Most of them [those who work on the Google search algorithm] – actually, all of them that I know – are really nice and freakishly brilliant. I’d highly recommend chatting with them or picking up a 20% project – there’s tons of awesome data and useful algorithms that are just sitting around. The publicly-exposed UI of Google is only the tip of the iceberg…there’s lots of interesting information that we know how to extract but haven’t figured out how to present to users in a way that would be useful for them.
Right there is the bit that should make everyone in print publishing shit their pants. Google isn’t UI-centric, like Apple. But that could happen at some point. And then Google will have a way of unleashing that data. When they do, publishing will have no chance of survival.