Google and its offerings continue to grow and expand every day. Almost all of its product offerings are free, which Frypan loves. It’s an interesting model, and one we won’t get too deep into here (though we all have a lot to learn from Google.) They’re able to offer these free products, because 99% of its revenue is generated from its advertising programs; roughly $10 Billion a year (only $112 Million in licensing).
Some of Google’s best products have come from what they call “Innovation Time Off.” All of their engineers are encouraged to spend 20% of their work time (1 day a week) on projects that have significant interest to them. Luckily for us, almost 50% of Google’s new launches, and some of its most popular services were hatched under this program; Gmail, Adsense, Google News, etc. In my mind, Innovation Time Off looks a bit like this:
But whatever – they make real, useful, cool stuff without using the term “cloud.” (yet)
Our needs are pretty basic. Since my business partner and I live 55 miles away from each other, we’ve leaned on Google Apps to stay in touch and collaborate online often.
We email on Gmail
We chat on Google Talk
I use Google Reader to catch up on all my blogs so I can get smart …Sidenote – My Favorites:
And most importantly we use Google Docs
We have spent many a night collaborating on “documents” to shape our ideas, and compiling data on “spreadsheets” to help realize those ideas. It’s a wonderful tool, the real-time collaboration features are fantastic, and the in-document chat has been invaluable. Essentially we can both work on the same project, at the same time, share it with our developer, and talk about it all while watching 30 Rock from the comfort of our own homes. Pretty sweet. By comparison, Microsoft Office Small Business is about $450.
Business Software – $0.00