Innovation at Google (Vijay Koduri)

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008
Innovation at Google (Vijay Koduri)

Mission: Organize the world’s’ information and make it universally accessible and useful.

2000, realized: 40% of the World’s information is sitting behind a firewall.
2002, created Google Enterprise.
Three areas of focus: Search, Geospatial, and Applications
Google has evolved with the internet.

Sergey’s Resource Allocation Rule: 70/20/10

This is the secret to innovation at Google.

Resource focused on core products: Search, Ads, Apps
Products with strong potential
Wild and crazy. “Go pursue it”
Everyone is encouraged to have 20% projects.

Q. How do we get our daily job done in 80% of the time? (I know GTD is one element.)

Keys to innovation

Hire smart people/culture match

Use technology to
-        flatten management structure
-        Eliminate solos, open communication
-        keep both projects and teams small

Experiment with new ways of doing things

Generate, prize & encourage people to act on new ideas (Rewards)

International Collegiate Programming Centers around the world… Annual competitions.

Flatten Management Structure

“Snippits” (At first glance, it looks a lot like twitter to me)
It is E-Mail based. “Here’s what I did last week, here’s what I plan to do next week.
A single email summary is compiled and shared with the group. Users may sign up for other groups.
Free flow of ideas

Ideas databases. COLLECT new ideas, SHARE ideas, RATE ideas. (done by e-mail list)

E-Mail appears to be a key medium for information sharing. E-Mails contain links to web pages for actions, e.g. voting, etc.

If an idea is voted interesting, originator takes on a 10% project and begins to develop the idea – whatever it is. It may become a 20% project and then grow to be a product.

Encourage Engineers to pursue innovation

Innovation is a collaborative process

Innovation = findability + collaboration

In order to collaborate effectively, you first need to be able to find stuff.

Google Search Appliance

(Web examples of Google goodness)

Demonstration of Google Search within the enterprise and how Google enables knowledge sharing.

Looking for an expert? Query “Expert Topic” where the system will retrieve the expert on the Topic specified.

So, where are people getting the time to be able to free up 20% time? With powerful search tools that save time.

Collaboration can be painful

The Old Way:
One person sends emails and collects the responses (and any attached documents) and manually merges everything. People then review the result and the process repeats.

The New way:
Keep documents in the cloud and point to them instead of moving them around.

(I agree that manual collaboration can be a pain. That’s why I use Lotus Notes.).

Discussion about searching, collaboration, and security.

Discussion about how Google measures innovation, collaboration, etc.. Fascinating.
(Google measures everything.)

Discussion/Comments (3):

Innovation at Google (Vijay Koduri)

It was a nice & educative post. I liked the new equation of innnovation.Collaborative approach of innovation is the right way for the firms who wants to ride on the next change management wave i.e. innovation.

Many times Wrongly designed dry Performance Management System takes the good energy out of people which is pre-requisite for innovation. Another factor which any innovator requires is freedom experiment & explore & connect. If most of the organisation do this then thay are taking first steps to become GOOGLE.

Posted at 09/10/2008 2:59:55 by Prashant Y. Joglekar

Innovation at Google (Vijay Koduri)

hype. hype. and more hype. my brother worked for the big G. It's like Madonna said about marraige, it's not all it's cracked up to be. One must be very careful not to buy into all the "secrets" that abound about so-called successful companies. The guy behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz is alive and well today, but has just found different curtains to play behind.

In today's turbulent world, we are all seeking so-called answers, secrets, tips, etc. If one drills down deep enough, she will find that hype exists in business, politics, economy, technology, society, trends, as well as innovation. Careful. Believe half of what you read, none of what you hear. Snake oil salesmen have simply gotten more sophisticated.

Posted at 09/10/2008 7:39:06 by homeBiscuitsAndGravy

re: Innovation at Google (Vijay Koduri)

All good points. While I'm sure Google's not the perfect place to work, I appreciate their objective in creating the 70-20-10 approach that drives their work. It's no wonder we see such innovation and enthusiasm coming from them. I've worked with clients who, when I suggested that "Joe has some really great ideas; perhaps you should let him explore these", they responded "we hired Joe to do a specific job, nit innovate." Oh boy.

Posted at 09/29/2008 20:46:47 by Eric Mack

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