7 ways Google Creative Lab invents the future
One in nine individuals at Google has a PhD. For Scarborough raised Robert Wong (he attended the same school as Mike Myers), chief creative officer at Google Creative Lab, that means the six years in his current job have been most humbling.
Still, the final FITC 2014 presenter found his niche within the tech giant by answering one simple question “What can a designer do?”
Turns out, the answer is not so humble – invent the future. And it all started with an Oral B charcoal grey medium toothbrush.
In art school in New York, Wong headed to a Duane Reade pharmacy to buy that exact toothbrush –the one he always bought. Problem was all that was available that day was pink.
He actually left the store by the time he thought to himself, why can’t I buy that pink toothbrush?
Wong described this experience as living in chains that stop us from living our full potential.
“It’s all about letting go of things the way they are right now,” says Wong.
Fast forward to his time at Google. When they began hiring designers, Google didn’t really have job descriptions for them. The designers had to invent their jobs, and so Google Creative Lab was born.
So how as designers do we invent the future? Wong says to look at the immediate and figure out how to “desuckify” things.
Not all ideas are great ideas though.
One of the first to come out of Google Creative Lab was Gmail keyboard shortcut stickers. They were a good idea at first but the bad printing job meant that the copy wore off within seven days and they were impossible to remove because of their incredibly sticky glue.
But, that was the launching point for some even better thinking including seven ways Google Creative Lab invented its own future.
1. Exceed insanely high expectations.
In looking to their immediate environment the first thing Google Creative Lab came up with was letting people know about the stuff that already existed. That was showing the power of Google search in a video piece called Parisian Love.