[Sometime before 2000]
Bill Gates: Now that we are in the email business with Hotmail, we need to think of ways to fatten the bottom-line.
Steve Ballmer: Online marketing is the way to go Bill! Let’s just create ahem ahem unnecessary page-views when the user logs-in and put as many graphic-intensive ads on each one of them as possible.
Bill Gates: …something like that SNL skit about advertisements on MSNBC flooding the screen and blocking the anchor’s face?!
Steve Ballmer: …hehehe, something like that! Hey, it’s a free service- the user might as well pay for it through ad views. You’ve got to market these goodies aggressively!
Bill Gates: Yeah, the bottom-line is the key!
[Sometime before 2004]
Larry Page: We need to get into the email business with a Google mail. The current services aren’t up to par.
Sergey Brin: Yeah, but given our relative size we must offer something that is significantly superior to what the market currently offers to make any reasonable in-roads.
Larry Page: OK, let’s start with a clean slate- how do we offer a better email service?
Sergey Brin: It’s all about the user-experience. At the end, if the user likes it, she will come back for more.
Larry Page: So we don’t flood the page with pop-ups and such junk??
Sergey Brin: That’s right! Advertisements should be useful but as unobtrusive as possible.
Larry Page: Agreed, the user-experience is the key!
Follow Up : Map Viewer and Google