- In 2004, Google is the leader of GYM -- the triumvirate of Google/Yahoo/Microsoft, which in turn leads a dozen other related companies in the web-related innovations that improve peoples' lives.
Google lays down one gauntlet after another -- a better email experience and a Gig of storage, and a better desktop experience in searching my stuff, to name two examples from 2004 alone -- and Yahoo and Microsoft follow the leader by improving their email experiences and announcing their desktop search tools. Often then others follow the troika -- even if, as in X1's and Lycos's cases they actually had desktop search before Google did, once Google plants a flag it's like a shot hearing round the world, and everyone seems like a follower.
Together GYM and their followers offer a suite of tools that give me hope that I can manage my personal Web -- and accelerate my ability to search and research simply, to discover and find again easily, to filter and incorporate suggestions collaboratively. As the web grows, so does each of our personal Webs, and tools become not just important but critical to productivity.