it’s quirky and it’s different

04:39 | 10-08-2013 | Google, Lifeform | 1 Comment

ну да, мы часто задумываемся, что же такое суть компания Google, в чем ее исключительные признаки — и вот, например, отличное исследование, взгляд со стороны:

On top of this quick-turn bias there’s the cultural training of Google’s senior management. Most big companies end up being run by professional managers who came up through business school or finance, where they get trained in the rhythms and personality of traditional big business. They learn a shared vocabulary and set of values that are very familiar and comfortable to investors. By contrast, Google is completely controlled by engineering PhDs. They speak the language of science rather than business, and they’re contemptuous of the vague directional platitudes and reassuring noises made by modern finance and marketing.


One key element of the engineering mindset is the use of scientific method: you encourage a Darwinian marketplace of ideas, you test those ideas through controlled experiments, and you make decisions based on experimental data.

действительно, если принять это наблюдение, то многое становится очевидным — скажем, почему с такой легкостью убили Reader:

When an experiment is completed, you either choose to follow up on it, or you terminate it and move on to something else. A scientist doesn’t get emotional about this; it’s the way the system works, and everyone knows that it’s all for the best.

и правда, к чему переживания? к чему задумываться об определенной успешности? это просто эксперимент, не больше. и он выполнил свою цель. аналогично, кстати, и с покупкой Motorola Mobility — в известном смысле, это тоже эксперимент, и кого заботят потраченные миллионы?

The second unusual aspect of Google is its ownership structure. Never forget: Google is not really a public company. Sure, it has stock and all the other attributes of a normal public company, but 56.7% of Google’s voting shares are held by cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. As long as they remain friends, they can do whatever they want with the company, and they cannot be fired.

сегодня им около 40, а значит еще минимум 35 лет продуктивной работы во главе компании. кто знает, может к тому времени и правда случится обещанная сингулярность? что ж, у AI тогда и в самом деле оказалась бы исключительно богатая выборка данных, лучший источник для познания мира.

очень хорошая статья, да: о странностях, о слабостях[1] и о будущих инвестициях.


  1. например:

    Google is much less effective when its original goal in a market changes. Because of its quick-reaction nature, Google frequently launches projects that seem very important at the time, but later turn out to be not so critical after all. The market evolves, priorities change, maybe a competitor becomes less prominent. When that happens, the Google projects are in danger of cancellation, and nobody likes working on a canceled project. So the teams frequently start iterating on their goals the same way they would on their features. Usually they end up chasing the latest trendy issue in search of a revenue stream and continued existence.

    That’s usually the road to hell. Once a project starts changing goals, it’s almost impossible to diagnose the cause of any problems it has with market acceptance.

    или так:

    Google’s strength in science and quick response makes it very fast at incrementally improving the performance and reliability of its products. But that same process makes it almost impossible for Google to lead in features or product ideas that can’t be proved or verified through research. That’s why Google struggles in user experience, creating new product categories, and fitting its products to the latent needs of users: all of those are intuition-led activities in which it’s very hard to prove ahead of time what’s right or wrong. Even if there are people within Google who have extraordinary taste and vision, it’s very hard for them to drive action because their ideas can’t pass the science-style review process that Google uses for decision-making.



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