Google Maps is designed not just to get you from A to B, but to make life easy.
Yes, it's a navigational app, and Google does this basic function better than its competitors.
But scratch the surface and this tool is so much more than that.
It helps people find local businesses, to learn from other people's experiences, and to make more informed decisions from them.
In short, Google Maps is a successful product because it extends so far beyond what it was originally designed to do.
Where other tools were designing around navigation, Google thought about how to join up the entire experience of a journey with community-driven touchpoints.
That's why now, when you navigate around your surroundings with Google Maps, you don't just see how to get somewhere, you also see reviews, recommendations and can even create lists and contribute your knowledge back to the community.
In essence, Google Maps is designed around a self-sustaining ecosystem, in which the more users put into it, the more they get out.
By creating a product that is truly user-centric, Google stopped thinking about maps as a means of getting around and started thinking about how spaces can create meaningful experiences for people. It's transcended its original function to become the default way that we find information about our surroundings so that we can make better choices for our lives.
This is what sets it apart from every other navigational tool on the market.
And they didn't stop there.
Not content on producing the best maps product ever, Google then turned its hand to producing the seemingly impossible: Street View.
Can you even imagine the product manager(s) who tried to explain their vision of photographically mapping every single street on the planet? People would have thought they were insane. It was 'the impossible'. It couldn't be done.
Except, apparently, it could.
Now Google Street View enriches the way we experience spaces around us on a deeper level than ever before. We can walk streets on the other side of the planet, at the click of a button. Thanks to this crazy ambitious feature, the world has never been so small.