On the Friday the 20th of April, I had the privilege to visit Google’s headquarters “Googleplex” at 1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy, Mountain View, CA 94043. The first realization I had during this visit is the enormity of that place, secondly I identified a sense of happiness and euphoria at the outside areas, the restaurants, the sport courts, the cafeterias and the lobbies. When you first bring in mind a tech-giant such as Google these qualities barely reach the thought center of your brain, though you could see vigorous people smiling, talking & exchanging ideas, debating and physically exercising. Was that also the case for the working areas? Profoundly not! In the working spaces you could feel the intensity of the though process taking place and the effort of the employees to give at least an over 90% to their specific tasks.
Google’s vision statement is “to provide access to the world’s information in one click.”
So, probably right now and by reading this post you could assume that Google as the state-city of Athens during its golden age produced massively culture in the form of arts, sciences and philosophy thus refined the civilization of antiquity. Goolge, a tech-giant of vast proportions even for global scale, helps humanity to complete its baby steps era and evolve to a mature global democracy in which the equalitarian distribution of information and resources will create a state of global prosperity and awareness for the common interest goals of humanity as a species and as a determining factor for the survival of all living beings on the planet.
Google’s mission statement is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Well! The road so far is not all blossomed roses. As Howard Rheingold wrote in his book, “Tools for Thought (1980)” – “You can’t understand where mind-amplifying technology is going unless you understand where it came from”. Google so far has been a center of severe critic. Top criticism of Google sited in Wikipedia “Criticism of Google” includes: “Aggressive and contrived tax avoidance, misuse and manipulation of search results, its use of others’ intellectual property, concerns that its compilation of data may violate people’s privacy, censorship of search results and content, the energy consumption of its servers as well as concerns over traditional business issues such as monopoly, restraint of trade, antitrust, idea borrowing and being an “Ideological Echo Chamber”.”
Summarizing, global competition and the misuse of business ethics’ compass will always lead even the most innovative and bright companies to immoral business practices. The best option in order to avoid bad business practices is self-regulative initiatives of the information technology industry and if self-regulation fails, governmental legislative actions should take place!