In addition to its dumb list, Business 2.0 has a smart list this morning, on which Google is the smartest company with four provocative scenarios for the future of Google:
In the first, Google is the Media, Google becomes the media powerhouse and ends up with Pulitzer Prizes as the company capitalizes on Google TV, Google Mobile, and the rise of e-paper. The second is Google as the Internet, in which Free Wi-Fi, a faster version of the Web, the Gbrowser, and the Cube transform the technology landscape and the language. The third is the pessimist’s scenario in which scandals, privacy breaches, and the power of Redmond, crush Google – Google is dead: The once-mighty search engine falls prey to privacy intrusion, optimizers, and Microsoft.
And finally, in a burst of vision straight out of 1998, Google is God. This is the Ray Kurzweil scenario: Human consciousness gets stored, upgraded, and networked. Under StrongBot’s guidance, death and want have been all but eradicated. Everyone has access to all knowledge. Human consciousness has been stored, upgraded, and networked. Bodies that wear out can be replaced. They-Who-Were-Google are no longer alone. Now we are all Google.