Adapting by Adopting from Google’s Playbook

Two media pieces caught my attention over the weekend:

1. In the Sunday Business section of the New York Times (3/1/09), there was a profile of Marissa Mayer, Google's VP of Search Products & User Experience (i.e. she controls the look, feel and functionality of Google's pages), in which she revealed — for anyone who cares — their design guidelines. We'd all be silly not to give some thought to how to adapt them. Here's what she said:

"Avoid first- and second-person pronouns. Always write “Google” instead of “we.” If you want to make the design on the page simpler, take away one of these: a type of font, a color or an image. Don’t switch tenses. And steer clear of italics because they are hard to read on a computer screen."
Read the rest here:

2. On one of my favorite public radio shows, On The Media, there was a segment on What Would Google Do?, a new book by Jeff Jarvis. My favorite part of the transcript:

"Google also makes mistakes well. It puts out every product as a beta, which is its way of saying, this product is incomplete and unfinished and imperfect, so help us finish it. Tell us what it ought to be. And that’s a very transparent way, for a company that isn't always transparent, but Google in that way opens up its process as, I think, not only media but other industries should do." Read or listen to the rest here:

I'm experimenting with transparency a bit lately too, as I go through the experiment I call my business. One of my recent mini-podcasts was about how I try to reach my monthly goals.

And where I used to waste a lot of time feeling bad about even the tiniest mistake, these days I'm relishing every mistake I make. It's incredibly freeing to say, "I was completely wrong about that," (especially for a so-called "expert") so I've been doing it whenever possible.

What about you?