At this point it’s pretty clear that Google is the company to admire and aspire to; everyone has the dream of their little startup turning into the next internet mogul that’s going to take the world by force.
So what tips can you take away from how Google does what it does and apply to your own internet startup? You can learn how to create a successful startup!
Let’s take a look at Google’s GoMobile (GoMo) initiative, which is an app they rolled out for the “Mobilizing Mobile” event in Mobile, Alabama. With Mobilizing Mobile, Google showed the world what can happen when a company pays attention to its consumer base and reacts accordingly.
Figure out what’s going on. Google noticed that an increasing number of people were getting online through mobile devices. This is probably something you’ve noticed in your own day to day: how many more times a day do you check your email on your smartphone rather than on your computer?
Once the company realized that this is the future of online access they started taking steps to work within that framework and, in the process, set the tone for the rest of the web development world.
Guiding what everyone else is doing sounds like a tall order for a startup, but it’s essential if you want to be ahead of the game. Think big! How is your product going to change the landscape? What do you know that no one else is seeing? That kind of thinking is what’s going to make you and your company stand out as something worth looking at.
Make it happen
Take that idea and turn into something your customers want to and can interact with. For GoMo, Google developed a product called the GoMo Meter. It’s a super simple, no commitment tool for mobile devices that shows the user how their site looks on a smartphone and informs them what’s working and what isn’t.
There are a couple of keys to GoMo’s success as a product. The first one is obvious: it fills a need. But it also targets a certain behavior that Google recognized and then provided an clear and easy way to do it. Most users are going to be turned off by anything that makes them work too hard to figure it out. Make it clear, interactive and effective and you’ve got them hooked.
Maybe most interesting, however, is how a good product interacts with human behavior.
What does the popularity of social networking sites like Facebook tell us more than anything? It tells us that there’s one thing that we’re all most interested in: ourselves. GoMo allows users easy access to their sites and their success and lets them indulge in a certain narcissistic behavior that’s endlessly appealing.
Think hard about that lesson when you’re working on your product. What part of human nature am I trying to tap into? Everyone has different areas of interest but, in the end, we all share some basic human traits that are easily exploitable. When your product creates a new behavior, that new behavior creates new beliefs and then those beliefs lead to new behaviors. Now you’ve got them hooked.
Don’t stop there!
Just because you’ve figured out what works doesn’t mean you can stop making changes. Human beings are fickle creatures and are easily distracted by new shiny objects. Track how your customer is using your product and make changes accordingly. That’s called “micro-metrics” and it’s a strategy that Google is using with GoMo.
Be careful not to forget about the big picture while you’re focusing on the day to day details, however. Pay attention to traffic, revenues and what’s happening overall in your company in order to keep things on the right path.
Google is a huge company with a lot more resources that you probably have access to, but that doesn’t mean that their approaches are impossible for you to emulate. Keep these steps in mind and who knows? Maybe you’ll be the next internet mogul.