Sharing and Mobile Provide Greatest Challenges for Google Engineers
Everything about the Internet is about sharing. Not necessarily sharing in the singing “Kumbaya” around the campfire sense although some social media wants this result. It’s more about simple information sharing. Knowledge transfer. Schedule updates. Not the sexy stuff but actually the basic and most critical stuff.
Yesterday at Google’s Atmosphere event CEO Eric Schmidt said that these very basic needs are what pose the greatest challenge to the brains behind the Goog: the engineers. GigaOm tells us more
Schmidt made two specific comments about resource allocation, saying that the hardest and most pressing engineering issues facing Google today are around sharing and mobile.
He further built on the sharing concept by using the following example. Of course, this wouldn’t be an E. Schmidt production if there wasn’t a shot fired across the bow of one of Google’s major competitors. This time Microsoft was the target.
I think of calendars as incredibly boring, but I’m wrong, calendars are incredibly interesting because they’re incredibly shared. So from a computer science perspective, all of a sudden we have our top engineers who want to build calendars. I’m going, what’s wrong with you guys? But in fact it’s a very interesting example. Spreadsheets are similar, the most interesting spreadsheets are highly, highly interlinked, something I didn’t know, and was not possible with the previous technology — Microsoft technology made it very difficult because they were not built in that model.
As for mobile, Google is all about this and Schmidt urged the crowd, which consisted of Google Enterprise Apps users and prospects, to make sure your top talent is addressing your mobile infrastructure moving forward. If you haven’t figured this out yet, Google has decided that the mobile web and the accompanying apps and more is where the future is.
As the mobile Internet becomes central for both consumer and corporate users, the core product questions are interoperability, security and safety, Schmidt said. “What’s important is to get the mobile experience right, because mobility will ultimately be the way you provision most of your services,” he added, saying that Google considers phones, tablets and netbooks mobile experiences.
Based on the experience of the past I predict that most businesses are going to wait too long to pay the appropriate attention to their mobile requirements of the future. When you are driven by the cash flow and revenue generation of today, it can often create a vacuum of innovation. Look at how many companies are finally starting to figure out search after all these many years. Mobile will be the same way. Of course, the many years of industry pundits proclaiming that “This is the year mobile…..really” has created a certain “The pundit who cried mobile!” reaction. Trouble is, if Eric Schmidt can’t stop talking about Google’s concentration in the area then that means this is not a mobile fire drill. Companies will need to step up now if they want to hit the crest of this wave.
As a parting shot of sorts, Schmidt also echoed a similar tune to his buddies in Cupertino when he proclaimed
Lastly, to make good mobile, web and diskless computer (aka Chrome OS) apps, Schmidt had a platform recommendation as well: “From our perspective the single most important development has been the arrival of the HTML 5 standard.”
Bad day to be Adobe holding the Flash card, don’t ya think?