Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus: Google!

Google sees you when you're sleeping. They know when you're awake. They know when you've been bad or good (so be good for Google's sake!)


How to Help Your Business Become an AI Early Adopter


Posted December 22, 2010

Mike Elgan

Mike Elgan

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To the best of my knowledge, Santa Claus and Google have never been seen in the same room. Coincidence? I think not.

If you deconstruct the Santa Claus tradition, you'll see that it mirrors the Google reality. That's right. Google is Santa Claus!

Consider that both Santa Claus and Google:

• Deliver free "toys" to almost everyone around the world.

There aren't many individuals, companies or organizations that simply give away a huge variety of free stuff. Santa Claus and Google are on the short list.

Of course, Google is advertiser supported. Santa Claus's organization, on the other hand, is not publicly traded, so we really don't know where his revenue comes in.

He somehow pays for a big house and factory, feeds a lot of reindeer and elves, and still manages to dress himself in fancy red clothes. He's getting money from somewhere.

The important thing is that in the case of both Google and Santa Claus, we're not supposed to think about revenue, just the free gifts.

• Come into your home to deliver those free "toys."

Not only do Google and Santa Claus give away free stuff, they both deliver. They both actually come into your house to bring it to you. And the fatter your pipe, the more stuff can come into your home at one time.

• Can deliver packets magically through the air.

One of the most unbelievable aspects of the Santa Claus tradition is that old St. Nick delivers toys magically through the air, and to every house in the world in a short period of time.

Believe it, because this is precisely what Google does. The vast majority of Google data flies through the air at some point, either bouncing off satellites or transmitted through Wi-Fi or over the mobile phone networks.

Does Google use reindeer to do it? Nobody knows. Google's methods are protected trade secrets.

• Have an army of "elves" that make "toys."

Santa Claus employs a huge number of "elves," which are talented makers of fun things.

This is just like Google, where employees have rare skills, don't get paid a lot, but seem to have fun slaving away.

• Make toys in a huge workshop where the workers play and eat sugary treats.

Santa's workers toil away in a big "workshop." It's not all work, though, and it's no factory sweatshop. Santa's workshop is usually understood to be a fun place where the workers play with fun stuff and eat a lot of sugary foods.

This is also a perfect description of the Googleplex, and the company's 22 other locations, where workshops are littered with colorful amusements, including model trains, multi-colored bicycles and colorful toys of every description.

All the food is free in Google's cafeteria, and sodas, candy and other treats are always free and nearby.

It's impossible to describe the Googleplex without it sounding exactly like Santa's workshop.

• Have magic vehicles that know where every house is.

Santa Claus not only has a magic sleigh, but somehow he acquires knowledge of where everyone in the world lives. He probably has a photographic memory, and remembers where everyone lives.

If you're lucky, you might even spot Santa's sleigh -- or one of Google's StreetView cars. Those cars are Google's photographic memory, which capture images of every home, office and business in the world.

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