Google’s case of Innovation

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					Google's Innovation

Hussein Al Ahmad XPERT Consultancy April 16. 2007


Evidence of company's performance and innovation

Since 1998, when Sergey Brin and Larry Page, two intelligent doctoral students have admirably developed a set of algorithms that sparked an exceptional and marvelous leap in Web-search delivery. According to Keith H. Hammonds, Googles‟ performance became “… the envy of executives and engineers around the world ... For techno-evangelists, Google is a marvel of Web brilliance ... For Wall Street, it may be the IPO that changes everything (again) ..." [1] Throughout its recital, Google‟s leading philosophy was and still "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." [2] Inside the company they are both passionate about delivering the best search results and obsessive about how that is done. How afforded data can promote services enough to save users time of search and download. Google's amazing ability to innovate can be traced back to proactive culture that creates and promotes the proper environment for innovative thinking. “But Google is also a case study in savvy management -- a company filled with cutting-edge ideas, rigorous accountability, and relentless attention to detail ... Here's a search for the growth secrets of one of the world's most exciting young companies.” [3] Google understands the capacity of the Web to leverage expertise, and concentrate on getting feedback and efficient ideas from its users. Google tactfully applies rules that form the logic of the Internet; as they are simple, governed by supply, demand, and democracy. "We don't show people things that they aren't interested in, because in the long term, that will kill your business." says Google Fellow Urs Holzle. [4] In Google, they succeeded to nurture a unique understanding of its users that grew to a unique loyalty. From the perspective of a consumer, Google is delivering many magnificent and free services. Google have become clear about its two most important assets that enables it to gain user's loyalty; the attention and trust of its users. Indeed, both were guaranteed through speed delivering of results. Google innovation was mainly dominated by three major drivers;  Acting like a venture capitalist competing and sourcing ideas,  Paying remarkable emphasis on the rigor and discipline of its idea-creation process, and,  Creating and fostering a culture where senior management often takes a lead role in the innovation process. [5] On the one hand, through fostering those drivers of innovation, besides tying together the collective intelligence of their network and figuring out how to harness the distributed intelligence of the huge net, Google managed and controlled the revolutionary innovation model. On the other hand, by adopting producer-driven innovation that adequately enables fitting user-driven innovation, Google gained and controlled Evolutionary innovation model. Google have successfully attained major changes and competitive services edge because they are matching revolutionary goals with evolutionary processes and actions.


Evidence of business-concept innovation

Peter Drucker once stated that … "Every few hundred years throughout western history, a sharp transformation has occurred centered around a technological advance which causes the world to rearrange itself into one which is hardly recognizable compared to the former." [6] Accordingly, one may wonder how Google was and still able to manage its growth with the technological changes adopted by its workplace, those happening in a dynamic global market driven by ever-changing consumer trends, and overcrowded with initiative competitors; Managing the change: Actually, and relating to the energetic nature of the internet services in general which is ever changing and advancing, Google's speed and scale of change increases too. During its distingwished performance, search engine gaint Google has delevered enterprise products, created services and tools for the general public and business environment alike, including web applications, advertising networks and solutions for businesses. On the other hand, Google have overcome the serious shortcomings normally accompanied revolutionary change, especially in its sensitive case of its integrated services that demand continuous revolution and large leaps in order to meet its users‟ ever-changing trends and needs. At the same time, according to Tristan Louis "Google does innovate in some spaces but has largely innovated in order to gain entry in markets that already existed. As a rule of thumb, they've been very smart at breathing new innovations in those markets.” [7] Creativity and innovation: Consequently, perhaps mostly, revolutionary innovation should be followed by evolutionary one, in that evolution delivers superior performance over the long-term. What really seems to be the innovation model adopted by Google in its performance is revolutionary in targeting ambitious goals, … goals to be achieved through an evolutionary process and actions. Looking from a user persbective may help in sheding some light on Google's flexible, dynamic, and fairly unstructured product development process. In her session at „SXSW Interactive‟ at Google, Marissa Mayer attributes Google‟s success in product development process to “fostering employee-involvement in product definition, involving the role of creativity, and the resulting products and services.” [8] Searching and exploiting opportunities; Google stands as a model for smart innovation in challenging times. It recognizes the capacity of the Web to leverage expertise, and concentrates on getting feedback and efficient ideas from its users. Google tactfully applies rules that form the logic of the Internet; they sound simple, governed by supply, demand, and democracy. For example, its engine provides essentially free communication and search services so that no one has a privileged position. Furthermore, Google successfully have figured out how to exploit the distributed intelligence of the huge net

through a fundamental rethinking approach of how they innovate, and through harnessing the technological advances that are facilitating analytics on an enormous and infinitive scale at various levels.


Evidence of business model development

“The cardinal rule at Google is, if you can do something that will improve the user's experience, do it.” Keith H. Hammonds [9] Innovation as a holistic process of interrelated sub processes and actions, stand to be more than generating new ideas, inventing new product, or winning of a new market share. In fact, innovation is all that mentioned integrated in a unique system of performance. With this framework, Google‟s innovation is not a product (as a search engine); it is a new way of presenting search results in the order of relevance. It is a new method of replying to customer needs, trends and queries. According to an article in business studies posted at the Oxford University Information Services site, [10] Google innovation is also a process, not something that suddenly appears on the earth. The article lists many search engines who failed to attain progress or success at all. Search engines like „World Wide Wander‟ and „Archie‟ in the 1990‟s were pioneer –but failed- search engines. Furthermore, „Web Crawler‟ -in 1994was an improved search engine that allowed better searches and relevant results. Later, „Lycos and Info Seek‟ improved search engines, … searching speed was still slow. In 1995 „Alta Vista‟ innovated a new architecture. Indeed, the real fit was until 1998, when the current search super power and the most powerful to date Google was launched, grew and still flourishing.

Google's management team and its entrepreneurial strategy have created Googles' innovative opportunities. Since launching in 1998 till today, many innovative companies have been acquired by Google. Like this Google is extending its market, empowering its commpetition edge, and reinforcing its image and growth opportunity. The process launched by the acquiring of Deja's Applied Semantics (for Google AdSense) in Feb 2001, then Pyra Labs owner of Blogger, Neotonic Software, and Applied Semantics. Later on; Picasa, Google Earth, Silicon Valley companies, and Urchin Software Corporation, later on to online video sharing site YouTube, then China's Xunlei, Adscape, and most recently last month (1st of March 07) acquiring Gapminder's. Along this process many enterprises were included under the umbrella of Google, through a consious strategy that included acquistions, most of them were featured by three main factors:    A small but very talented development team, Interesting and innovative products, technology, or intellectual property, A private start-up with a relatively cheap price tag. [11]


Evidence of nurturing entrepreneurial culture or spirit
Inside the company What is most striking about Google is its internal consistency. Over their eight years of existence, Google leaders gathered a team of highly intelligent thinkers, some of the smartest people in the world.

Leaders who tap mental acumen for creativity in a participative culture, through which Google relays on a great correlation between aggregate job satisfaction and organizational innovation, moderated by two key factors: job variety and a commitment to “single status”. In Google, where the majority of employees experience job satisfaction, consequently, they will endorse rather than resist innovation and work collaboratively to implement as well as to generate creative ideas. 'Single Status' creativity Google recognizes that it is not enough to allow anyone at the firm to post thoughts for new technologies and businesses to mailing lists. They have instituted supporting processes. Marissa Mayer, the Director of Web Products at Google, has open office hours much like a college professor where employees can talk through ideas. Google's personalized home page came out of this process. Also, all engineers have one day a week to develop their own pet projects, no matter how far from the company‟s central mission. Google News covers this process. [12]

Team work achievements At Google, synergy is their solution. Here research is about teamwork with outstanding engineers to solve novel and challenging problems that have a marvelous impact on their achievements. At the same time, it's about leading in the scientific realm and innovations. Google is always present as an active part of the research community, and remarkably capitalizing in interaction with recognized researchers and scientists in the academic world. “We host world-renowned scientists spanning diverse areas including neuroscience, climatology, internet security and e-commerce -- and of course, computer science.” Comments Corinna Cortes, Head, Google Research NY, “In the fall, our Research Seminars attracted such prominent figures as John Hopcroft and Michael Rabin. This spring we're welcoming Christos Papadimitriou and Vladimir Vapnik, to name just a few.” [13] At Google they believe that not only creativity is the key to success, but also the rigor and discipline behind their approach. The company has eight brainstorming sessions each year with 100 engineers. Six concepts are pitched and discussed for ten minutes each. The stated goal is to build on the initial idea with at least one complementary idea per minute.


Methods to measure entrepreneurial performance.
Most of the standards we benefit from today in our living, relates to innovations have accorded in the past decades, and so will be most of future life standards standing as outcomes of our adventures and innovative experiments. Recently,

„The Center for Creative Leadership‟ has conducted a worldwide survey on the future of leadership. Based on their findings, they recommend five new skills for the leaders of the future, All of them are critical in building a culture of innovation:[14]   Co-inquiry (emphasizing cross-boundary collaboration and fluid intelligence), Adaptability,

  

Risk taking, Navigating challenges Paying attention.

While applying those principles, and measuring an evidence of Peter Drucker's seven sources of innovative opportunity, through examining Google's performance, culture and services, most of those elements are obviously announced to be contributing and mostly still dominating in its innovative approaches;

1. The Unexpected / Co-inquiry:
Exploiting the unexpected as an opportunity; Emphasizing cross-boundary collaboration and fluid intelligence; “By laying work bare, Google eliminated the knowledge and communication barriers that arise from working in compartmentalized environments. This enables the company to benefit from fluid intelligence.” [15] "We always appreciate user feedback and are working to improve Google Sitemaps.”[16] Google's approach of posting comprehensively researched services, in addition to constantly seeking its users' feedback in a courteous and conscious manner, keeps its products successful and in advancing position while exploiting the unexpected opportunities. For example, Google is planning the release of its own mobile phone. [17], Following Google's innovation and its foray into video, Google is building its TV advertising brand. [18] At Google as an enterprise structure, they have established their own „golden rule‟ for managing innovation. Its slight different from the common 80/20 rule; it‟s a 70/20/10 rule.  70 percent of your time on the core business,  20 percent on related projects,  and 10 percent on unrelated new businesses. Let‟s say for someone working 50 hours a week, 5 hours would be focused on new projects. This is how Google has established itself as an innovator, a leader in the search engine world, and more recently a leader in new technical areas like Google Earth, Local Google, and Google News, which stands as some of the end products of this 10 percent allocation. [19]

The Incongruity / Adaptability:
"Very often I am told that an organization has 'more ideas than it can ever use'. I am always a little suspicious about that reply because it suggests that the ideas are not very good. You can never have too many ideas." [20] This quote from management guru Edward De Bono touches a vital nerve, because a strong flow of good ideas is a sign of a flourishing, growing organization. Google‟s successful approach of home generating ideas and integrating acquisitioned enterprises and services under its harmonized umbrella is amazing. Google is experimented as a company overbuilt to be stronger than it has to be. “Its extravagance of talent allows it crucial flexibility -- the ability to experiment, to try many things at once, flexibility is expensive," says Craig Silverstein, a 30-

year-old PhD engineer at Stanford, later became Google's first employee. "But we think that flexibility gives you a better product.” He continued. [21] Google tracks the outcome of a huge sample of the queries that we throw at it. Just like that one can assume Google‟s performance; we can read from search techniques they apply how Google manifests its performance approach; at Google they exploit our opportunities in absurdity, confront or unexpected alike, they empower the team, and the sky is the limit for their ambition. An obstacle is looked at as an opportunity for advance.

Innovation based on process need,
Google's web search service forms its major factor of success. As of December, 2006, Google is the most used search engine on the web with a 50.8% market share. Furthermore, most of Google's revenue is derived from its distinguished online advertising programs.[22] Google „AdWords‟ allows Web advertisers to display advertisements in Google's search results and the Google Content Network, through either a cost-per-click or cost-per-view scheme. „Google AdSense‟ website owners can also display adverts on their own site, and earn money every time ads are clicked. In an Newsweek article written by Google CEO, Eric Schmidt leveraged the ideas and defined a set of principles for process development: “At google, we think business guru Peter Drucker well understood how to manage the new breed of "knowledge workers." After all, Drucker invented the term in 1959. He says knowledge workers believe they are paid to be effective, not to work 9 to 5, and that smart businesses will "strip away everything that gets in their knowledge workers' way." Those that succeed will attract the best performers, securing "the single biggest factor for competitive advantage in the next 25 years." At Google, we seek that advantage.” [23] Talking from user perspective, Google teams spend more time on what adds real customer value. They increase feedback when having application problems, they always empower the team. In addition, to assure users‟ satisfaction, they deliver as fast as possible, they update, develop and integrate towards ideality.

Changes in industry or market structure / Risk taking
“My final thought is that it's important to stay true to your mission. We need to stay true to search but also find other things that relate to it.” Comments Marissa Mayer, director of consumer Web products at Google. [24] While the company's primary market is in the web content arena, Google has begun to experiment with other markets, such as radio and print publications. On January 2006, Google announced that it had purchased the radio advertising company „dMarc‟, which provides an automated system that allows companies to advertise on the radio. [25] This will allow Google to combine two niche advertising media -the Internet and radio - with Google's ability to focus on the tastes of consumers. Google has also begun an experiment in selling advertisements from its advertisers in offline newspapers and magazines, with select advertisements in the „Chicago Sun-Times‟. [26] They have been filling unsold space in the newspaper that would have normally been used for in-house advertisements.

AnalyGIS (recognized mapping services and data company), in partnership with SRC,[27] has developed a great project that mashes Demographics information with Google Maps creating an extremely interesting result for developing user driven services and products. Additionally, these mash-ups are great information visualization techniques built around Google's services. [28]

Google liberal model adapted with its branding technique enables it to rewrites its moniker in such away that meets demographic targeting activities. Google in Braille for Louis Braille's birthday, or the most recent one –during writing this paper- in the Memorial of Yuri Gagarin, the Russian famous space hero. From another point of view, Google has just added demographic targeting to AdWords campaigns. According to the AdWords help site, "you can pick your preferences in up to three different demographic categories. The system will analyze your preferences and create a list of available Google Network sites that are popular with that audience." [29] Also according to Google, the demographic website data used by users from the United States…. If a campaign doesn't geo-target the United States, users will not see the demographic option on the site tool. Google‟s sensing Network identifies demographic opportunities/challenges from various sources like; Social policy issues, market opportunities, services targeted at new consumer needs, Non age-related demographic shifts, and Peoplemanagement challenges. A comprehensive „iProspect‟ survey, conducted in conjunction with „Survey Sampling International‟, „WebSurveyor‟, and „Stratagem Research‟, revealed demographic differences in regard to paid and organic search results. Demographically, as found by Hitwise, [30] Google was the preferred search tool for males, academics and researchers. 

Changes in perception, mood and meaning / navigating challenges

World cultures and comunities are getting more closer and relative, vice versa, world networks and trends are varieng and getting more complex. Between here and there, Google -since launching- has successfully managed to creat its opportunities of growth and performance through both contribuiting and capitalising on hurnissing those trends and networks. Consequently, there has been a major updates for Google‟s ranking algorithm, changing the way the search engine orders search results, and so changing traditional perceptions with the encorporated meanings, emplications and results of the processes. In addition to Google's effectual strategies of innovation mentioned in the beginning of this paper, their channels of communication enables them to identify and keep up with the most current trends, cutting edge, and theories which attempt to explain how and why an individual's perceptions of an assigned service or product change, besides what specific factors motivate these changes in perception. For example while Google's TV advertising brand is leading the effort to both sell television solutions and shape a next generation advertising platform,

at the same time it is driving engagement efforts in affecting consumers' perception and consistently creating new opportunities for its enterprise growth.

New Knowledge / Paying attention
25 years ago, Lewis D. Eigen -author and business leader- remarked, "Yesterday's miracle is today's intolerable condition." [31] Considering that, the idea of innovation vitality to an organization's success and sustainability is not new, moreover, it is tightened to the technological and information advancements. Recruiting the accuamalated mass of information cathered through verious channels and systems, all Google engineers are encouraged to spend 20% of their work time (one day per week) on projects that interest them and delever new value. In a talk at Stanford University, Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president of search products and user experience, stated that her analysis showed that half of new product launches originated from 20% time. [32] At google they are paying attention to see the whole, they are always beware of the temptation to optimize parts at the expense of the whole, able to build integrity in workplace and services. Finally, innovators at Google mostly decide as late as possible, keeping options open as long as practical. None of that might be achieved unless Google‟s acumen and attentiveness to navigate distinguished knowledge.



Having found its way increasingly into everyday language, the verb, "google," was added to the „Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary‟ and the „Oxford English Dictionary‟ in 2006, meaning, "to use the Google search engine to obtain information on the Internet." [33] [34] Google has won over most consumer internet users with its powerful search engine, concentrating its content strategies and prospects of success on corporate search market, news aggregation spaces, search, and technology. Recently, the enterprise extended its focus towards various business sectors and ventures, leading the brand to glory and prosper. Google have too early begun by analysis of the potential opportunity to see if people will be interested in using its innovation and appreciate it. In order to add efficiency on its innovative services, they were simple in their usage and enable customization for personal needs, besides each service clearly focusing on a specific need, so as to ultimately cover an integrated solution package. By tying together the collective intelligence of their network, and figuring out how to harness the distributed intelligence of the huge net as mentioned in this paper, Google maintained the revolutionary innovation model. Accordingly, by adopting producer-driven innovation that adequately enables fitting user-driven innovation, an so, Google gained and nurtured Evolutionary innovation model. Google have successfully attained major changes and competitive services edge because they are matching revolutionary goals with evolutionary processes and actions. [35]  About the writer;

Hussein Al Ahmad is a Palestinian consultant, who maintain an extensive background in business planning and strategic consulting with venture-funded and private owner managed companies, as well as semi-governmental and non governmental organizations both nationally and overseas like Gulf companies, USAID projects, World Bank projects, EU development programs, as well as good governance related programs at prominent organizations like the Palestinian Capital Market Authority (PCMA). since 2003 he is performing under the name XPERT consultancy ( a professional Performance management & Business Intelligence consultancy. Exceptionally he possesses distinguished competencies in training, corporate governance and institutional development. Hussein has a solid education and outstanding experience as a graduate of Royal Melbourne Institute of technology, Honors Program in the Applied Communication Design. besides a BA in English, in addition to many effective certificates in training, computer applications, strategic planning and promotion.  End notes

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23. 24.



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Description: This paper investigates how Google have successfully attained major changes and competitive services edge, having found its way increasingly into everyday language. The verb, "Google," was added to the ‘Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary’ and the ‘Oxford English Dictionary’ in 2006, meaning, "to use the Google search engine to obtain information on the Internet."