I was given a copy of an article today out of the review section of the Wall Street Journal. I don't spend a lot of time reading the paper, but the nearly full page view of Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google's co-founders) on the front with the headline "Google: The Beginning" grabbed my attention. So I sat down and "read the paper".
1999 doesn't really seem that long ago. But that's when Google had only 8 employees and a handful of searches a day - well, ok, about 500,000 searches a day, but compared to the 3.6 billion that happen every day in 2011, it was pretty darn small. Here's some perspective: I was at a meeting of local business professionals yesterday and one of the ladies present remarked "I Googled some information about...", immediately correcting her own use of the word Google. Not because she used a different search engine; because she looked it up in a REAL book. It's not just a search engine, it's a verb.
I saw an article a few days ago on one of the technology news streams that I follow that made another kind of statement to me. It said something about Google changing the way that humans think. According to a study done at Columbia University, due to the way our brains determine what we need to remember and what we know we can look up, our retention of information is influenced. The study surmises that because we have so much readily available information (just look at your phone), we don't have a need to remember it, so we don't. Fact or fiction? I'm not sure, but it does make you think - and according to this research, it makes you think differently.
I like change. I love technology. Our attitude when we meet that changing technology is what determines whether it will be rewarding or overwhelming. I challenge you to approach new technologies as if they are the "next Google". Think of how they can help you. What can you use these tools for to make your job easier or maybe even make life more enjoyable? Try not to let them overwhelm you. And if they do, give us a call and we'll help you sort out which ones you need to care about.