October 14, 2006

reducing fear is the killer app

Apropos our ongoing flirtation with this idea of Google Data Privacy, I noticed Kathy Sierra just wrote this wonderful, stunning post called Reducing Fear is the Killer App:

The high-pitched screech of the drill. The sickly smell of antiseptic and fear. The long nervous wait for the attendant to call your name and take you... back there. We assume that people are afraid of the dentist, but we don't usually think of software as scary. Maybe we should rethink that. Our users might be more afraid of us and our products than we think. And those who can reduce or eliminate that fear have a huge advantage. Not to mention a passionately loyal following.

Putting this in our current context, is fear a factor where data privacy is concerned? Fear of exposure, fear of betrayal, fear of being sold up the river? Sounds about right to me. Could Google do more to reduce that fear? Absolutely.

But WOW, before you do anything else go read the rest of Kathy's thing; it is a really powerful story with some useful lessons to be learned.

Posted by Gene at October 14, 2006 6:59 PM | TrackBack

Wow, I haven't been reading any blogs lately, so it's good to come back here (and through your post, reconnect with Kathy['s blog]).

With respect to fear and Google, I've been re-reading a fabulous book by James P. Carse, Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility. In Chapter 31, he notes that

Evil is never intended as evil. Indeed, the contradiction inherent in all evil is that it originates in the desire to eliminate evil. "The only good Indian is a dead Indian."

In reading this passage, I was reminded of Google's mantra ... and reminded of it again as I read your post(s).

Posted by: Joe McCarthy at October 30, 2006 12:58 PM
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