Googling with Matt Brittin

‘Fast and Happy’ – The Google Viewpoint

Matt Brittin, Vice President, Google– Northern & Central Europe

18.30 – 19.30, 10 November 2011, Imperial College Business School

Blog by Andrew Fletcher

Moving towards a world where everything will be connected all of the time; it will undoubtedly become more common to see presentations streamed from the cloud. However, Matt Brittin decided to take a high risk strategy by relying on internet connectivity on his phone and web browser to do a series of live demos of Google’s products. The result was certainly impressive. Frequently reciting the mantra ‘fast and happy,’ Matt explained the guiding principles behind one of the world’s largest brands, where even experimenting with different shades of blue for text links can shave fractions of a second off our searches.

We’ve certainly come a long way from 13 years ago when Yahoo was manually indexing the web. In a world with over a trillion URLs, it certainly wouldn’t be possible to do that now, or we wouldn’t be where we are now if the ‘maths project’ that was Google hadn’t changed things beyond recognition. Now Google predicts what we are searching for right from the first few keystrokes, adapting what it shows via region and to continually adapt based on what it subsequently shows we were looking for. Helping us find what we want fast to keep us happy.

Mobile certainly underlines the power that search can give when connected to what we type, tap, photograph and say. Just photographing the book or the advert takes us straight to where we want to go, and ‘conversation’ translation means you can talk with anyone in any language – provided you have internet access of course. The potential to link to other markets is also staggering, though, and Matt cited the example of the Scottish kilt manufacturer being able to target their advertising based on the locations that were searching for keywords, in whatever language and consequently had already shown that they wanted to buy. Evidence is now certainly in the hands of the many.

Matt finished by making the world’s Sudoku fans very unhappy. In a world where simply photographing a Sudoku can automatically solve it, perhaps there are times when pleasure can be taken in doing things slow.

You can read an interview with Matt and watch the lecture here.


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