Fast Company’s John Ness claims his 6-year-old, whom he calls “Bug,” built a better product than Google.
Ness’ daughter knows how to navigate an iPad and her dad’s iPhone; it’s where she watches shows and plays games. She understands what Google is and thinks the word is funny. She’s a tech-savvy Kindergartner, but Ness wanted to make sure Bug was “creating as much as she was consuming.”
“I want her to understand that the machines around her are for making, and that any person has it in themselves to mod an existing app to their needs,” Ness writes.
This came into play on an afternoon Bug begged for ice cream, only to be told there weren’t any parlors in the area. She wanted to know why, so Ness suggested the duo create a map pinpointing all of the ice cream places in the surrounding neighborhoods.
Here are the steps they took (fleshed out in full over at Fast Company):
1. Collecting data: they drove around and took note of all of the ice cream places they saw.
2. Create a Google Spreadsheet to organise this data. “We break information down under two headings: Names of ice cream establishment and address,” he writes.
3. Use Google Fusion Tables to create a map.
In a few minutes, our map, with its 17 locations to get ice cream–filled with un-Googlable information like where ice cream trucks park and the Connecticut Muffin shops that offer soft serve–was live.
Then they compared it to a Google map search of ice cream in the same area:
Ness notes that the Google search had way less information than the map Ness and his daughter created. He also points out that Google spelled a bunch of locations wrong (“a competitive advantage for us,” he writes.)
But Ness’ biggest takeaway is a lesson he hopes Bug will take with her: “With work, you can build something better than what you’re given.”
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