What Google does runs contrary to much business thinking. It sees the customer's time as the scarcest resource.The organization is buying time from the customer. Time is scarcer than oil or gold. It is ultimately all that we have. When it runs out, everything shuts down. "Google Deliberately Sells Fewer Ads - and May Have Gone Too Far" was a recent heading in the New York Times. "Some of the softness in Google's advertising revenue, moreover, was self-inflicted," the Times article stated. "Jonathan Rosenberg, Google's senior vice president for product management, said that Google had chosen to reduce its advertising coverage - the percentage of Web pages on which it displays advertising - to an all-time low. "That's a puzzling decision on the surface. Virtually any other company facing slow economic times would be interested in increasing the places in which it could sell ads. It certainly wouldn't take steps to reduce them. "But Mr. Rosenberg said that Google has no plans to increase its coverage because of its efforts to improve what it calls "ad quality" - the idea that Google should only show ads that users actually like. Mr. Rosenberg said that the company's co-founder, Larry Page, would like to see even fewer ads. "Larry often says we would be better off if we showed one ad - the perfect ad," said Mr. Rosenberg." The top two Google principles are: # Focus on people - their lives, their work, their dreams. # Every millisecond counts. "Above all, a well-designed Google product is useful in daily life," Google states. "It doesn't try to impress users with its whizbang technology or visual style - though it might have both. It doesn't strong-arm people to use features they don't want - but it does provide a natural growth path for those who are interested. It doesn't intrude on people's lives - but it does open doors for users who want to explore the world's information, work more quickly and creatively, and share ideas with their friends or the world." The above paragraph sounds like it has come from some sort of hippy commune, not the most powerful brand in the world. The above paragraph turns a lot of traditional marketing on its head. Google makes money. It is profitable. It is so obvious what the Web is about. It is about the customer, not the organization. It is about our time. It is about our time. Time. Time. Time. Wasting my time is like spitting in my face. Before you can sell anything to anybody, before you can communicate anything to anybody, you are demanding of them-buying of them-their time. What are you giving them as payment? Is it worth it? Whenever you waste your customers' time you destroy your brand, your reputation. They will only wipe your spit from their faces once. Every millisecond counts.

About the Author

Gerry McGovern, a content management author and consultant, has spoken, written and consulted extensively on writing for the web and web content management issues since 1994. Read more Gerry McGovern articles.