Engineers are particularly bad on this front. I've seen teams blow huge amounts of time building massive, distributed, fail-over systems, because that's what Google does. Even though the load could be handled by a couple of dedicated boxes, and existing customers are screaming for crucial functionality.
Scaling is a problem you deal with when your growth rate says you have to -- not when your servers are sitting idle, waiting for a sudden rush of customers will come any day now.
There's nothing wrong trying to learn as much as you can from a bunch of smart people, but that's not the same as copying the things that they've done because "it worked for them and they're successful now".
Statistically speaking, your company is probably a lot smaller than Google, and you have very different problems than Google does.
A lot of engineers (myself formerly included) think that Google emerged as a multi-billion dollar company directly from the head of Jeff Dean...ignoring the critical role that things like biz dev (getting that first yahoo deal!) played in their massive success.
One of the hardest lessons I've had to learn in life is that success has very little to do with engineering. The technical side needs to be just good enough to work. The rest comes down to marketing and networking.
My understanding is that Google started getting traction because the technology savvy crowd embraced the search engine early on. This was because the search engine was built on a technology foundation that was solid and delivered great results. I think all pieces must come together to achieve success (luck being a piece) but saying engineer had little to do with Google's success doesn't seem correct to me.
Technology matters, it matters too much that Microsoft with millions of dollars cannot build a better search engine. Microsoft would spend a billion if they knew they can do as good as Google.
There are small companies as well that solely focus technical excellence.
If you are going to rely on technology only then your technology shouldn't be just slightly better it should be way better than the others.
You don't realize it, but you're making an argument for the strength of their branding, which is at least partially (if not entirely) due to the amount Google spends to be the default search engine in just about everything. Yes, they have to have good search results, but that's far from the whole story.
The great social networks find a band of early adopters who get to know each other on that system, and they all figure out what this thing is, while the dev team responds to what they do, just as fast. At least at the start, it's like a little coffeehouse that a clique discovers and makes their own, and starts holding events there.
When Google launches a social product it's like going to the opening of a mall. The place is glitzy, but you're lost in the crowds.
The people at Google aren't stupid. They know they need to iterate with customers. But they're iterating towards a very specific event, the day when they turn it on for a billion people in 10 languages.
I'm saying that very wide launch makes it kind of sterile. And the drive towards scalability-first probably prevents them from exploring quirkier ideas.
Indeed. Here's a pic:
First because all successful businesses have something that is generating a lot cash for them which means they can spend money on resources small teams cannot, and they can keep trying. In the Google case they can just keep plugging away at social. This isn't a "critical mass" but it's significant.
Second because the "critical mass" is existing users and brand awareness. It's always easier to sell to an existing customer, they have experience with you and like how you operate. Just being able to easily reach the user-base that Google can is a massive leg-up. You also get the benefit of being able to add network-effect or tie things together - see the whole gmail+G+.As importantly, people trust brands (how else can you explain Starbucks!) so you're more likely to be able cross barriers to get users on-board. Users associate themselves and their values with certain brands, it makes it much easier to extend into new product categories.
Everyone likes a success story, but the way that large organisations operate and their models for innovation don't apply well to small teams (in my opinion).
I looked up the book on Barnes and Noble, and the publisher is listed as Grand Central Publishing.
A Google Search for "Grand Central Publishing" reveals that it's part of Hachette (http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/publishers/grand-central-pu...).
The bottom of the page has a few interesting choice quotes:
""Think 10X, not 10%. Global scale is available to just about everyone. But too many people are stuck in the old, limited mindset."
Sounds like they're describing a certain rival who only owns a fragment of the mobile OS space.
ctrl + f: 'creative' = 6 results.
ctrl + f: 'engineer' = 0 results.
Oh I see, you creatives now.
I guess it's time to revise some history and let the world know that you weren't just a bunch of super smart engineers... you were creatives along!
So, do I still need to take that code test? Or can I give you that link to my portfolio page?
That doesn't seem like revising history as much as trying to sell a book. If you have the The Solution (tm), you likely have fancy non-traditional terms.
I honestly find this publication tacky.
Said without a hint of irony.
...are all still available!
The .org is still available. Occupy Google could snatch up howgoogleworks.org, copy the .net content and do a quick and dirty parody site.
or to use a domain hack:
Looks like an awesome book!
Anyone with an idea on how to get this on a Kindle?
While it wouldn't be a 'giant' without search, search definitely helped increase adoption of their other products and gave them revenue to invest into other things (plus their moonshots).