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Can Google Find Its Voice?

By - March 11, 2009

Googlevoice

This is going to be a very big deal. Or forgettable.

I am not sure which.

I had a conversation with a NYT reporter about this today. (Story here, but I was not quoted). It made me think. First off, this product was not launched by Eric, Sergey, or Larry. So who knows if this is a Big Deal Inside Google, or Pasta Against the Walls?

You all know how much I love the idea of the Conversation Economy. It’s where my nose is taking me these days. So the concept of Google boiling the vast Oceania Vox is very, very compelling.

But then again….I find it hard to trust Google is really serious about this market.

For example, how many real live customer service reps does the company plan to have tasked to this product? That, to me, is a Very Important Question.

It’s the essential human question that drives Google. I bring it up all the time. Community. Media. People. How do you make people scale?! How does Google, a company driven by algorithms and scale, find its Voice?

It can’t be all algorithms. Things that Work Perfectly Because You Get How To Make It Work Even If Your Non Technical Pals Can’t don’t scale. Things that Really Do Work Without Customer Service can (this is Google search, or Amazon, or….etc.).

I just wonder if Google Voice is one of those disruptors. If it’s effortless, if it works without having to call someone to help me make it work, well, it’s a huge, huge hit. But this is telecommunications. I have a hunch it’s harder than that.

I for one very much want it to work. I love the idea of Google Voice.

I just wonder about the execution.

(By the way, compare Google search to Twitter search for “Google Voice.” Innaresting.)


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4 thoughts on “Can Google Find Its Voice?

  1. I’ve been a GrandCentral user for the past couple of years, and it’s a charm. The changes G has added (particularly the voice transcription) make it even sweeter.

    Google (and Amazon and eBay for that matter) have relied on the new order of customer service: get so big that everyone has at least one friend or neighbor than can ask for help. And build your service so that it’s easy enough for 30-40% of the population to use without help (no small achievement). The 30-40% are enough to provide helping hands to the less savvy.

    The new crowd-sourcing. Offline.

  2. Shakir Razak says:

    Hi,

    John, Do you really want all of your real and Digital world to go through the Google Borg network, which will include conversation parsing and storage (they’ve used the 411 service to improve speech-recognition) and then using your previous history to sell, whichever platform.

    Chrome, Android, Gmail, Voice, History, Connect.

    Safety in Diversity!

    Yours kindly,

    Shakir Razak

    P.s.
    It’s also that it doesn’t bring anything new except google-integration and user-base to the Unified-Communications field.

  3. Shakir Razak says:

    Hi,

    John, Do you really want all of your real and Digital world to go through the Google Borg network, which will include conversation parsing and storage (they’ve used the 411 service to improve speech-recognition) and then using your previous history to sell, whichever platform.

    Chrome, Android, Gmail, Voice, History, Connect.

    Safety in Diversity!

    Yours kindly,

    Shakir Razak

    P.s.
    It’s also that it doesn’t bring anything new except google-integration and user-base to the Unified-Communications field.

  4. Frustrated user says:

    Google voice hasn’t been able to dial out for days. So at the moment its an inbound-only phone number.