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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Google's management principles

I am writing on my blog from a king county bus which is moving at 60 mph. The bus has WiFi and I am getting speeds of 317 kbps down and 154 up. Not bad!

Last year, Google executive, Marissa Mayer, talked about Google’s Management/Innovation principles. The video is available at Following are the nine principles she explained:

  1. Ideas come from everywhere: Create environment/culture that encourages new idea generation and does not limit it to a few people.
  2. Share everything you can: Everyone knows what everyone else is working on-success/failure stories. This creates synergies i.e. 1+1=3.
  3. You’re Brilliant. We’re hiring: Smart people like to work with smart people. Always find a place for them. They manage themselves. This will enable you to have a “flat” organization.
  4. A license to pursue dreams: Let people work on what excites them. Google allows everyone to spend 20% of their time on any project they like. 50% of all new feature/product releases since June 2005 have come from the 20% project list.
  5. Innovation not Instant Perfection: Focus on getting new things out in the market ASAP and work with the customers on making it better/perfect and not on making it perfect first and then releasing.
  6. Data is a-political: Make all decision based on data. This cuts down on bureaucracy, favoritism, and politics. Furthermore, only the sound ideas rise to the top.
  7. Creativity loves constraint: You always have constraints in coming up with new solutions/innovation. E.g. computing power, memory space etc. When you start work on new problems make everyone aware of the constraints to reach the creativity potential.
  8. Users not Money: Focus on giving the users what they want and not on money it will generate. If enough users get what they want, money will follow. Google does not do business cases for launching new features.
  9. Don’t kill projects. Morph them: If an idea made it to commercialization then there must be something good in it even if it was not successful. Morph it and relaunch it instead of killing it.

If you think about the principles, they are not earth shattering. All companies should be using them. However, most big companies don't. Isn't that unbelievable?