What Would Google Do?

That's what Jeff Jarvis wonders as he looks at a variety of businesses and industries, and it's the title of a book he's writing. Some of his thoughts along the way can be found at his Buzzmachine blog, tagged "WWGD."

As always, some of the best content is in the comments -- as with this scathing response to the idea of a Googley restaurant. And of course it's increasingly true that the answer to WWGD is, in a lot of cases, "Act like any other big public company."

But that's not really the point.

I spend a fair amount of time wondering about the applicability of Web 2.0 technologies and internet strategies to non-media businesses (I love the part of my interview with Chris Anderson, linked in the previous post, where we talk about the impact of the Long Tail on appliances and commodities), so I'm following Jeff's work with interest.

Look at Google's home page, and note all the things it doesn't do there. That's a lesson about Google, too, and a useful one to remember as you apply the WWGD logic to your own business. You aren't trying to make your company into Google, you're trying to leverage some big ideas that Google has shown to be effective; what you leave out may be as important as what you emulate.