at your company.

Good-bye, good friend…

One of the perks of having an Internet column is the ability to speak personally from time to time…

My very good friend and longtime colleague at FMI, Josephine Sergi, passed away last week after an 18-month battle with lung cancer. She was 53 and left us far too soon.

Now the odds are that many of you won’t know her name. She was one of the many excellent people at FMI who work in some obscurity, making sure that all manner of activities actually run properly.

More importantly, she was a good friend who more times than I could count made me laugh out loud thanks to ridiculous antics or just making the humdrum less ordinary. Her funeral is today and I couldn’t let the moment pass without saying good-bye. Rest in peace my friend.

Michael Sansolo can be reached via email at msansolo@morningnewsbeat.com .

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