Birdsongs: awakening to Spring in Londontown

I awoke

To birds singing

Across the way on an old tv antenna

I awoke

To the sun, rising

Above the mountain top tenements of the city centre

I awoke

To the cabs hustling through

Across the black tar roads

I awoke

To the bustling clip, clapping of shoes

Across the great grey tops

I awoke

To the still air full of jasmine

Across the great criss crossing corridors

I awoke

Finding myself once again in a rampage of appreciation for the stillness and the pure positive energy and the bright hello of dawn.

With Love,

Zach

Advertisements

Google: opportunities in how we Search

Google is Search:

Google is a global company. With offices all over the world, including several in London, Google footprints and search terms are in the sky, in our phones, on our desktops. This deeply integrated platform is in almost every aspect of human life. So what’s new? Why is Google so important? What are they doing to drive their own development and improve human experience?

IMG_3959

The GooglePlex in London:

Well, last week I had the chance to traverse the GooglePlex in central London off St. Giles. The building is this immense multi-occupancy complex with security badges and everything. There’s only one general way in and out. Once inside, you are sort of swooped up by this whimsical sense of Play. No wonder, the use of color and artsy, stylistic typography in every sign definitely communicates a ‘playground’ atmosphere. However, while it may feel light, you can feel there is an energy of focus in the building.

Floor after floor you are swept through multi-purpose spaces. Zones for collaboration, cooperation, collecting and collating ideas. In short, searching. Here, master craftspeople throw ideas back and forth. Here, you sip quad-shot espressos, play ping-pong, and attempt to solve mega problems using meta-data and ask…what’s going on? why is it happening? can we bring some resource to the situation which improves it? can real world problems be managed through the use of data driven decision-makers? The answer, is in short, Sometimes. Perhaps, more often than not, the answer is Yes!! But there is something in Search which allows for expansion. For more to be gleaned and gathered.

IMG_3967 IMG_3966 IMG_3965 IMG_3964

Google: OK Google...Search

Now, being in education, my focus of study is student housing. I look at how student residential accommodation influences student personal development. Cool stuff, I think. But what’s more cool is how I see a problem and I go searching for ‘what’s going on, why that’s important, and how I’d like to address it’. That’s basically the short template of a PhD thesis in England. “What’s going on, why is that important, and how are you going to figure out how to address it?”

The point is, Google sparked something in me I wasn’t expecting. My trip called me to discern, what’s the issue I am trying to address, why is that issue important to people and how do I propose to deal with it? The experience of meeting innovative people is that they have, at their core, a skepticism that we are ever ‘done’ or ‘solved’ in a problem. Instead, the focus is on creating new means and ways of addressing what are long-standing or short-lived issues in human life.

IMG_3984

Google, Search and Saying ‘Yes’ to what you find…

I found my Search in Google to be both inspiring and enlightening. I can’t tell you how much I LOVE being a student ambassador because of the friends I’ve made. I don’t know if I would have found such adventure these past few months if not for the occasional catch-up with my friends. Friends who were perfect strangers before I came to London, before I was adopted into the LUIP. It is this year of fun and cool experiences. And that’s the important bit, from today. The experiences that have come from searching, from saying Yes to opportunity. To Googling and playing and pondering and asking good questions and then trying to ask better ones.

Better questions: Filtering your Search Findings…

Google offers us 9 Notions of innovation to sift through and filter your search results, after all, there are hundreds of thousands of millions and billions of possibilities. But what’s the right one? Actually, what’s the right and best one, for me? Try this…

1. Customer need = creative inspiration 2. Ideas come from everywhere 3. Fail quickly and learn    4. Allow ideas to morph 5. Creativity loves constraint 6. Share everything 7. Data informs decision-making 8. Users come first 9. Have a license to pursue your passions

Ask really really good questions. Then, go ask if you there’s a better one. Or, Google It.

My very best,

Zach