I Want To Be Like Google When I Grow Up
- Posted by James Altucher
Dear Google, I sort of want to have sex with you. Or I want you to be my father. Or my best friend. I don’t know, I feel so nervous writing this letter. I hope you write back but you can’t because you’re God and God has to care for all of Her People and not just one tiny little person like me.
The other day I wanted to learn about “Vincent Van Gogh”. I saw a book in the bookstore but it looked boring and it was around 1000 pages. Who would read such a book?
But when I was thumbing through it I saw how he was trying to become friends with other artists and how he was trying to organize exhibitions of other artists. It was almost like he was trying to build his TRIBE which is a modern word to describe a group with similar interests who try to help each other.
Van Gogh had the right idea. I wanted to read more about it but the book looked too boring. I also wanted to read about his ear.
So I asked you instead, Google. And you instantly replied to me.
First off, thanks for not calling me “stupid”. I had spelled “Vincent” as “Vincenet”. A lot of people would’ve yelled at me and said, “you fucking idiot. Don’t you ever proofread what your write?” I do proof read but I’m not very good at it. I’m an idiot and I appreciate you not calling me out on that.
You politely said, “Showing results for Vincent Van Gogh”. Very subtle, Google. Point noted. And you showed me 14,700,000 results.
WOW! And in your omniscience you showed me all the results of those 14 million that you thought were the most relevant.
There’s also something unsaid in what you wrote back to me, Google.
Without saying it, you basically told me, “I, Google, know nothing about Vincent Van Gogh. But here are 14 million other places you can go and I’ve taken the time to read through all of them very quickly and tell you the ones I think are best.”
You didn’t even ask me to pay, or to come back again, or to say hello to anyone. You know nothing and aren’t afraid to admit it. And you weren’t afraid of hoarding the information. You just gave it to me.
I love you.
I’ve been thinking more about that “Vincenet” (haha. That’s an inside joke we now have, Google.) Van Gogh situation.
Here’s what I’m learning from it. You are worth $200 billion so it’s worth taking lessons from you on how to be a God among people.
A) Be the source. It seems like you don’t really know anything. But you freely give to people advice on where they can go to get their answers. I want to be the source. If you’re the source, you never have to worry about people coming back to you. They will. You give ideas, suggestions, pointers to information.
Most people are afraid to be the source. It’s like when I used to be in the web design business a long time ago. People would ask me about my competitors. i’d be afraid to recommend them because then maybe people wouldn’t love me as much. But people love you google, even though you constantly send them away.
It’s like people love you because you are unavailable to them emotionally. You keep trying to get them to love others.
B) You’re really honest. You told me what websites I should go to for “rentals in Encinitas” but you also told me which of the sites you were recommending paid you. So you had a conflict of interest. When I’m in the doctor’s audience and he prescribes a medicine or sends me to another specialist I never have any idea if there is some other payment going back and forth between them. Thanks Google, for the honesty.
C) I need to freely give all of my ideas without thinking of any benefit to myself.
D) I need to freely introduce people each other without always inserting myself in the middle so I get some of the pie that is being divided. There is no pie. That’s just me feeling non-abundant. You don’t have a scarcity complex, Google, but I do.
E) I don’t need to worry if people will come back to me. If I love everyone, like you do Google, then people will return.
F) I need to always be honest.
G) I have to make sure to not make people feel stupid.
H) It’s ok to admit I don’t know something. I notice you don’t really have any opinions, Google. I like that. Instead, you are free with your information regardless of who talks to you and what they talk to you about. I’m tired of opinions anyway. Who ever wins in an argument over opinions? Both people lose.
I) I should never hoard. I told Claudia the other day I was having trouble coming up with ideas to write about. I also told her I had 200 posts in my “Drafts” folder that I wasn’t releasing yet. She said “You’re hoarding!” She said, “You won’t have new ideas until you stop the hoarding.” She’s right. I should learn from you, Dear Google, because you don’t hoard. You just give and you know you’ll have more and more to give.
J) You’re cool. If you “google”, “Sergey Brin” and “glasses” and “NYC subway” there is a picture of Sergey Brin on the NYC subway wearing Google Glasses. He looks really cool. I want to be just like your high priest.
Dear Google, I just got the following email and it made me think of you:
“Hi James, I’m off for my new adventure in London… I wanted to let you know how I got my new position; it came about when I was talking to one of the junior guys that works in our call centre, he’s a good kid, smart but we couldn’t offer him full time work, so I called the head of our biggest competitor company.
On my recommendation he offered him a job. I was really pleased for him and myself for helping him out and thought nothing more of it. A couple of days later the head of our competitor phoned me back and asked me what MY plans were and if i wanted to go and have dinner. He offered me a job on the spot.
What pleases me most I guess is that it all came about from me wanting to help someone else, and that’s come from following your advice… so thanks for that and for all of your great advice.”
The guy who wrote me that email was just like you Google. He became the source, he helped someone, he didn’t think of how it would benefit him, and his “value” in the universe increased as a result.
Your value is over $200 billion, Google. More people should be like you. I should be like you.
One more story. I was playing poker in Atlantic City once with a guy named Joe. He was a great player but he did one thing at the table which was interesting. Another guy needed to exchange cash for chips. Joe sold him some of his chips, which is actually not legal to do at an Atlantic City casino.
Later I asked Joe why he did that. Joe said, “Always be the bank. Then people don’t want to bet against you.”
Joe was like you, Google. And his value increased because he was like you.
Dear Google, one time I had a wet dream about you. I was trying to get a business I started acquired by you. I met with you and everyone in the meeting seemed so smart and the meeting was fun. We were all just riffing ideas. All in your name Google. The meeting was in New York but some people attended via video conference from San Francisco. It was like we were all in the same room because of some sort of teleportation power.
Later, when I was given a tour, I saw chefs working in a Kitchen. I saw people skateboard. I saw people with three or four monitors programming. Everyone was smiling. I even signed a piece of paper saying I would never write about what I saw. And then a week later it turned out I signed the wrong paper so one of your priests asked me to come back and sign another paper and I did because I don’t want to have the wrath of God on me. Anyway, I’m writing about you now but I don’t think you really care enough to sue me.
I woke up that night thinking I was in love with you. And I am. I even sent you an email at three in the morning that night saying I would do anything to be acquired by you. You didn’t acquire me. Someone else did. I had to “settle”. But I’ll always love you, Google.
I don’t know. I have nothing new to say to you today. But today I’m going to be try to be like you all day. Thank you.
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