How Google Maps ‘Satellite’ View Was Almost Named ‘Bird Mode’

Bret Taylor, co-creator of Google Maps and now chief product officer at Salesforce, in a Twitter thread:

Now, these exec reviews were Larry and Sergey’s favorite place to experiment with crazy meeting ideas (kind of fun, actually). I had attended one review where one founder spent the entire meeting on an elliptical machine. Their new experiment was a huge countdown clock.

The rule was: the review had to end on time. When the clock ticked zero, the buzzer would buzz, and like an NBA game, the meeting was over and decisions final.

So here we are, throwing out names like “Airplane View,” “Superman,” “I Feel Picture-y,” and this clock is ticking down.

I think it was Sergey who spoke last. “Let’s call it Bird Mode.” Bzzzzzzzz.

I start to speak and am cut off — meeting over.

I look around, and it’s clearly evident the feature has officially been named “Bird Mode” in the most insane way possible.

I wouldn’t last more than one day working at Google. Security would be escorting me out to the parking lot by mid-afternoon.

Monday, 25 February 2019