Saturday, March 27, 2010

Visiting the Googleplex in NYC

So the Flutrends folks at noticed the work we were doing at and invited me to Floogle March 25/26 2010 in NYC - to assist in their review of Google Flu Trends and to give us a "trusted tester" peek at some new tools.
First Google NYC was really amazing, it was no more than about 30 metres to the closest food venue, the staff cafeteria was a gourmet experience with the largest range of food I have ever seen in one place - loved the lime and hempseed lassi. The folks were all amazingly bright and highly motivated public health practitioners.  I came back with the mantra - "prototype it, get it out to users to get feedback, refine it". Its the secret to Google innovation it seems.  Must try this more. The Flu trends folks received some criticism for "missing" the pandemic and are retuning their algorithm. I don't think they missed it, it wasn't a bad flu year, I think the old Flu trends data wa correct.  So more trivia, there was a soundproof music studio with a full drum kit, couple of guitars and keyboard for Googlers to let off steam on. There were scooters and "micro-kitchens" with candy dispensers everywhere, the NY skyline out the window was dramatic and we had a cappucino froth sculpting competition during the breaks.  Very Google.

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