Excellent (and Gentle) Google Satire

Like many, I am happily resting from the overdose of Google IPO news, commentary, rants, praise’m, burn’m… and the continuous stream of information that was broadcasted, RSS’ed and printed for our benefit over the past few weeks.

However, John Battelle is pointing to a very funny piece from Paul Ford: The Banality of Google. It is worth relaxing for 5 minutes and reading it…

One of the funniest bit, IMHO, is the process by which Google has come up with the "no evil" motto, according to Paul:

Of course, you don’t arrive at a morally profound motto like “don’t be evil” without some serious thought. Here are some of the mottoes that Google tried out and rejected:

Google! Dance with the devil, but go home before it gets serious.
Google! We won’t commit genocide in most circumstances.
Google! Don’t eat no babies.
Google! We could do good, but we’re like, whoa.
Google! Begone, demon!

Those suck! So how did Google come up with “don’t be evil?” If you do not know the answer, you clearly did not attend an Ivy League business school like the author of this article. So I will tell you: they did focus group testing of their mottoes. They tested the evil brand concept one day, and the good brand concept the next. On evil day, they brought in vampires, werewolves, Satan, and a kraken.

Google Focus Groups Coordinator:
When I say “evil” what do you think of?

Virgin necks!

I am evil!

Can I have another 20,000,000 Diet Cokes?

The werewolf wouldn’t say anything. The next day, as expected, they interviewed some angels and saints, but that was boring. At the end of the focus groups, they concluded that good was kind of outmoded, not to mention that their VC’s were totally unfamiliar with the concept. Evil, on the other hand, was probably a long-term legal liability. So they decided that “don’t be evil” was a good compromise.

And the rest is pretty good as well…