Apologies for any typing / grammatical errors! Please point out the same through your invaluable comments.
Eric Schmidt knows, it would take Google a freaking 300 years to achieve purpose of literally “being the owner” (well that is not how they term it though) of all the information in the world.
So, is anyone expecting, that Sergei Brin, Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, are hoping to stay alive to see that happening?? Actually they don’t. But what they have is what Thomas Davenport rightly points out as “Strategic Patience”… They know it is gonna take time. But well, all product companies cannot nurture such objectives as Google– but what all the iconic “product” companies have in common is the sense of “what to achieve”.
Now if one sees the Google model, as a mandate Google offers employees to spend 20% of their time on their “own projects”, which if turns out to be good business model, justified by immense amount of numerical and statistical figures, are taken up as Google offerings. What is 20% of time. Lets play with the significance:
Say one works in the company for 10 hours per day.
20 % is 2 hours.
Multiply that in a month of 22 days (that is excluding weekends). It is 44 hours/ month.
12 months a year== 528 hours a year per employee
Now say you have 500 employees. (Google has over 10,000 employees)
So that makes it 264,000 hours of contributed research.
Isn’t that a staggering number?????????
Which company wont “grow” with such a contribution?
Now you know what makes Google grow?
500 forward looking employees would form the key success criteria for any company’s growth. I know , this is not exactly about product management. But this objective is more than a product and its freaking roadmap.
Two things — and two only lead a company to growth– Innovation and Marketing. With such a staggering number for hours of innovation, what more would one need — just have your marketing folks on their toes. Again the sole objective of marketing is to ensure that the burden on sales is less, and sales is smooth to enable achieve the “revenue targets”. Today the most innovative ideas are generated for proper marketing. We all remember the first iPhone sale and how the guy who owned the first iPhone, was literally stormed by news/media on how he was feeling (watch the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oShf29P34kw&feature=player_embedded). See the excitement in his eyes. That is what marketing is all about. Is iPhone the best “phone”– obviously no, it used to lack in basic features and capabilities of a phone. Jobs knew about the this– that is how the “greats” visualize growth. Today iPhone has a huge market.
Product development and management cannot be about ensuring lesser or greater number of codes. The primary goal is to have growth– which is achieved by innovation, and revenue targets met by marketing.
Innovation cannot and in principle must not be bound by pre-decided roadmaps and strategies. So the basic question is, are there takers for early innovations. This is where Geoffrey Moore probably has the best contribution. (Read “Crossing The Chasm”). There are the enthusiasts, and there are laggards in accepting technology. Imagine the hype of Artificial Intelligence in the 90’s. What is the state of it now (as of today in a sweetly chilly November morning!) . But that never stopped innovation on the front. What is thus important is the ability to channelize innovation in direction to suit the needs of main stream markets.
Innovation projects must be a “must have” for the growth of a company, and these are off the road-map ideas. If one feels we would stick only to what the “customers want” –fair enough, you could. That is exactly what IBM did. Imagine what IBM did in the 70’s. Then computers were not for the individual at home. Along came a “university drop out” introduced the world to a Macintosh, and made the Mac say “Do not trust a computer you cannot lift”. Did the consumers of 1984 know that they were in dire need of a Mac for their homes?? IBM followed the the-then newbies . They had to– rather they were forced to. That is the power of innovation. What roadmap did IBM follow then??
For today’s world. Google forms the role model of growth strategies and innovation. Think of “Google Wave”. Will it work, only time will tell– but that is what Google shows as having the power to visualize growth. It just seems to be growing in all directions. So whatever it does, is that a hit– actually “NO”. Google literally has only 2 major hits– Search and Advertisement, and they are on the look out for the third. But still it has an uninterrupted growth in all directions.
Innovation and marketing–> Revenues–> Growth : that is literally the path of success.
In a pro-typical Steve Jobs style allow me to say “One last thing”: — Google’s CEO says : “Ubiquities first, revenues later– if you can build a sustainable eyeball business, you can always find clever ways to monetize them“. — this statement is a lesson on “how to visualize growth”.