Sunday, March 15, 2009


don't be evil

i learn a very surprising thing today.i found out in a book "the google story" that the corporate motto of google is "Don't be Evil" . and the company's philosophy is to solve problems and make a product first and then think about making money. this is in complete opposite to most businesses where the executives and managers think about making money first and then make a product. the euphemism for this is 'meeting customer needs' ( i only know this too well).

don't be evil! isn't that the most profound and also the simplest and most obvious thing in the world! i wish every corporation and political party and government in the world have the same motto. probably it's not a bad idea for the united nation (or the united nothing as one funny t-shirt logo calls it) to adopt this. i wish the present american government practise this. and on the local front, i wish umno and BN instead of following their unwritten motto of "let's steal more" to do a muhasabah diri . not doing evil is a good point to start from.

don't be evil. short and sweet and eloquent. but like most things the seemingly simplest of statement can be the most complex to comprehend and have the most far reaching significance. take einstein's e=mc square for example. it is the most beautiful and simplest equation in the scientific world ever. it can do infinite good but also capable of doing the ultimate evil . it'll unlock the energy of atoms but it also can destroy the world.

the pedants among us will say ' but what is 'evil'? and i sure as hell can't answer that with certainty. in fact i still don't understand what it really means when we say 'i love you'. such is mysteries of life....

I actually read a book about Google that traced its history since its founding and have a couple of observations
(1) As a Software Innovation house, Google is unmatched, and Google products have managed to do what SUN, IBM, Linux, Oracle and countless others have failed - offer a competing way of computing to the Microsoft model. Google is trying to position applications that reside on a network and can be used at no cost, as opposed to the costly Microsoft model, when the application must be installed on your computer and so on. But of course, their bread and butter is online advertising and nothing Microsoft has done has made even the tinest dent. So Google retains its market base as well as begining to attack Microsoft product base
(2) "Don't be evil" - I don't buy that anymore. Google will engage in supposedly 'evil' acts if it helps their company bottom line. I know they have some sort of ethics committee, but recently they were even accused of playing a part in trying to cover up Nazri Aziz sons' photo. And btw, I suspect Google engineers built PM2B's blog, go to it, press right click and see a lot of the code comes come from, a Google engineer outfit.
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