GOOG-411 was, in my opinion, the last great innovation of the phone age. Back before I had a phone with a data plan, there was no better way to find out information while on the go.

JC’s “Brewvies” experience is directly taken from an experience my brother had. In a car full of chatting people, he tried to find what I consider the trickiest business name on the planet. I don’t know if he actually ever found it or not…

I was initially surprised when Google announced they were discontinuing GOOG-411.  I considered it quite a success, but I suspect two reasons for Google axing GOOG-411. First, people were probably using it less as the popularity of smartphones was replacing GOOG-411’s function. Second, was that Google only created their 411 service in the first place to create a large amount of data with which they could improve speech recognition and text to speech abilities.  Google Voice, with their automated voicemail transcription, has provided what I suspect to be a much larger and certainly more diverse pool to draw from.

Despite any cynicism about how well it worked at times, I look back with fondness at the days of GOOG-411’s heyday.