An Open Letter to Google

You have taken Nexus One out in the back and shot it in its head. It wasn't really the fault of the phone that its sales performance lagged behind other phones. It really just needed better backup.

You might argue that you advertised it on your own front page, but perhaps this suffers from the same problem that facebook suffers from with its advertising - lack of intent to buy. What you really need is a store - a brick and mortar store that showcases all the android products for people to touch and play with. This store needs to be located somewhere like downtown New York at least the first one.

The design of the store needs to speak to the what google and android are. It needs to have a sense of space and have the products as the front and center.

In this store, there needs to be sales representatives who know there stuff about all the plans available and can talk up each phone (tablets and netbooks too in the future). The representatives need to know which version of android each phone runs and what that means in terms of performance. They need to be compensated in a somewhat equitable fashion between different phones so that there isn't favoritism amongst the different plans with the exception of a launch week for a certain phone. They need to be knowledgeable in switching carriers.

There need to be customer service representatives who can answer questions about updates from the carriers and warranties in a genial attentive manner. They also need to be prepared for people who will come in and ask about how to search for things. Customers will ask about how to use all of your products despite this being an android store.

The store needs to be backed up by stellar tech support whether in the store or on the phone. This means attentativeness, ability to answer questions and resolve problems, enough power to execute, and a perceived excitedness and willingness to help the customer out no matter what it takes.

You need to negotiate with the carriers to carry all their products in a store and convincing them that an extra outlet and more press for all android products is beneficial to them in the end. You need to build hype around such a store so that when it opens, there are lines snaking around and around waiting to get in.

You need to take further advantage of the way you name your operating system. You could offer the treat currently being released to some number of those entering the store. You could have them sitting around during release parties for the latest operating system release or the latest phone running it.

Further down the road you can take the blog posts where internal teams create stickers, hoodies, and other paraphernalia and sell them in the store or have them on hand as giveaways for launch parties. You can showcase your other products and give demonstrations in the store.

Once this store is in place you can showcase something like the Nexus One. The idea is that once someone has their hands on the phone with the latest greatest OS version, they will fall in love with it and want to buy it. In this beautiful environment you have created, the customer feels confident in their purchase. You will sell more phones, create more hype, and make more advertising revenue from mobile search.

This is what you need Google.

Born Confused

There aren't a great many of Asian consciousness fiction novels. I wasn't expecting Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier to be excellent, but it surprised me in being quite good. Granted, parts of the book were somewhat shallow although considering that this is about teenage girls, (not that all of them are shallow it wasn't overly surprising.

Dimple seems to be rather fortunate in her parental lottery not necessarily just because she has a whole family as is pointed out in the book, but because of her parents' openness and a certain amount of flexibility in their thinking.

I do think that the novel runs a bit longer than it needed to. It will probably not reach the heights of the joy luck club and is certainly not as serious, but it's a book that weaves the clash and confusion of two different cultures for a more modern feel. Modern day clash seems to be less dire although it still exists and this novel achieves that tone well.
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