In June, 2006 I had a flash of an idea and so sent an unsolicited email to a couple of people I knew at Google suggesting that they open “The Google Store.” Here’s a verbatim excerpt from my email:
[It would be] a physical retail presence in the top 20 cities across the US. Think the Apple Store (specifically the “genius bar”) meets Starbucks (as a lifestyle brand) — or something like that.
What does it sell?: Google branded merchandise (city specific T-shirts, mugs, mousepads and so on). The store could also sell wireless handsets (e.g., Nokia 770 device), PCs (Dell in particular), Apple Machines, etc. This would be Google partner merchandise or products that broadly relate to the Internet and/or Google’s Mission.
But more than that . . . the Genuis Bar equivalent demos Google consumer products and offers regular “how-tos” and customer service re AdWords (like a permanent conference booth). This is where SMBs come to learn how to do AdWords or do a better job of online marketing (like a perpetual “Google U”).
You can tell from the absence of any Android references and the “Nokia 770 device” mention that this was a few years ago. Needless to say the company didn’t pursue my idea. But now it has opened a Google schwag store on the Google campus.
I know this is an obvious idea in a way but I’d like to think that somehow, somewhere my idea played a part.