Leaving Google

James Whittaker writes about leaving Google due to their singular focus on Google+.

Larry Page himself assumed command to right this wrong. Social became state-owned, a corporate mandate called Google+. It was an ominous name invoking the feeling that Google alone wasn’t enough. Search had to be social. Android had to be social. You Tube, once joyous in their independence, had to be … well, you get the point. Even worse was that innovation had to be social. Ideas that failed to put Google+ at the center of the universe were a distraction.

Suddenly, 20% meant half-assed. Google Labs was shut down. App Engine fees were raised. APIs that had been free for years were deprecated or provided for a fee. As the trappings of entrepreneurship were dismantled, derisive talk of the “old Google” and its feeble attempts at competing with Facebook surfaced to justify a “new Google” that promised “more wood behind fewer arrows.”

Nike’s 2010 World Cup commercial

The World Cup is almost upon us and Nike released a brilliant soccer commercial that debuted during yesterday’s UEFA Champions League Final. It’s called “Write the Future”, and features various players from around the world, writing their own destiny depending on what happens in the World Cup. It’s an epic and often hilarious commercial.

My personal favorite Nike soccer commercial is from Euro 2008, called “Take it to the Next Level”, which shows a soccer player’s career evolve in first person view. (See previously)

Lastly, this soccer commercial from Euro 2004, pokes fun at the Italian national team’s propensity for “diving“. Via Wikipedia:

Diving in the context of association football is an attempt by a player to gain an unfair advantage by diving to the ground and possibly feigning an injury, to appear as if a foul has been committed. Dives are often used to exaggerate the amount of contact present in a challenge.

Nike soccer commercial

Just saw this brilliant advertisement again. I first noticed it last year, during the Euro Cup. It’s a commercial by Nike, following the career of an unknown teenage soccer player through their eyes. In two minutes, the commercial goes from playing in a youth league, to playing for Arsenal, to playing for Holland in the Euro Cup.

It’s really well done and quite creative!

Humorous sports advertising

Recently, the National Basketball Association and Nike teamed up to produce a series of commercials for the NBA playoffs, featuring puppet versions of arguably the best two players in the game: The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant and the Cavaliers’ LeBron James. Two of them in particular are quite amusing to me.

The first commercial features Kobe bragging about the three championship rings that he has won, compared to zero for LeBron.

The second video features LeBron and Kobe challenging each other to a game of 1 on 1.