Tonight at FED, Justin Baird, “Innovationist” at Google was put under a very small spotlight on innovative technologies. Unfortunately for my desires, with some considered exceptions, much of the conversation on the couch was about as incisive as a butter knife on the hide of a hippopotamus.
But the discussion did get me thinking. So I spent much of the short session considering the many contrary questions I’ve had about Google’s business models, technologies and relationships over the last few months. I mulled over which one in particular I might ask in the Q&A session at the end.
Initially I waited to see what direction the topics would come from and the types of answers which were received. Disappointingly, aside from one question right at the end nothing unexpected or too challenging was asked. As an example, while there was much discussion of Mobile technologies and their uses, especially in emerging markets, there was little mention of Google Voice.
I wanted to ask, bearing in mind the success of disruptive innovations such as Google’s own Search, Skype, Amazon and the iPhone in the markets where Google now play, did Mr. Baird think Google Voice was going to be the next successful disruptive technology?
And more importantly in the context of the audience at FED tonight, when would Google launch the service in Australia? We are a nation of early adopters and technological savants after all!
Unfortunately, discussion was cut short and my curiosity wasn’t able to be satisfied at the time.
Perhaps if you know Justin, you can forward my inquisition to him? My social awkwardness preferred a glass of Bombay Sapphire, a comfortable seat and an intriguing conversation with a friendly face than chasing up someone I didn’t know to get the answers I sought.
In the interim, I can only assume, despite its moderate success in the US, there are notable barriers in the way of the technology being exported to other markets. In light of the examples I quote above then, is Google Voice innovative enough? Or will it be one more potentially disruptive innovation, like perhaps PointCast and the Active Desktop before it, which missed its opportunity?