Tom Meloche wrote an insightful blog post about the hype surrounding Google and the people who "poo poo" their impact on Michigan (and yes, Tom, I think that "poo poo" is the right term there). I agree with him that Google could save Michigan. Not only can using tools like Google Analytics and Google AdWords help Michigan business, but using Google's apparent interest in setting up shop here to attract more companies is also a good tactic. The "Google effect" is strong. When Google goes somewhere, others do pay attention (including other companies).
Google chose Ann Arbor for its AdWords headquarters. As one of the speakers mentioned at a Tech Talk earlier this year, Google is an engineering-driven company. Where marketing and sales go, engineering is sure to follow, but WE have to show Google that we have the talent to support such an endeavor. We do; we just need to demonstrate it. Google is well known to be "all about the data", not just in their applications, but in their business decisions as well. Show them the data and they will come. Notice I said "WE" have to do this. Not the governor. Not SPARK. Not any other business group. Developers. That's who needs to make a strong showing to Google.
What Google needs to see in order to even CONSIDER starting an engineering office here is hard and fast numbers of high quality developers. Where will these developers come from? They will nab those who WANT to stay in Michigan after college graduation but leave to work on one of the coasts, because that's where the "jobs are". They will nab those who want to come BACK to Michigan after spending some time on the coasts and realizing that both cost and family ARE important. And they will nab those who ride on the coattails of the Michiganders keen to return as well as the other companies who see Google setting up shop in a midwestern town that is still incredibly affordable when compared to the coasts. And yes, they will nab some of the talent that currently works for local companies, like mine, but those employees will be replaced by others coming into the area.
So, as I suggested in my blog post about this back in August, after the Tech talks, I think that area developers, alums, and interested parties should send resumes to Google. Let them know what talent is here.