Google's search engine has transformed the world. Designed for practical classification and the use of ideas, it has revolutionised our lives by saving our time and giving us the answers. All the answers we can possibly look for.
No-one would argue its impact on our society. But what about the creative community?
Creativity is fuelled by serendipity; it thrives on patience, detours and doodles. Creative minds like things that take time to build, that are well thought-through They don't want to be given the answer; they want to play with the problem and get lost.
From this perspective, Google search engine might be seen as a cold page, filled with results decided by an anonymous algorithm. No genius. No curator. No spontaneity. Not many brand creative would want to be create ideas for that space even though this is certainly a top destination for people looking to buy something.
At the visual level alone, the interface might be perceived as an affront to anyone who's dedicated their life to margins, spacing, colours and fonts. 'This blue next to this green?' The visually sensitive have dreams for their brands to live that go beyond the search engine 'Give me a spot on HBO or a print ad in GQ'
Even projects like Re:Brief or Chrome Experiments don't help things. They have invited the creative community to express their ideas and tell stories with technological tools that are complicated to play with and that are tricky to express emotions.
Creative Sandbox is an interesting resource but it still doesn't offer the emotion, the texture and the emphasis on the people behind story telling in digital. Engineers cannot be the sole talent behind Google. Creatives need an artist to identify with as well.
In a sense this was the magic that Steve Jobs brought to Apple. Since its early days, Apple's products were made with the creative community in mind. They stood proudly in the artist's studio and eloquently on the writer's desk. The 1997 Think Different spot celebrated the creative mindset like never before. It wasn't the easy route, but it gained them a loyal following from a community that traditionally mistrusted technology.
Google, what if it was time for disruption?
What if you could stop seeing yourself as a digital toolbox? What if you didn't have to educate the creative community about your tools? What if you could act as a creative leader? Embrace your position, and show us that you know about creativity, telling stories, and crafting magic. Then you will earn more respect. You will be part of the creative community. It's time to be bold. It's time to stop being a search engine, it's time to stop seeing yourself as a display ad page... show your colors. The best talent of this world is on your side. Show the world that your creativity goes beyond a doodle.
Imagine if you were powered by wonder, serendipity and brilliance.
Don't be a canvas anymore, make yourself a masterpiece.