OK,

so I thought it would make sense to introduce a few of the cool products I or my colleagues are working on over the coming weeks. For mobile, I thought what better to start of with than Google SMS.

Why is that? First of all, not many people know about the product, yet it can be incredibly useful. And above all: it’s the only mobile product we have that has pretty much no requirements. Well okay, you have to be in the US and okay – you have to have a mobile phone, but that’s pretty much it. No data plan, no Java engine, no limited handset compatibilty.

So – what is it and how do I use it?

Google SMS is a cool service that allows you to ask it a large amount of questions and get immediate answers via text message. Unlike our search engine, we won’t be returning URLs, but rather end results. So, for example if you’d love to know how the weather in Beverly Hills will be, just send a text message with “Weather 90210” (or ‘w 90210’ or ‘weather beverly hills, ca’ ) to GOOGLE (that’s 466453) and you’ll get the sunshine news right back as a text message. All it costs you is your carrier’s texting fee (note: they often offer plans with hundreds of text messages for just a few dollars a month).

What are other things I can ask Google SMS?

How about finding out about Sushi, a dry cleaner or any other local listings where you are? Text ‘sushi 94040’ to GOOGLE.
Or you’d like to know how the Anaheim Ducks played yesterday night? Just text ‘anaheim ducks’ to 466453.
Then again, I prefer a good movie to a hockey game, so ‘movies 94040’ would give me more info on what’s running in my area right now.
Sometimes I wonder what strange words mean in my native tongue. By texting ‘translate love to German’ I get the 411 on what that weird word means.
Also cool for me to know is how my cars fuel consumption translates into proper measurements… ’34mpg in liters per 100 km’ does the trick for me.
For more info, check out our mobile pages at http://mobile.google.com or go directly to http://sms.google.com to try some sample queries on the web.

Happy holidays

December 24th, 2006

Hi everyone,

wow – what a busy start at Google this was.

Right now, I’m covering a LOT of different mobile products, from SMS over Search, News and the new Gmail app up to a couple of other projects we’ll be working on for 2007, doing overall mobile research and will now be making sure that our website is made ready and newly setup so it can be launched in several non-English international markets early next year.

Wow. That’s the best three letter word I can come up with. While I’m obviously incredibly busy, I think I’m learning so much more than I could have ever imagined. It’s been a great ride so far and I hope 2007 will be topping this.

I’m wishing you all a very happy holiday season and all the very best for 2007!

May all your wishes come true,

Ulf

GmailMy first big launch at Google happened today!

No, I didn’t launch it just by myself. I most certainly didn’t develop it, nor did I even market it alone either – but there is still pride in a task accomplished well and doing my part in making it happen. My congrats go to the whole Gmail and Google Mobile teams who made the release possible. It was a considerable cross-functional team effort and a long time coming and we’re all happy to have it out for our users starting today.
So – what makes Gmail on your mobile phone so cool now?

The new Gmail for mobile devices application is incredibly fast:

  • Gmail users are a simple click away from reading, replying, archiving and searching through emails. Instead of having to go through a mobile web browser and typing http://gmail.com on a numeric keypad, Google for mobile devices, once installed, can be found in your phone’s ‘Application’ menu and be started with a simple click.
  • Opening Gmail messages is faster than before. Thanks to Gmail for mobile device’s prefetching technology, opening an email on your mobile phone is nearly instantaneous.
  • It reduces keyboard input and scrolling. Search through your contact list simply by inputting the first few characters of your contact. Reply to email instantaneously with easy to use menu access: no need to scroll around anymore.
  • You can search through your complete Gmail archive in seconds by simply invoking the search menu option and typing a search query.

Try it out yourself! Check out our Google Mobile pages to get more info on how to download the client to your phone.

Happy Birthday meebo!

September 14th, 2006

meeboJust saying hello to the friendly folks at meebo, who today celebrated their very first baby. meebo is the baby of a classmate of mine, Seth and his co-founders Elaine and Sandy. It was quite a nice gathering at the meebo HQ in downtown Palo Alto and it reminded me again on how many Stanford GSBers are still in the area.

At Google alone, 8 of my classmates have started and for whatever weird reason I see another one of my classmates walking around the Google campus nearly every day. Must be the great food we’re getting over there.

Google Logo

It’s been a hectic but exciting week. Having been in business school at Stanford for the past two years, this is upping the ante on speed, performance, excitement and I’m sure – personal development.

This Tuesday (Monday was labour day) I started in Google’s Mobile team as a Product Marketing Manager, covering their consumer products, from Search over SMS to GMail and beyond. While many will now come to me and expect all the nighty gritty about the company – I won’t be able to give you that – I’d be way too busy for that, because you never know what legal implementations anything you say has when you are talking about a public company (doesn’t have to be Google). Therefore there also won’t be info about unannounced products (d’oh), expected earnings (how would I know) or general stock or please-hire-me tips. Furthermore, I want to stress that (BEGIN LEGAL) this is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer. (/LEGAL END)

I understand this might disappoint one or two of you readers – but hey – that’s life 😉

Anyways – to make things a little less boring, here are some facts:

– Google supports more than 100 interface languages

– As of June 30th, 2006 there were 7,942 full-time employees worldwide

– and yes: Googlers in Mountain View alone consume 500 lbs. of breakfast cereal each day

One of the irregularly recurring series of the blog will be focussing on cool, unusual or sometimes even just touristy places to see around the Bay and the world. Kicking off the series will of course be in honor of my alma mater: Stanford University.

Stanford is not just the first place to mention because I loved it there, but also because the Stanford campus is one of the most beautiful university campuses in the United States.

Stanford

Palm trees line the whole campus including Stanford’s famous Palm Drive

Memorial Church – or MemChu – was built in the late 19th and early 20th century and nearly destroyed only a few years later in the great 1906 Earthquake. By the way – this picture is one of the regularly featured sceneries photographed at the digicam website dcresource.com among other Stanford vistas.

Stanford

The Main Quad – heart of the campus.
By the way – to check out more images from the Bay Area and other cool places, such as Istanbul, London or Los Angeles – check out the Galleries section at waschbusch.com.

New blog started

August 31st, 2006

Hi everyone,

starting a new blog can be a daunting task. It’s like writing an essay when all you have is an empty sheet of paper. Yes, we all do have a lot to say – but where do we begin? What’s really worth writing about? I truly think, this blog will grow and shape over time – may it be the looks or the content of it.

One can certainly try to write a blog from an abstract point of view, focusing on a single subject or even have a whole editorial staff (like one of my favorite blogs – Engadget). Yet here, I would just like to post my personal views – life as seen from the eyes of a single person: me.

Thanks for checking in!