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Think Quarterly: The People Issue

Today's internet is built on real people and their connections, opinions, and ideas. That's why this issue of Think Quarterly is all about people. It's a diverse array of thoughts and opinions to help you connect with your customers, your employees, and the human soul of your business.

  • Article

    Project: People

    The internet has made our lives better in infinite ways, but it has also created problems that we never had before — too much information, over-sharing and less privacy. Google+ is the beginning of our attempt to solve these issues. Here, Google Vice President of Product Bradley Horowitz explains the philosophy behind the product. Namely, that information is inseparable from the people who create it, react to it, and pass it along.

  • Article

    Executive Insight: Richard Branson

    People matter. That’s the view of Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, whose unique approach to business has put him on top of the world. But don’t think he’s stopping there.... We spoke with the ambitious founder of The Virgin Group and discussed how he wants to make a difference in the world while still maintaining a sense of smallness and humility. His ideas are grand, but he tempers them with a desire to make them accessible to everyone.

  • Article

    Power to the People

    Meg Pickard turned her background as a social anthropologist into a role as the Head of Digital Engagement at the UK’s Guardian News and Media. And the really weird thing? It’s not as big a shift as you might think. Here Meg reveals the secrets behind the way online communities work – and can work for you.

  • Article

    The Mobile Metamorphosis

    From communication device to our most personal computer – mobile technology now connects us not just to each other, but to ourselves. But where is the evolution of the smartphone taking us? This article, based on research done within Google Homegrown, a digital community of 100 early adopters from inside Google’s employee ranks around the world, explores.

  • Article

    From Cash to Contentment

    How can a disaster like the BP oil spill be seen as a good thing? Consider that it had a positive effect on the US GDP because of all the necessary recovery work. Perhaps incongruities like this are what spurred several western countries to explore defining their prosperity in ways other than GDP, weighing factors such as wealth, crime, housing, and inequality. This new “happiness index” could more accurately measure a nation’s growth and economy, and, more importantly, how stable and sustainable it is.

  • Article

    The People's Revolution

    At the start of the year, the Arab Spring saw protests sweep through the Middle East and North Africa. In Egypt, they were powered by a unique coming-together of people and technology. One of the people caught up in the protests was Google’s Wael Ghonim, who became an unintentional leader of the 2011 uprising. Here he talks about how the internet assumed the role of the mainstream media and played a critical role in sparking the revolution.

  • Article

    The Knowledge: Ron Conway

    When renowned Silicon Valley investor Ron Conway finds a product or innovation that interests him, we want to know about it. Here he shares the emerging trends, philosophies, and even the country that he’s keeping his eye on. From new ways to build consumer loyalty to word-of-mouth charity contests, Conway provides examples of modern solutions being applied to age-old offline problems.

  • Article

    Passion, Not Perks

    Nurturing the people in your organization doesn’t require expensive perks or touchy-feely gimmicks. It’s about motivating, engaging and listening – and it can work for anybody. Laszlo Bock, Google’s SVP of People Operations, explains how.

  • Article

    Predicting the Present

    Google's Chief Economist, Hal Varian, explains how search queries can provide insights into people’s interests, intentions, and future actions. Needless to say, such insights can be very useful to businesses. Free tools like Google Correlate and Google Insights for Search enable you to use that database of intentions to ‘predict the present’ and better understand your customers’ behavior in real time.

  • Article

    Kickstarting Innovation

    Kickstarter, the online service that gives anyone with an idea a forum to raise money, helps turn imagination, storytelling, and honesty into most compelling aspects of a business plan. We spoke with Yancey Strickler, the company's founder, about what makes for a successful fundraising campaign. His advice: slow down, dig deep, and craft a story about what truly matters. The best campaigns convey the creators’ passions and a shared sense of responsibility for the goal.

  • Article

    Following Generation Z

    As kids grow up with the web — rarely writing letters or using land lines — everyday communication will surely undergo a massive change. Ed Chi, a member of Google’s in-house research team, reveals how the behaviors of the next generation of web users are going to look vastly different from today’s.