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Can you innovate like google?

July 17, 2011

Quentin Hardy over at Forbes has a very good piece on Google– where he looks to the company for the new rules of innovation.

Here are some of the key points I took away from the piece.

1. It’s very tough to plan ahead

For a company with so much intelligence, on the surface it comes as a surprise to hear that they can’t plan ahead, but in reflection, it’s an honest and realistic assessment of the times.

“We don’t have a two year plan. We have a next week and a next quarter plan. Most of our successful products were built by small teams reacting quickly.”

Eric Schmidt- Google
2. Keeping teams small helps

Google+ is only a 500 person team total, but it’s made up of dozens of 5-10 person units and one overall design head.

3. Don’t over-promise

The beta philosophy is very important because it’s important to continue to iterate at evolve the product. It’s not about a mass market ad campaign that over-promises, but instead “inviting” and introducing people to the experience and letting them play, but importantly learning and iterating from this.

4. Today’s innovation needs agile systems

You need a flow of data, a way of co-operating internally understand and interpret and a system to test ideas. So you basically need to built a lot of stuff and learn from your experiences.

5. Failure is an option

When you are developing so much, you’ve got to accept that much of it isn’t going to work and you are going to have failures. You have to accept this and move on.


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