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Newsletter #995: The “Lessons from Google You Weren’t Expecting” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

What is there left to say about a company like Google? You’ve already heard about their amazing offices, played with their Google doodles, and seen their amazing tech innovations. But we think there are still some lesser-known sides of Google we can learn something from.

Here are three inspirational examples from Google you probably haven’t heard of yet:

1. Show how your stuff makes a difference
2. Do something amazing for a niche group
3. Little surprises keep up word of mouth
4. Check it out: Doodle 4 Google Winners

1. Show how your stuff makes a difference

Want to do something good for your community or even the world? Donating to charities and fundraising events are nice. But it’s more remarkable when you show a meaningful way to use your stuff. Google (who has the budget to pull off big stuff) does a bunch of small, beneficial things for the world using their technology. For example, Google brought together teens from racially divided Arab and Jewish schools to work on cultural projects via Google Hangouts. They also used their maps to help victims find safe places and locate family members when Typhoon Yolanda devastated the Philippines.

The lesson: A lot of companies give money to charities. It’s nice, but it’s not always remarkable. You can create more word of mouth by finding unique ways to use your skills and talents to help people who need it.

Learn more: Google Blog

2. Do something amazing for a niche group

Google is working with artists to document and archive the temporary world of graffiti and street art in their Google Cultural Institute. You can do stuff like look through photos of New York’s 1990’s graffiti movement or use Street View to explore an art-covered nine-story building that’s since been demolished. It’s a fascinating use of Google’s resources to support a relatively small community.

The lesson: Why focus on helping out a niche group like this? Google doesn’t need advertising to get more people to use their stuff. They need passionate fans. By creating these galleries, they’re earning advocates and evangelists in the art community.

Learn more: Google Blog

3. Little surprises keep up word of mouth

Did you know that if you type famous rap lyrics into a Google Doc it will correct your spelling to turn words into slang? For example, “the” becomes “tha” and “going” becomes “goin.” That’s just one of the hundreds of Easter eggs Google leaves for people to find.

The lesson: Everyone’s heard of Google, and everyone knows how great it is, so there’s not a lot of room for new conversations. But it’s surprises like these that make people smile and re-energize word of mouth for the brand.

Learn more: Wikipedia

4. Check it out: Doodle 4 Google Winners

Each year Google asks kids in grades ranging from kindergarten to high school to participate in a contest to draw the next Google Doodle and win a scholarship. This year, the theme was inventions to make the world a better place. (Hint: The K-3 category was the most creative.)

Check it out: Doodle 4 Google

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  1. James Lee July 4, 2014 at 1:29 am #

    Great post. Didn’t know these things about Google before!

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