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What’s next for Google? Ask these Gabelli freshmen.

Areas of Study , Coursework , Entrepreneurship Stories | Aug 30, 2011 |

Members of the incoming Class of 2015 did a bit of summer reading over the last few months: The Google Story, David Vise and Mark Malseed’s history of one of this century’s most captivating companies. We then asked the students: If you were sitting in the Google boardroom, what new, innovative idea would you propose to its executives to expand the business?

Two suggestions stood out from the rest. Congratulations to Nicole Fishstein and Dylan Fowler, whose ideas, in the words of Associate Dean Harry Kavros, are “doable, fit into Google philosophy and strategy, and are comprehensively thought out.” As a reward for their efforts, Nicole and Dylan will get to have lunch with a Google executive at the company’s Manhattan offices this fall.

Here are their ideas, in their own words:

 

Google Events
by Nicole Fishstein
Have you ever found yourself bored and having no interesting plans? If not, well, you’re part of the lucky minority; many find themselves stuck in a rut with their entertainment. To solve this issue, I would like to introduce Google Events, a new addition to the search giant that allows its users to design an evening or day out so exciting that it makes their peers jealous.

Using this new activity-search device will be easy. First, type in your address, then choose the number of miles you are willing to travel, and finally, pick a date. There also will be an option to choose age groups, such as all ages, over 18, and over 21. After these initial steps are completed, there will be a selection of activity categories that include retail sales, public parties, street fairs/festivals, live music, theater, flea markets, sports, parades, and art happenings. When an activity is chosen, each of these categories will be subdivided into more detail to truly fit the user’s interest. For example, live music can be further separated into options such as international, jazz, classical, reggae, country, pop, independent, rock, folk, and rap. These detailed subcategories are crucial because someone who is looking to see a Mozart performance does not want to show up at a Metallica show. Under each option will be the selected day’s events. Google Events will certainly change the lives of all of its users; boredom will no longer exist.

Nexus Jr.
by Dylan Fowler

For the past three years, Google has been changing the face of the mobile market. According to a recent Nielsen study, Google’s Android operating system holds 39 percent of the U.S. consumer smartphone market. Google directly released its own mobile phones, Nexus One and Nexus S. By dominating the smartphone market with its easy to use, app-based format, Google’s Android has unintentionally created a new potential consumer base: According to the 2010 AV Digital Skills Study, 30 percent of 2- to 5-year-olds are able to operate a smartphone application, and 19 percent regularly use their parents’ smartphones or tablets. Young children have become almost as enamored with Android-powered phones as their parents.
Nexus Jr. is the child-friendly alternative to a smartphone, targeting 3- to 12-year-olds. The product consists of three main features. It has similar qualities to Firefly Mobile: a built-in GPS, and parental controls that allow parents to know where their child is and to have total control over their child’s incoming and outgoing texts and calls. A mobile version of Google’s child-friendly browser, Kids NetLinks Google Browser, is built in to the device, allowing children to safely become familiar with the Internet. Nexus Jr. also functions as an educational entertainment console. Users may directly download wholesome and educational games, books, and videos to Nexus Jr. via the Nexus Jr. market. The Android Jr. Market is a limited version of Android Market, which only features games appropriate for children. The app store is broken down into subcategories based on age group. Parents have control over which subcategories their child may access. Nexus Jr. serves as a creative way to entertain and educate young children while establishing the next generation of Google/Android consumers.

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