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


Google is an adorable company.

It's one whose founders used to profess an intense dislike of advertising and now make the vast majority of their income from it.

It's a place that launches jokes on April Fool's Day that cause some people to lose out on job opportunities.

Now it wants you to offer it the N-word.

Should you have been unaccountably detained in a discussion about the number Pi with a member of your IT department for the last 24 hours, you might not know that Google has just launched a new operating system.

Usually, Google likes to express its maturity by naming operating systems after types of candy or dessert. The last one was Marshmallow. Yes, not Mars Bar. Strange, that.

Perhaps it just couldn't come up with a candy or dessert beginning with N, though.

So it's putting the naming out to the wisdom of the crowd.

One small drawback with this might be that the crowd has generally shown little wisdom in its history.

The crowd tends to bay, gyrate and ululate, rather than come together in perfect harmony.

So to ask the crowd to come up with a sweet, catchy N-word is akin to asking a cannibal to try lightly-grilled, organic celery.

Some humorous attempts have been mild. Android Nope, for example. There was also Android Nada.

How No can be sweet, in any language, currently escapes me.

And yes, of course someone's already suggested Google Nipple. (Go on. Discuss.)

But you already know what other N-word  has been offered. You can also imagine how many variations on that theme have also been thrust forward.

Companies seem a touch tardy in learning that crowd participation on the Web isn't quite the way it is at a U2 concert.

Coke, for example, really thought it could drip its way onto Twitter, toss out the hashtag "MakeItHappy and then turn online hate into something more cheery.

Google has rarely been a company that understands people's dark side. It hires lobbyists to deal with that.

Yet didn't someone, anyone say at least to themselves, if not to someone else in the conference room that decided upon this wheeze: "Hey, aren't we inviting people to send us N-words?"

I know they won't worry too much at Google.

The company's too busy trying to ensure that we'll all soon be lesser skilled robots and become the property of other robots that are smarter than we are.

If you think about it, that's more or less as it is now.

The folks at Google are smarter than we are.

It's just that they started thinking like robots a long time ago.