Applying Google’s Elegance to Our Own Businesses

The Google homepage has their logo, a lot of white space, and a box to type in. It’s simple. It’s clean. It’s elegant. According to author/professor Matthew May, “elegance is the ability to achieve the maximum effect of impact through the minimum means.” We have a question, we ask it to Google, and trust them to provide us with answers. Sounds like the essence of every professional relationship, doesn’t it? 


We’re all trying to figure out ways to communicate information elegantly to our clients. It starts with our own (metaphorical) search bars. Sometimes we nudge a person towards a question, but our goal is to supply a framework, via our relationship, where people can feel comfortable asking a question. If they don’t care enough to click search, they haven’t bought in. Like the Google homepage, we should make sure asking the question is effortless. 


Once the question is asked, we move on to curating the results. We don’t improve communication by adding noise to the results, we improve it by subtracting noise away and highlighting the relevant options. If we’ve heard the question correctly, we should have some strong top results. From there, we need to keep the answers simple (“KISS!” as one of my business partners would say) and keep them relevant to the individual.


Just like Google has an algorithm for organizing search results, we all have our own internal algorithm for answering questions. Once someone realizes the value of the algorithm, that they are able to “google it” versus “internet search for it,” the value has become implicit. Being able to articulate what a product or service actually does for us is a sign of elegance at work. We have to strive for that level of clarity.


So, take a (home) page from Google. Keep it elegant. And, of course, “don’t be evil.”


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