The title GOOGLE BETA 3 is to be seen as a friendly but provocative welcome to companies like Google to take a particularly close look at one very probable future looming ahead of us all. I call the book Google Beta 3 because the whole writing project represents a beta test - the playing out in fiction of a probable emerging situation that will either become Google's biggest discovery and success in the next 20 years - or drag both the company and our society down a very steep incline.
This is the story of how that possibility might unfold - portraying characters in and also entirely outside of business, working and playing in my Google-touched imagination as they struggle to deal with a sudden company and personal and familial crisis. This is only a test - but all the ingredients being mixed up in this test are very real indeed.
Ultimately I also decided to go with the name Google because my general counsel said it was fine to do so, in the same way that any very public person or company can be portrayed in fiction/drama imaginary mode. I've lived for the last five years just over the hill from Google, and from numerous personal encounters and especially a curious process of osmosis, I've found myself as a novelist naturally creating my particular impression of this great rambunctuous and still very youngish company.
Google is a gigantic power-mover and habit-shifter whose future is entirely up in the air right now. And there are specific topics and choices that I feel Google and a dozen other tech giants should be challenged to discuss in various media formats - because these questions relate to all our lives. No one can predict who will be running Google in five or ten years. If its influence at some point goes haywire and drops it's heart focus as it assumes immense power, it might become abusive or dehumanizing or downright threatening to our community welfare and we will all suffer.
So in this free democratic country it seems timely and practical that Google and related tech companies be challenged to reflect upon and comment about and openly plan for the planetary-impacting issues raised in this story. The story is fictional - but the emerging situation is definitely already in our line of vision.
Part of my current non-fiction work (through the consultant firm WizeWell) is aimed not at all toward knocking down hi-tech corporations that are less than perfect. The aim here and elsewhere is to help our leaders learn how to regularly shift on their own into the zone, so they can act from the their core presence. I did my best in Google Beta 3 to portray tech leaders struggling to expand their perspectives, so that they can make wiser decisions. I've also played around a bit with these leaders' situations, putting them in extreme moments that they might end up facing -that will challenge their leadership abilities to the max.
The development and marketing of psych-tech systems and products similar to those developed and abused in GOOGLE BETA 3 is a reality definitely just around the inventive neuro-corner. The responsible development of psych-tech products will demand a high level of integrity, reflection, compassion, and wisdom in the companies who patent the IP. I feel hopeful that the human beings running our giant companies will use their great transformation power in wise, heart-centered, and responsible ways. This book aims to help in this, through the evocative power of dramatic myth. The story is also aimed toward a film version delivering sharp entertainment and nutritive brain fodder for us all to chew and digest - and employ.