Google Crowd-Sources For Ideas

By: WebProNews Staff - December 31, 2008

Google nearly sneaked this one by us. Probably for the best. They wouldn’t want word to get out their actually listening to people—the comments would never cease. In mid-December Google launched the Google Product Ideas blog, focusing initially on ideas for Google Mobile.

The initial blog post reads:

At Google, we know we’ve got some really great users with some really great ideas, and we’re excited to open up a new project called Product Ideas, a platform through which we’re taking a new approach to feedback for Google mobile products. Whether it’s a feature request, a crazy idea, a rave or a rant, we want to hear it. Even more, we want other users to hear it, to see what others are buzzing about, and to be able to vote on all these ideas.

Signing in one’s Google account offers the ability to vote on proposals as good ideas or bad ones, kind of like a Hot or Not for corporate brainstorming. At first it seems like a grand experiment in crowd-sourcing, but it may actually be a cover for attracting free labor.

In addition to bonus cuts this year, Google has scaled back on the 20-percent-time projects Googlers enjoyed as a break from official duties to innovate in some peripheral area. These projects paid off sometimes—Gmail, for example—but Marissa Mayer once noted that these side products had an 80 percent fail rate.

Greg Sterling at Search Engine Land, who gets the hat tip, says as much too:

Accordingly, user-generated product ideas and voting may help substitute for curtailed 20 percent time efforts. And voting provides the added benefit of indicating the ideas that have “legs” vs. those that are less compelling.”

Then again, remember New Coke? All those taste test ensured success.

WebProNews Staff

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  • Kort over Prag

    I agree – the wisdom of the crowd can be huge…

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    It’s a pain to make even one account with google because their captchas are completely not readable by humans. You have to use software to read them — it’s the only way.

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    Hello, I like this post and I want to republish all of your articles in my blog, because I can’t write an article with English yet. I will be added the source to this blog.

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  • SEO Packages

    I don’t know that a crowd will all ways give you wisdom, but you can certainly survey them and get some good data on products and such.

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    I was thinking about getting a G1, but from the reviews that I have seen on the internet I don’t think that it would be a good switch from a blackberry. I am going to wait awhile and see what kind of software is going to come out for it. Hopefully, it will be interesting since many of the developers are people just like you and me.

  • Toni Anicic

    I would personally never submit a good idea to such a service. If you believe your idea is good and might end up as a profitable product you might just go and realize it yourself.

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    Interesting to see that even the mighty Google is mortal. However, hopefully they will get back to their old ways once the current situation turns around. Sure their employ side projects had an 80% failure rate, which translates into a 20% success rate (not bad). Sounds like too valuable of an opportunity to shut down long-term.

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