Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

In Silicon Valley, there was always a way of doing things.

Especially at the likes of Google.

This is a company that was built on engineering and has rarely noticed its penchant for understanding humans like a tree stump understands chickens.

As long as the nerds at Google thought something was cool, they'd release it.

As long as Google could make almost all its money from advertising, it could pretend it was an innovative company that was making the world so very much better.

Who could ever forget the joys of Google Plus? Or Google Glass? 

There came a time, though, when the company started to work with marketing people who tried to direct Google toward a more human light.

Baby steps, you understand. But at least Google began releasing ads that made you feel something.

Something positive, that is.

And then the company started releasing physical products like phones and so-called smart speakers.

Some people actually bought them. 

This -- and perhaps the threat of legal action from so many governments worldwide -- has led Google to embrace a slightly more people-friendly posture.

I couldn't help chuckling, therefore, at something small, but charming and very unusual, that emerged from the Googleplex on Wednesday.

Every time a new phone is released, the previous six to nine months are garlanded with leaks from various sources, along an axis from the often reliable to one man having fun in Outer Belgrade.

Google got so fed up of leaks emerging about its Pixel 4 phone that it drifted to Twitter -- ah, how Google Plus would have been perfect for this -- and released a picture of the phone.

This is uncommon wit. Well, uncommon for Google.

The phone is likely to emerge in October, but to sigh and slip a teaser out now is a heartwarming admission that some of the leaks have been accurate and Google itself might as well join in.

It's also a heartwarming declaration of humanity.

Some might imagine that Google is trying to prove it hasn't copied Apple just in case, as seems likely, the hulking square triple-lensed lump on the Pixel 4 bears a remarkable resemblance to the next iPhone's.

It might also be an admission that Google hasn't been all that successful with selling phones.

Do you remember the Nexus? Neither do most people.

Somehow, Google has never quite grasped -- or never wanted to pay for -- the level of customer service that selling expensive physical products requires. 

Especially as Apple has been pre-eminently good at it.

Of course, phones aren't as exciting as they used to be.

Even Apple has occasionally lurched into at least a tinge of self-mockery during its recent phone launches.

I somehow can't quite imagine, though, Cupertino tweeting a picture of iPhone 11 accompanied by a witty one-liner.

That's just not the done thing.

Published on: Jun 13, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.