I’m on my way to the valley as we speak (mountain view ironically) for startup school and other fun adventures. When I make the trek from Florida to the Valley it often involves long layovers in random cities. Today’s is Chicago. The saving grace to layovers as any geek traveler will tell you is Free Wifi. Sadly, most Airports don’t have free wifi, and act as thieves charging exorbitant rates. It feels like were stuck in 2003 or something. So Google here’s where you should step in:
Rollout free Wifi to all airports in the US and eventually the world.
First, more search ad revenue can be had. Share it with the airports to get past the whole “we don’t want to lose revenue” argument. I honestly don’t know how many searches, ads, etc would be shown but I’m sure it would be significant. You would also require the use of a google account just like the free mountain view wifi.
Secondly, and more interesting- promote the hell out of the “Go Google” ads for Google apps. Thousands of business users sit with delays+layovers at airports, and would lovvvve you for providing free wifi. This is a perfect opportunity to help them go Google. Oracle has a huge banner in gate b.
Airport wifi is the perfect spot for google to dominate and truly shakeup. There may be downfalls and reasons not to do it of course. Between the talent that’s at the plex and 20% time, I’m sure the idea has been discussed. If it’s actually feasible, I hope a group of Googlers take the final leap to make this a reality. All I know is this: People would love you for it and “Oh this layover is so much better due to Google Wifi. I love Google.” would become a common occurence. So yes Google please please steal this idea. If it works just invite me for one of those great lunches at the Google campus that Ive yet to indulge in.
(this post was written on an iPhone during a layover on my way to startup school. You can blame typos on not having wifi for my MacBook pro due to it being too expensive for 30 minutes)