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Google thinking out of the box, maybe out of the mainland

container_shipSEO by the Sea has a nifty little post about a patent approval Google just received for a data-center that could be located offshore, and maybe even powered by waves, or wind, or solar. Pretty cool, no?

Now bandwidth issues are sure to be the immediate issue that comes up: how to get data to and from an offshore center? But knowing Google they are already working on that. And it’s nice to see that they are thinking way ahead of most companies.

I heard an NPR story this morning on power companies nationwide, and the struggle internally between “simply keeping the lights on” and innovation. They are charged with keeping everything running, but must try and look forward to when their grids will be more distributed and, possibly, less dependent on coal and oil.

Similarly, Google runs a good portion of the internet. What would life be without Google, YouTube, etc., even for one day? So they have to keep the lights on. But if they don’t innovate — on many fronts simultaneously — their prominence in the marketplace will be quickly dwarfed by those who can seize the opportunity.

I wonder what lessons my company can take from these musings on innovation?

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