Jeff Jarvis’ book „What would Google do?“ isn’t really about Google but about the major changes that we are going through right now both in society and in the economy. Jeff - who describes himself as "a post-9/11 hawk“ since he was one of the first to report on the aftermath at the World Trade Center attacks – finds „the best way to look at those changes is through the lens of somebody who has figured it out – and who has done better than Google?“ He points out that „Google built a platform for others to succeed. That’s not the way companies did it before – they tried to own and control everything...Google also changed the relationship with its public: When it releases a beta, it’s saying this product isn’t perfect – help us finish it which necessarily leads to collaboration. Companies never acted collaboratively before.“ But Jeff also says „Google is not perfect – they expect us to be transparent, and they’re not so transparent.“
Jeff finds that „out of this financial crisis the opportunities for startups to take over entire segments of the industry are incredible.“ He thinks that the mass is replaced by a mass of niches with three kinds of opportunities going forward: Platforms, entrepreneurs and networks. He also believes the great lack of trust across the banking sector has to be re-established by creating ultimately transparent banks: „We are going to see new kinds of banks open up that people can trust – you can see the beginnings through things like Kiva and prosper.com.“
According to Jeff, there are a few areas that Google hasn’t conquered yet: „One is the whole idea of a live web – on Google they really only understand the value of content once it’s had time, that’s why Twitter is so interesting and so potentially valuable. Secondly, Google organizes our information but there’s also the opportunity to organize us – whoever manages that, wins. The third is local: It’s really important to get us down to that level of what’s right around me right now – that’s a huge potential. Google hasn’t won those things yet, but it could...“
Please also watch Viktoria’s interview with Martin Recke, conference manager of the next conference 2009. More videos from next09 will be shown here in the days to come.