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church and droidGoogle launched the Nexus One phone on Jan. 5 to no surprise and with little flash. One reviewer said the presentation was “underwhelming.” Of course, that’s exactly what Google intended. Here’s why and here’s what your church can learn:

1. Google is not interested in a big splash. Back in the fall of 2007, Google announced the Android operating system, an open source system with an open handset alliance to go with it. Reviews were mixed, prognostications abounded, Google was questioned, and so on. Same with any product launch. But Google knew where they were headed.

2. Google has a strategy. The strategy was “let some other folks play around with this,” which is classic postmodern, collaborative thinking. Let’s see what someone comes up with. To much fanfare, and not a little disappointment, the first Google phone, the G1, was offered by T-Mobile. It was widely trashed, but still it was the first. “It’s no iPhone” was the big complaint. But Google’s strategy isn’t to be Apple ā€“ hardware and software locked up together. Google’s strategy is to control the entire computing “cloud” experience. Mobile is the next piece of that. Here’s a site that agrees with me.

3. Google is good at iteration. They keep making it better, in other words. Incrementally, one step at a time, no splash, just good solid one-at-a-time improvements. No Steve Jobs, no big gathering of fan boys, just “here’s what we did to push Android to the limits.” So now the G1 looks really ancient, and even the Droid is looking a little outdated. One step at a time.

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