“Should we fear Google?” – the headline on a tabloid newspaper last weekend. I sighted it whilst queuing for bread at the local bakery. Indeed, there is little more quintessentially German than queuing for bread in a bakery (surprising for an economic powerhouse); the Angst about all-knowing, all-seeing internet companies, vented largely at Google, is becoming equally quintessential.
Tabloid journalism in Germany is very creative, especially when thinking about what could go wrong. Even the CEO of the German media empire Axel Springer is scared, as he commented recently – and he wants us to be scared too.
A few days later I’m sat opposite Jeremy Tai Abbett, originally from Minnesota. Jeremy is Creative Evangelist at Google and his job is to channel Germans’ creativity into thinking about what can go right, and how Google and its products can make life better for them. Of course I was interested to find out why someone would take on such an apparently thankless task. But what I’m especially keen to find out is: Why Hamburg?