So how does Google fit into this idea of a Trusted Space and what further rules or deeper insights can we extract if we look more carefully at Google?
I see a kind of DNA in all these examples. In nature, nothing is identical -- not even two snowflakes but there are a number of shared deep designs. Public radio will not have to look like eBay or Google but if it adopts this design it will share most of their DNA.
Google is so powerful and so pervasive today, that it is easy to forget that they did not exist before 1998. Neither did they start with a mass of resources.
Like eBay, independent humans, acting as true ‘members’ provide most of what is valuable inside the Google container. The member does most of the work – in Google ‘I search to find what you wrote’. Google merely connects us. The value is in finding what we need inside the Google container.
Google’s strategy is clear. They, like eBay, work in a focused way to improve the felt value of the user to spend more and more time inside the Google container. This is their business plan.
The Business Principle - To attract and keep more and more people inside a container doing more and more so they can harvest the value of our interaction. This is what all successful exponents of the new do. They pull people inside their system.
Business Principle – Keep adding attractors to the “Whole” - To pull us inside, Google adds mail to search. They add chat, pictures, and calendar to mail. They add video to mail. They continually add value for the user to spend more and more of their day inside the Google Container.
Value Principle – Harvest what the members do inside the container - Where the value comes to Google is that they see everything that we do! We provide more and more of the information about every aspect of our life to Google. The more value we as members create in the container, they more information they get in return.
This is the value in their model. They are capturing the intellectual capital of the world! This drives their balance sheet and goes way beyond any of their tools.
What is important about Google is not any of their tools per se but is their success in adding value to their ecosystem to capture our knowledge. They gain their P & L by taxing this knowledge, by transforming advertising from a hit or miss bombardment to a tailored process whereby they offer value to both the advertiser who can target their investment and to the user who only sees what is relevant.
Google drives member loyalty by driving intense member value. They drive value from the perspective of the complete user/member experience.
Technology Principle - No one tool is as important as the value of the ecosystem itself.
Capital Principle - The user provides most of the capital to the system. As with eBay there are not really any suppliers or consumers in the Google world. They are both and can be described then as ‘members’ of the system.
Focus Principle - Trust is the key. I trust Google with all my email. When I do not any longer, I will leave. If enough people lose trust and leave, then Google will be in financial trouble.
Principle Summary - In the new model, it’s all about the value and the trust found inside the ‘container’ or in the ‘trusted space’ in which the ‘member’ now lives. The member is both a provider and a supplier. The business imperative is to attract and hold the ‘Member’ for as long as possible inside the container. The more time they spend there the better. They are attracted and they stay inside the container because of the value or the experience that they have inside. Members provide most of the human and the intellectual capital for the enterprise.
Trust is therefore the critical factor. The new model is not about product. eBay had a poor website, Skype did not win by having a good tool. No one part of Google is the only attractor. Your success will not be about the tool but about the experience that draws the customer inside your container. Our best teacher for this lesson is Howard Schultz at Starbucks.