How Google Collapsed

Medium Article

The Article

This is the cover image my friend Mandela made for the article. I gave her a rough idea of what I wanted to convey and she made it look awesome.

Here is the article:

How Google Collapsed

The story

The idea

I had the idea awhile ago that it would be fun to challenge the seemingly-commonplace perception that Google is invincible. I'll state here for the record that I do not hate Google. I use multiple Google products every day and I think it's one of the coolest companies on the planet. But it needs to find another source of revenue soon.

Admission essay

When I applied to the Master of Digital Media program at the Center for Digital Media, they required a short essay as part of the application.

It seemed like the perfect opportunity to explore the idea, so I did.

Re-writing

I had fun exploring the idea, and I felt like it could be fleshed out in a lot of different directions, with a lot of sources to back up my claims.

I started re-writing the piece with the audience of Medium in mind.

Posting

When I first posted the article, it didn't garner much attention. Shortly after I published it, I happened upon a relevant reddit thread right as it was gaining attention. I posted a link to my article in the comments, and it got a couple hundred hits.

It was quiet for a little while, and then the views started consistently coming in. I think the views from my reddit comment told Medium's algorithm that my article might be worth recommending to a few people.

Gaining traction

A couple days after it was published, the editor in chief of Startup Grind (the fourth biggest publication on Medium at the time) saw the story. He wrote me a nice note inviting me to publish it under Startup Grind. It was an easy decision.

After it was posted on Startup Grind, the article gained a lot of traction, and spent several days in the "top 10 posts of the day" list on Medium.

A few months after traffic had slowed down, one of the editors at Hacker Noon reached out to see if I'd be interested in posting it on their publication. Since the traffic from Startup Grind had mostly tapered off, it seemed like a great opportunity to get the article some more attention, so I said yes. Hacker Noon is where the article now lives.

A job offer!

During the height of the article's popularity, someone in my city (Toronto) saw the article, and followed the link to my personal website, where she reached out to me via email. That someone was the CEO of BiblioCommons, and after chatting back and forth a bit, she offered me a summer job!

So I spent the summer between my undergrad and my Masters helping with various writing projects at BiblioCommons.

Reflection

The response

As you can see if you read some of the comments on the article, some people got very defensive and reacted as though I had personally insulted them by writing such nonsense. Others sounded like they were about to short Google stock, and some sounded like they were typing with the one hand that wasn't clutching a torch ready to be thrown on Google's ashes.

I expected as much.

Overall, it was a fun experience.