Long before Google started pissing me off with its various funny acts (such as spying on users without their consent), it released a program called Google Earth. I installed it in July 2009 on my laptop, and decided to feed in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009, just to see how it had rendered the White House. Other than various Wellington locales, that was my first search query. This was the result, confirmed by others at the time:
There’s no White House there, unless when the Google Earth people made the program, aliens had beamed up the entire block temporarily.
Google has since fixed this. However, back in 2009, it didn’t know where the White House was. And here I was, thinking that it was an American program, where those working on it would double-check where its most famous building stood. This was four years after Google Earth was released.
So any time people say that a big company full of techs must know more than an individual, think of this example, and some others I’ve posted over the years.
The same lesson, I might add, applies to big countries versus small countries. Big definitely doesn’t mean right. The key for the small countries often is to outmanœuvre the large ones, by being more inventive and more innovative.
God, I love New Zealand.