Meatball Mondae #3 (Columbus Day Edition)

Google and Discovery

Google and the other search engines have broken the world into little tiny bits. No one visits a Web site’s home page anymore—they walk in the back door, to just the place Google sent them. By atomizing the world, Google destroys the end-to-end solution offered by most organizations, replacing it with a pick-and-choose, component-based solution.

Columbus is the center of a popular fable about discovery. He set out to find something, got lost along the way and instead gets credit for an ever bigger find. The analogy of the web is pretty much a stretch, but here goes: people don’t always find you the way you want to be found.

Not only are there literally a million ways to discover you and your offerings, but rarely people hear your story the way you want it to be heard. The idea of a home page and a site map and a considered, well-lit entryway to your brand is quaint but unrealistic.

I can clone a frog from one skin cell–and get the whole frog.

Can I clone your brand from one interaction, from one web page, from one referral? Whether I can or not, I will.

The means that bundling is harder than ever.

Bundling was the glue that held together almost every business and organization.

Bundle donations and parcel them out to charities that deserve them. (That’s the United Way).

Bundle TV shows and present them, with ads, on your TV network.

Bundle the items in your industrial supplies catalog and hand it to the business buyer.

Bundle thirty businesses and house them in one big office tower.

The Yellow Pages is a multibillion-dollar business that consists of nothing but bundled ads for local businesses. No one wants to keep a flyer for every business in town, but everyone has a copy of the Yellow Pages.

Book publishers bundle authors and share the expertise of their staff, their sales force, and their capital in order to bring books to readers.

We’ve been doing the bundling so long, we forgot we were doing it.

The world just got unbundled. Like it or not, there you are.

[This is the third in a series. Here’s an interesting comment post from last week.]