I remember when Google went public, and I remember when, several months later, I realized not only what Google was/is but how wrong I was.
I also remember the first thing I typed into a Google search bar … Questions to ask at a focus group. I used the questions later that week and have dozens of times since.
When Google was new, I thought it was a faster way of finding answers. Before Google, I used Alta Vista, if you even remember it. I didn’t use Alta Vista because it was better. I used it because there is a neighbourhood where I live in Ottawa that is called Alta Vista. I took it as a sign.
When a new technology arrives, the geeks and gadget lovers often embrace it. People who see themselves as busy and important often dismiss the new medium or tool as a gimmick and "go back to work.” I’m guilty of this too.
It's only a few years later when the people who understand those tools call the shots. Because "the work" is now centred on that thing that folks hesitated to learn when they had the chance.
Conversely, once the penny dropped, I remember telling my officemate, “we should have bought Google.” He was the same guy to whom I said, “I just looked up questions for a focus group and found them in half a second!” I didn’t understand what Google was at first.
Now Google is essential to my life.
There's never a guarantee that the next technology is going to be the one that moves to the center of the conversation. But it's certain that a new technology will. It always has.