Building Empire State Buildings

September 7th, 2010 Comments Off

Today Google had one of its fancy playable logos. They really are nifty – I actually found myself playing with it and admiring the physics for a couple of minutes. And then I noticed…. So was everybody else. I got a couple of messages from friends who also spent a couple of minutes with it. That got me thinking… How much productivity does the world lose when Google does this?

To make life simpler, let’s just think about the USA.

According to Internet World Stats there are 230 Million internet users in the USA alone. Lets be conservative and say 10% of them saw the google.com logo today and spent an average of 2 minutes playing with it. (though, given that every user probably makes at least one search during their online session and Google has a 70%+ market share in search thats probably very very conservative).

23 Million people each spending 2 minutes = 46 Million Minutes = 767,000 Man-Hours = 31900 Days = 87 man-years of human productivity.

According to Wired.com all of Wikipedia took roughly 100 Million man hours to create. So, Google’s fancy logo consumed about as much time as creating 1% of wikipedia, in the United States. Given that the US actually only accounts for a moderate amount of total internet traffic (and assuming Google used the fancy logo in every country) that number could really be 5 or 10%.

The Empire State building was built in 7 Million man hours, so in the US alone we could’ve put up 10.2 floors (its 102 stories) of the Empire State building!

Now, remember the pacman logo? I definitely spent more than 2 minutes on that… combine both logos and you have a whole Empire State Building :)