Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Tech Slam!

Google recently introduced Demoslam, a rather brilliant way to demonstrate Google products and services to mainstream audiences. Users upload their innovative demos to YouTube before submitting them to the Demoslam site. There is a real emphasis on creativity and fun when demonstrating the benefits of each product. This is a great example of how technology should be demonstrated.

My current favourite is Instant Elements, by Tom Lehrer. At first look, his catchy song demonstrates the power of the recently released Google Instant search. Look a bit closer however and I think there are some real insights into the power of viral marketing to accentuate natural search positions as well as the importance of optimising for universal results.

In my opinion, introducing products to mainstream audiences in a way that encourages adoption is one of the greatest challenges technology companies face. In the majority of cases, the speed of innovation is far greater than the speed of adoption. 

As an example, I regard Gmail as one of the best products available. At the Beta launch in 2004, it transformed the landscape for email providers by providing a far simpler user experience and increasing the inbox capacity to over 100 times the size of some of it's rivals. In 2010 however, it still has only one third of the amount of subscribers of rivals Yahoo! and Hotmail. For a new online startup, acquiring this market share in six years is incredible growth but for Google, is this really success? It will be interesting to see Facebook market their email product as they look to diversify their technology offering.

I believe that we shall see an increasing amount of technology companies advertising in the mainstream media. Google have already advertised Chrome on billboards and on TV. Microsoft have advertised BING on TV and it is only a matter of time before we see more of Facebook and Twitter in the mainstream media. 

I may challenge my team to record a slam. Looking at the competition however, I think it would take quite a lot of training to gain a title shot.We don't want to put in an Audley Harrison performance.

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