Google has a tradition of April Fool’s jokes, my favorite is PigeonRank. This year it’s the “Google Gulp,” a tongue-in-cheek tour through Google’s product development process, with jabs (or shout outs, hard to say) at Schmidt, Urs Hoelzle, Stanford PhDs, and the rave culture. In short, Google Gulp is a fantasy drink which makes people smarter. (Maybe even as smart as the people at Google, one dares to dream…).
The descriptive text for this spoof reads like a exorcism-by-humor for some of Google’s most vexing PR issues – from terminal Beta to privacy. Read through it, it speaks volumes on the culture. Some of the lines read as if the founders themselves were involved in the creative process. To wit:
…any piece of information’s usefulness derives, to a depressing degree, from the cognitive ability of the user who’s using it.
...to comprehend the long version of this answer, you’d need a PhD (from Stanford, natch).
…You mean we should cripple a perfectly useful feature just because of a little bad PR?
…. At any rate, you should be aware that by popping the seal on the twist-off Gulp cap, you send a wireless signal to Google’s servers indicating your irrevocable acceptance of the Google Gulp Terms and Conditions, which do include the possibility, however remote, of hideous genetic mutation resulting from your consumption of this product
….This “limited release” beta product is available to anyone who turns in a used Google Gulp bottle cap at any local retailer. If you don’t have any Gulp caps, ask a friend to give you one.
….We’ll commit when we’re ready, okay? Besides, what’s so great about taking things out of beta? It ruins all the romance, the challenge, the possibilities, the right to explore. Carpe diem, ya know? Maybe we’re jaded, but we’ve seen all these other companies leap headlong into 1.0, thinking their product is exactly what they’ve been dreaming of all their lives, that everything is perfect and hunky-dory – and the next thing you know some vanilla copycat release from Redmond is kicking their butt, the Board is holding emergency meetings and the CEO is on CNBC blathering sweatily about “a new direction” and “getting back to basics.” No thanks, man. We like our freedom.
The fine print on privacy, while all in good fun, kind of weirds me out:
Google Gulp and Your Privacy