I Love Google’s Style

Today Google announced that they had now raised the limit on number of contacts to 25,000 (from 10,000) for all Gmail users (including Google Apps users.)  Boom – done – deployed for everyone – and announced in a short and to the point blog post.

70 days ago I wrote a post titled Dear Google, I Have More Than 10,000 Contacts where I bitched loudly about this problem. I have about 6400 actual contact records and the other 3600 had been autofilled by Google’s magic “create a new contact record whenever you respond to someone” feature. This is a great feature as I get 100+ emails a day from people I’ve never communicated with before who I respond to. Suddenly, I couldn’t add any new contacts at all.

Impressively, Google Entreprise Support responded immediately to me. I learned that this issue was high on the priority list and being worked on. Several weeks ago, I was contacted again and let into (under NDA) an early adopter program to test out the new feature. Magically my contact limit was raised and everything worked as planned. And then today they rolled it out to every single Gmail user. Wow.

While I’m psyched with the feature, I’m really impressed how Google handles stuff like this. No one at Google was defensive about the issue – they just addressed it directly. No one said “we don’t support that” – they said “we are working on it.” No one made a big deal about it – they just did it, tested it, and rolled it out. For everyone.

Well done Google.

  • Great to see companies, especiallly @GOOGLE size, that listen, communicate and address. @Facebook, we know you don’t listen, r u watching.

  • betabob

    Now if you can just get off of Excel 🙂

    • Yeah – someday. At least it’s a “read only” experience for me.

  • Google’s been getting bad raps recently but I have to say I use almost all their products, almost every day, from Google TV to Android to Gmail to Google Apps to Docs, Calendar, Reader, Maps, Navigation and a slew of other things, and everything is just fantastic the way it seamlessly works together. I get excited every time I see something new come out of the big G.

  • “Impressively, Google Entreprise Support responded immediately to me.”

    To paraphrase: “Google provides VIP service to tech world VIP” – why is that amazing?

    • Maybe but having dealt with all of the major tech companies over the
      past 20 years I feel that google’s approach is unique and refreshing.

  • The next thing I’d love to see is something like the priority inbox for my contacts. I’m no Brad Feld, so I have only a couple thousand contacts. The problem is that it wants to sync all of them to my iPhone, which slows things down a lot. I’d like a much smaller subset on my phone.

    I’m hoping you want the same thing, and then maybe that will magically happen, too.

    • Anonymous

      I totally agree – this could be paired with xobni like contact history – email/voice/SMS/Im and attachments! And then if I’ve not interacted with you in x months/years remove you from the main contact set and keep you in archive!

  • Anonymous

    Catering to key influencers like yourself is good marketing. They know that your posts are read by 1000’s of business decision makers and that keeping you as a happy customer is important. This blog post is proof that their strategy worked brilliantly.

    • Agree – but they also did something that made every gmail user happy
      at the same time. They didn’t really do anything special for me other
      than ask me to be a beta tester for a few weeks.

      • Anonymous

        It also makes for a quick social marketing case study for startups.

  • Interesting post. Thanks..

  • Impressive move by Google. You did well to get a reply though – so I’m impressed with that as well! :¬)

    Perhaps you could mention to your Google contacts that since the latest Google Toolbar update (v7) my Gmail button won’t stay pinned to the Toolbar! All my other buttons are now pinned as I want them (after clicking each one – see Google’s Help page “where are my buttons?”) but my Gmail ‘custom’ button gets put back into the ‘More>>’ link each tab/browser refresh using IE8/XP.

    Feel free to add me to your Gmail contacts! ;¬)

  • It still sucks since you still can’t create a distribution list that sends to multiple email addresses for a single person.

  • 3 more ‘Dear Google’ Contacts letters…

    – Dear Google, I want to (selectively) share my contact groups with friends and colleagues (outside my apps domain).

    – Dear Google, when contacts search returns a null result the ‘create a new contact’ field should appear.

    – Dear Google, contacts should collect information from across my social networks automagically (buy Gist from RIM or Rapportive).

  • James Mitchell

    Or it could be Microsoft, where decades go bye and bugs that have been discussed a billion times usually do not get fixed.

  • This is a good feature but one can use it for a massive mailing list or for possible spamming.
    But this was very useful for you as I can assume reading your post.

  • Brad — don’t know if you and the Foundry team noticed but recently the Google App’s team took the “more grown up” measure by announcing that all new Enterprise/Organizational sign ups greater than 10+ will be required to use the “paid Google App’s product.

    For co’s that are competing or face Google in competitive environments, it’s nice to see that they are starting to take a little less of a loss leader position. While we use Google App’s as a company, the sort of issue that you encountered is another example of how close to a true enterprise level product Google App’s really is becoming.

    More to the point, their customer service response was outstanding.

    Jebb Dykstra, CEO
    Meetrix Communications
    Cloud-Based Collaboration Leaders

  • I don’t know about the limit of contacts of Gmail. Wonderful support from it.

  • Anonymous

    Mine seems to be bugged (deduper causes it to timeout ) but I agree this – once fixes is a game changer for me