Trust Me

June 21, 2006 - Get free updates of new posts here

I was at Starbucks in Cerritos with my really cute laptop when I had to go use the bathroom. Realizing I had too much to carry and untangle, I asked a gentleman next to me to watch my laptop. After enjoying the toilets I came out and my laptop was still there. Luckily, this gentleman was trustworthy and protected my laptop with valiant honor. It made me wonder how we inherently trust businesses, products and services. I didn’t know this guy at all but he could have easily ran off with my laptop and hurt my ability to trust others in the future.

sony laptop

I thought more about it and started wondering why do we trust airline pilots with our lives, we don’t know them. Or creepy looking taxi drivers who’s names we can’t pronounce. That 15 year old kid serving food at Burger King, how do we know he really washed his hands?

It takes time to develop trust with a company and a major F up can seriously hurt a long-term customer. I think regardless if we inherently trust people (pilots) or developed over time (salesperson) that is something to hold in high regards as the return on trust is extremely high.

Why do we now trust Google more than Microsoft?

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8 responses to “Trust Me

  1. rishi Reply

    To take a stab at your closing question…

    People view Microsoft in general as a corporation. With its ruthless past, lingering antitrust concerns, and the fact that the person who started it is the richest man in the world, people don’t want to trust a company that, when it comes down to it, lost our trust by using dirty business tactics. More people view Google as a part of their lives (“google it,” almost every service branded under “Google,” etc.). On top of that, Google’s strategy has been based on a personal level (making services for the consumer, being open about its actions, and marketing through blogs).

  2. Eric A. Reply

    That’s a pretty easy answer. We don’t trust microsoft because we’ve all spent many a dollar buying anti-virus and anti-spyware programs just so our computers, those little things on which our life sadly depends on, to continue working. Also, we’ve all had the experience of losing tons of data from an untimely windows crash, or had our privacy intruded upon because of faults in Windows. Google has never crashed our computer, we’ve never lost data with google, and we can always trust it to help us find what we want. We also trust them because they have come out against giving up information to the government, no other company has done that specifically. We believe their morals are properly aligned with our own, and their incentives to uphold those morals are also aligned with our own. Whens the last time google caused you pain? Whens the last time Microsoft caused you pain? Answer those and you have your answer.

  3. Dylan Greene Reply

    Speak for yourself. Microsoft does ANYTHING remotely suspicious (remember the hoopla when somebody found the letters “NSA” in a windows binary file?) and it’s front page news on every blog and newspaper. Google does the same thing (or worse by design, such as their desktop search) and people smile and say “wow, Google, you’re the best!”

    I don’t trust either one, but I’d say Microsoft is the by-proxy more trustworthy of the two because they have to be.

    Another example – we know everything going on with Vista and Office 2007, thanks in part to people like Scoble. What’s Google working on? TOP SECRET. Even their new data center is TOP SECRET.

  4. Jason Reply

    It has become a fad to bash Microsoft. I don’t think they are all that bad. They transformed the computer industry. Now people like me and you can use a computer and avoid many complications that plauged us in the past. If anything, I think Microsoft has saved us billions of dollars in lost time and increased our efficiency 100 fold. It is very easy to critisize Microsoft, but where would we be without them?

    Yeah, yeah, yeah…I know Apple did it first, but look who came out onb top in that battle. I am sure the majority of people use windows alot more than they use their Mac. Only recently, sionce Apple focused on media, did they really succeed in the long run.

  5. Kira Reply

    I did the same thing about a year ago when I was hanging out in the student center at Ohio State waiting for my boyfriend to come back from touring his future graduate department. There weren’t many people around since it was the summer but there was a girl in the next table and I asked her to watch my laptop while I went to the bathroom. Then a little later she asked me to watch hers while she got a smoothie. I am not even sure that there was anybody else to steal our stuff but I guess asking somebody to watch your stuff ensures they will feel guiltier if they steal it. It’s similar to the age old teacher trick of putting the worst kid in class in charge while the teacher runs to get something.

  6. Derek Punsalan Reply

    Is it really inherent trust, or in inherent ignorance?

    I don’t really trust that a 15 year old at Burger King washed his hands. I don’t even think about it. What are you going to do if he didn’t? How would you even know?

    In regards trusting Google more than Microsoft, why are people still debating this? Look at it from this angle: Google is the internet you play with on a daily basis. At the end of the day, you can kick that breezy to the street. Microsoft is a whole different story. No matter had sadistic or nagging that biotch is, you can’t kick it to the curb. You’re stuck. That damn thing is your operating system which runs you. I never understood why people would go around saying “I run Windows, or I run OSX.” No dammit, Windows runs you. I run OSX. 😉

    What you don’t know won’t hurt you right?

  7. Auren Hoffman Reply

    Hopefully we can trust people’s Rapleaf scores in the future. i’m hoping to know who around me is someone that is reliable. and, more importantly, it would be great if something like Rapleaf can ultimately encourage people to act more ethically.

    here’s my score: