Underestimating Google at my own peril.
Recently I realized I had been underestimating google. Facebook and Twitter ate their proverbial “social” lunch, search marketing budgets started to decline and the launch of Google + has been a modest success. That all changed this week, when I started my recent European trip in Hungary, this trip has been nothing short of a Google highlight reel. The best Hungarian web sites are written in (big surprise) Hungarian. Chrome immediately realizes this and offers to translate sites into English. I get great local content and no need for a crash course with Rosetta Stone. The fact that I took for granted the ability to browse pretty much any site in the world, in any language, and understand it immediately shows you how much we expect from our tech giants. The Google love fest continued as my brother and I navigated Budapest, I was in charge of navigation using Google Places to design our entire journey and he was in charge of communication using Google translate to capture local phrases, order off menus and to read street signs. I am sure we could have found a way to survive with alternative sites and tools, but the fact that we were able instantly understand our environment, navigate our new city and communicate (no matter how rudimentary) reminds me of the power, scale and genius of the company. I won’t make the same mistake again.