No one looks at browser shares anymore, it's a good chance to share with you one of the many stories of me being wrong. :)
Below is the trend of browser shares from W3Schools for every other year (all here: http://goo.gl/cLq6
). There are many lessons. For example, never be cocky because you are only three years from being replaced!
Ok. The story....
When Chrome was first being dogfooded internally at Google I was excited (I always am about dogfooding new Google hardware and software). Installing the new browser was a disappointment. Other than loading really fast, it did everything worse than Firefox. And, as I wrote to my peers, why the hell did the world need another browser, Firefox is great!!
I dogfooded like a good employee, but I primarily spent time with Firefox.
When the first public version came out, I did a small yawn. "Ok Google, good job trying an alternative to IE. But NO EXTENSIONS! Give me a break Google."
I stayed with Firefox.
Chrome kept getting better. It was still faster a few months on. But, now the rendering was better, the security was insanely good, more things started to work
I switched to doing all internal Google work on Chrome, everything did work better there. I still did not know why the world needed a new browser.
I think it was the concept of extensions you could load yourself that did it for me. I started using it a lot more.
And, I started to see little things like "Page & Go" (I'm irritated the Microsoft Edge, still (!), does not have this). Other small customer-centric features, it started to fell like the browser was being built by people who used browsers.
Now, there was no going back.
I have to admit, at this point I was still not sure the world needed a new browser. At this point we are a year or so out in public.
It took me a lot longer to see why the world needed a new browser. In hindsight, it was the massive pace of innovation that the Chrome team has driven (there has been nothing even 50 miles close when you look at the other browsers). Chrome has gotten fat, but if you compare evolutions, it is still the thinnest and undeniably the best. It is important to point out I don't work in the Chrome team, but I see how the grand plan for Chrome being critical to Google driving new innovations (life exclusively on the web, faster videos, Chrome OS, and so many new things).
We often don't see the grand vision. And, that was my mistake.
The numbers below prove that you can take on an entrenched monopoly (IE in this case). The numbers below prove that innovation can drive adoption. The number below are both a feather in Google's cap, and the trend is also a warning to not be complacent.
I was wrong about Chrome. Massively so. I'm so proud of what Google's Chrome team has accomplished.
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PS: I have a new newsletter with short stories from the intersection of marketing and data, you can sign up here: http://zqi.me/akintersect