Paradoxical thinking is looking at a problem from opposite perspectives. We live in a complex world which is full of paradoxes. Paradoxical thinking has contributed to many companies success. It is important for us to know about paradoxical thinking. This article analyzed that how Google applies paradoxical thinking in their interface, products and '20 percent program'. Then the article indicated that the key to learn paradoxical thinking is open in mind.
Before we get started, we need to know what is paradoxical thinking. A paradox is a group of statements that are contradictory. And paradoxical thinking is looking at a problem or a situation from different or even opposite perspectives, and finding the same thing which is deep down in two opposite perspectives. (Westenholz, 1993) For example, in the 1830's, Faraday had observed that a current of electricity passing through a wire could cause the magnetized needle, which was located close to the wire, to move in a rotational direction. This was the basis of his electric motor. But he didn't stop with this. He twist his mind and found that moving magnets can cause electricity to flow. This is one of the most brilliant application of paradoxical thinking. Paradoxical thinking has helped plenty of companies to be successful. The following research on Google is trying to find out how they practice paradoxical thinking. Research on Google
Google Inc. is an American corporation which provides internet-related products and services. It has the dominant position in this field. Google Inc. was founded in 1998 and set up the workspace in a garage. At the end of 1998, Google was recognized as the search engine of choice by "PC Magazine". In 1999, Google received 25 million dollars investment and started its rapid growth. In 2000, Google started to release multiple language versions of Google.com and became the world's largest search engine by acquiring the first billion-URL index. (Schonfeld, 2008)Google's initial public offering of 19,605,052 shares stock took place on Wall Street on August 18, 2004. Opening price: $ 85 per share. And the price is around $700 per share. Recently, Google.com is listed as the internet's first most visited website, and numerous international Google sites are in the top hundred, as well as several other Google-owned sites such as YouTube and Blogger. ("Our History in Depth" . Google Inc, 2012) Interface
At the end of 20th century, countless search engines were published. What makes Google.com outstanding? I think the interface is a very important factor. As we can see in the pictures, many search engines, such as HotBot, Excite, DogPile, used very complex and colorful homepage in order to attract visitors and indicate their websites' powerful functions.
While Google. com used a very simple homepage. It only got a logo, a textbox and two buttons on the website. At first, the complex homepages maybe more attractive because of their colors and structures. But visitors more concern about the result pages than the search engine page. Then the convenient Google.com became popular. This is a good example of paradoxical thinking. Complexity cannot always be good. Simplicity can be a better choice.
Besides the simple homepage, the "Google doodles" is also a determine difference. The doodles are not just comics, they also include mini games and short animations. Visitors will have fun and learn some knowledge through these doodles. The doodles are great mixed with Google's logo. It will connect visitors good feelings with Google.com and make them more willing to re-visit it again. Sometimes people come back not because the functions, but for the little funny tricks. (Gube, 2009) Products and Services
Google provide a variety of services for people and businesses, not just search for the word you typed. The CEO, Larry Page, described the "perfect...