With only two months to go to April Fool’s Day, Google engineers and executives have begun to worry that they still haven’t come up with a cracker for their traditional April Fool’s Day hoax. Google has run such hoaxes since 2000 and every year since 2004, including fictional drinks and a dating service.
This year, though, everyone seems out of ideas.
‘We actually had to replace Eric [Schmidt] as CEO not because of any internal disagreements over business strategy, but because he wanted the April Fool’s joke to be about YouTube videos being delivered through pneumatic tubes,’ said co-founder Larry Page. ‘We felt that was a little bit stale.’
Past efforts from Google include MentalPlex, a mind-reading search engine; a page-ranking system based on pigeons; and the motto ‘Don’t Be Evil’.
But perhaps Google’s most famous hoax is the Gmail ‘email service’, which went ‘operational’ on the 1st of April, 2004, with implausible storage space and features.
‘It’s perhaps our crowning hoax,’ says Page. ‘Some people apparently still think it’s real, just because they’ve used it for years.’
Google’s latest emergency hoax conferences are being hushed up in secrecy, but industry forecasts expect the 2011 hoax to require roughly the same amount of manpower and money as their moon base project.