Yesterday I wrote a little bit about public opinion, and how it's a "filter" for most people -- an idea that grows and becomes popular tells us what to pay attention to. Popular opinion affects our
opinion and subconsciously (some might say insidiously) influences our behavior. Google is an amazing company. If the average non-techie knew even 1% of the things going on behind the scenes, they'd be floored. But the average Joe does not know. My sense is that Google was never truly seen as an "exciting" or "sexy" company to the average Joe.
Yes, technical people admired Google. But to non-techies, Google just works. It does what you want it do. And its design and utility is so straightforward and, well, utilitarian, it's kinda just "there." You use electricity everyday -- it's absolutely critical to everything you do, but you don't think much about the company that supplies the power to you.
With Google+, we're in the beginning phases of a sea change. G+ is going to affect the way people appreciate and think about Google. Put simply, G+ is going to make Google "sexy" to the average person. Pundits & investors have already recognized the excitement around this new "Google." That's where that $45 billion dollar increase in market cap just came from. (http://tcrn.ch/qHca93
) And that stock market excitement is forming a virtuous circle with the excitement of the G+ project itself.
The good feeling for Google is going to grow. It's going to spread beyond tech circles, and Google may have something of the Apple aura, if it can continue down this path. People are going to love Google like they never loved it before. People are going to hang on their product announcements the way they never did before. Larry Page and Sergey, if they so choose, will start to be seen more like a Steve Jobs than a Bill Gates. And all of this is not just because G+ is addicting (which it is). It's because G+ is about people and community. It's a celebration of our very existence, in a more obvious way than "organizing the world's information" ever was. Google is sexy now.
And I'm loving it.
P.S. If you're interested in reading about some of the amazing things "behind the scenes" at Google, I'd reccommend you pick up Steven Levy's "In the Plex". (http://amzn.to/ovS5Rr
) It's an important book, at an important time. Levy has followed the Google story since 1999. and has had uncommon access to people throughout every level of the company.