With the recent news of Marissa Meyer’s new role as CEO at Yahoo, there are definitely going to be some changes and shakeups. She is known to be quite innovative and this is an area I’m sure Yahoo will certainly be interested in taking advantage of from her past successes at Google. Since we get to talk a lot about innovation, we thought it might be fun (and interesting) to see what Marissa had to say about Innovation when she was at Google.
Back in 2008, she did a story for Fast Company where she listed her 9 Principles of Innovation. We thought it would be interesting to share these 9 principles and see just what made her so successful and innovative when she was at Google. So here they are:
- INNOVATION, NOT INSTANT PERFECTION – If you get it right and you’ve built just the perfect thing, you get this worldwide ‘Wow!’ The problem is, if you get it wrong, you get a thud, a thud in which you’ve spent, like, five years and 100 people on something the market doesn’t want.
- IDEAS COME FROM EVERYWHERE – “We have this great internal list where people post new ideas and everyone can go on and see them. It’s like a voting pool where you can say how good or bad you think an idea is. Those comments lead to new ideas.”
- A LICENSE TO PURSUE YOUR DREAMS – We let engineers spend 20% of their time working on whatever they want, and we trust that they’ll build interesting things.
- MORPH PROJECTS DON’T KILL THEM – Any project that is good enough to make it to Labs probably has a kernel of something interesting in there somewhere, even if the market doesn’t respond to it. It’s our job to take the product and morph it into something that the market needs.
- SHARE AS MUCH INFORMATION AS YOU CAN – Because there is so much information shared across the company, employees have insight into what’s happening with the business and what’s important.
- USERS, USERS, USERS – We believe that if we focus on the users, the money will come.
- DATA IS APOLITICAL – We think of design as a science. It doesn’t matter who is the favorite or how much you like this aesthetic versus that aesthetic. It all comes down to data.
- CREATIVITY LOVES CONSTRAINTS – People think of creativity as this sort of unbridled thing, but engineers thrive on constraints. They love to think their way out of that little box: ‘We know you said it was impossible, but we’re going to do this, this, and that to get us there.
- YOU’RE BRILLIANT? WE’RE HIRING – What’s remarkable, though, is what hasn’t changed–the types of people who work here and the types of things that they like to work on. It’s almost identical to the first 20 or so of us at Google.
WOW – that is an incredible list and very transferrable to many businesses. Take the programming aspects away and there are some great nuggets for any business. Any of them apply to your business? Are there any that jump out at you as something that has helped your business succeed? Share your thoughts and comments so we can all learn from each other…