The Dark Google Myth
We’ve all been sent this e-mail...
If Google had a black screen, taking into account the huge number of page views it receives, an estimated 750 mega watts/hour per year (sic) would be saved.
With this in mind, Google has created a black version of its search engine called Blackle, which functions in exactly the same ways as its white version, but consumes far less energy. Help to spread the word, use: www.blackle.com
Firstly, that page was not created by Google but by an entirely different company. Blackle is simply hooking into Google’s search engine.
More importantly, other than the warm, tingly sensation you get when you feel that you have done something good, which is disputable in this case, there are few benefits to this proposal. As such, I find this article rather misleading.
The proposal would be appropriate if we were all using old CRT screens but with LCDs, the power usage is constant, with most of the power being used by the back lighting. Mere microvolts are needed to activate the actual liquid crystals in the case of a wristwatch or calculator, so with no back light, a small 1.5 Volt battery powering a watch or calculator can last several years. Similarly, the power used to run a CRT TV for one night would be enough to keep your LCD watch running for several generations. Making a LCD screen black does not use any less back light, unless it is made black by turning down the brightness, but that would be pointless as then you would not be able to see anything.
If anyone really wanted to save energy, it would probably make more sense to promote LCDs over CRTs, as they are generally more power-efficient. Google has been in the limelight for a while on the subject of energy consumption, and I am convinced that they would have better results if they focused their attention on reducing the power consumed by their servers.
Another though – why not search less? Every search you do contributes to the power consumption of Google’s servers, so fewer searches would probably save a lot more power than a black background. Don’t you think?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Howard Mann is the founder of Brickyard Partners, a business strategy agency based in Portland, OR. Prior to founding Brickyard Partners in 2001, Mann owned a premier international logistics company with over 140 Million in revenue, six U.S. offices and a global network of over 40 agents worldwide.
As that business came under severe pressure from the previous economic downturn and industry consolidation, Howard lead the company out from those treacherous times by returning to the basics that make every business great and completing 6 acquisitions that re-imagined the business so it was highly attractive to buyers. Finding that “secret sauce” did not come easily but has fueled his purpose to help other business leaders to never have to go through what he endured. Through real world experience and those hard times in the “trenches” of business he has learned that it is not following the latest fad, copying competitors or adding complexity that makes a business truly great. His pragmatic approach and knowing what it feels like to sit in the CEO/Owner chair is what makes his work so different and effective.
In addition to his strategy, marketing and communications work, Mann coaches a select group of entrepreneurs, CEO's and business owners. His highly focused workshops and keynotes help executive teams take aggressive action to unlock the true potential of their organizations and build remarkable businesses that endure. In good times and bad. Online and off.
Howard is a sought after speaker both in the U.S. and around the world. He writes frequently on his blog about the importance of the basics and reconnecting to the passion that too often gets lost as businesses mature.