Monday, April 23, 2007
Is Google going the way of Wal-Mart?
I recently took a look at a few Google job descriptions. They looked as though they had been written by children. The job description for a Product Manager had nothing in it about understanding the consumer or customer. The very clear impression was that they wanted a bunch of smart, creative kids who would run about and create new products without any sense of process. This was the way in which Google and many successful new businesses are started. The success of Silicon Valley is based on the thousands of businesses which do not succeed. However, the founders do not see them in the context of the thousands of businesses which fail miserably. So when they grow their business, they do not understand that within a corporation, throwing ideas against a wall to see what sticks is incredibly inefficient. While I do believe that top management at Google have a clear vision, I see that this is not understood at lower levels. Most of the people in Google, seeing the company' s success, have come to believe that it is easy. When a company comes to believe that it is so smart that they do not even have to understand what made it successful, nor have a process to replicate it, then the company is getting into trouble, much as Wal-Mart did.