Three weeks in and my brain is stuffed so full it feels like three months. Here’s a tray of sample-sized tidbits I learned this week.
Google doesn’t like the word “domination” (but I’m pretty sure they’re taking over anyway). We were lucky enough to have a top marketing executive from Google speak at our marketing class this week and we got to pepper him with all our questions about the uber company. I learned some interesting things – like that Google’s products usually start with the question “What would be really cool?” rather than “What can we make a lot of money doing?” and that they don’t always succeed. Their plans for radio and magazine ads had “sunset.” He also showed us two nifty new products:
– Google Squared, which magically creates exportable spreadsheets from anything you’d ever want to search. For example, type in “salon” and your city and it will create a spreadsheet of salons in your area.
– New Google Images features that let you search for pictures of, say, cowboy hats. And then narrow that down to only large size cowboy hats that are red.
I also learned that Google’s PR folks don’t like the term “world domination.” They prefer to say they’re “connecting people with meaningful information.”
Sometimes the solution is elegant and simple. Even in accounting. Sometimes, if you’re not careful, you get lost in the numbers and lose the bigger picture. That happened this week in accounting when, while trying to figure out how to save a glassblower’s business, most of us got caught up in the messy details. When the solution was revealed to be elegant and lovely, it was like a light bulb going on over my head. Perfect.
Big Brother is riding in your car. Progressive visited our class this week too and we learned about a new little gizmo that tracks your miles and hard brakes, transmits the info back to Progressive and – if you’re a safe driver – gets you a discount on your car insurance. The upside for Progressive? They know who their safe (and not so safe) drivers are and can treat them accordingly. Progressive’s biggest challenge: convince people NOT to be freaked out that you’re following their every move.
There’s one place in the world where there’s always a line in the men’s room. Business school, in the 15-minute break between classes. I caught a glimpse into the men’s room this week while walking out of the ladies’ room and spotted a line of guys seven deep waiting for a stall. “This is ridiculous,” I heard one of them grumble as the door swung shut. No, guys, it’s the way the other half always lives.