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How Google's Novel Management System Aids Growth

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the sprouting-like-weeds dept.

156

Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "Gary Hamel, visiting professor at London Business School, argues in a Wall Street Journal commentary that Google's 'novel management system seems to have been designed to guard against the risk factors that so often erode an organization's evolutionary potential.' Among Google's advantages: The 20% rule, an 'expansive sense of purpose' and the credo, 'keep the bozos out and reward people who make a difference.' Hamel also traces the company's evolution from Google 1.0, 'a search engine that crawled the Web but generated little revenue,' to Google 5.0, 'an innovation factory that produces a torrent of new Web-based services, including Gmail, Google Desktop, and Google Base. More than likely, 6.0 is around the corner.'"

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fp! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15215948)

google = amerifags!

I love the new Google 6.0 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15215953)

All my friends and family use it, too!

woo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15215966)

woo

Googles problem will be their increasing size (-1, Redundant)

gasmonso (929871) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215994)

Many companies started out fresh and lightweight like Google did. The problem is that with success comes size. Companies like Microsoft get crushed under their own weight. If history is any lesson, Google will follow suit unless they truly are that smart. Only time will tell.

http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]

Re:Googles problem will be their increasing size (2, Insightful)

xplenumx (703804) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216013)

The funny thing is, that's exactly what the article was all about. Kudos.

Re:Googles problem will be their increasing size (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216411)

All posts I've seen from this guy are obvious statements or repeating what is in the article. He is just trying to get his URL noticed (hence it being in both his profile and comment, having it in every comment, and not having it in a sig).

Re:Googles problem will be their increasing size (5, Insightful)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216040)

The problem is that with success comes size. Companies like Microsoft get crushed under their own weight. If history is any lesson, Google will follow suit unless they truly are that smart.

I completely agree with you. Those big companies are in trouble. IBM after all showed only a 25% growth in profit for Q1 2006. And, just a few minutes before I posted this, Microsoft announced a small jump of 16% growth in profit AND a 13% growth in revenue. Leaving the tech industry, Exxon Mobile had a horrible quarter with only $89 Billion in Revenue.

Yeah, those large companies, they are just falling apart....Oh, wait...

Re:Googles problem will be their increasing size (1)

gasmonso (929871) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216378)

IBM had almost gone under years ago and had to reinvent itself. Micrsoft's stock has been stagnant for years. As for the oil companies... well thats the definition of corruption :)

Re:Googles problem will be their increasing size (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216398)

And your point is?... you really think they will fail in the mid-term?

Re:Googles problem will be their increasing size (1)

MikeCapone (693319) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216464)

Other things than money matter, y'know. Creating good products, bringing value to your customers, etc.

It is possible to make money yet not be a very good company.

Re:Googles problem will be their increasing size (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216490)

As long as google doesn't employ the same mind-set in approaching its mission ...

From the article:

It is driven by an open-ended mission to organize the world's knowledge or, as one VP put it, raise the world's IQ. This vision animates a restless search for new opportunities.

There are a lot of evil ways to raise the world's IQ - most of them involving a bullet.

Re:Googles problem will be their increasing size (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216763)

Most of those ways don't organize the world's knowledge, though.

Re:Googles problem will be their increasing size (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15217099)

Off-topic : I don't know about you, but when I looked at the title of this thread "Goodles problem will be their increasing size" my first thought was "penis enlargment spam".

Back on topic (sort of): Think of how much less disorganized the world would be without its global village idiot.

Really on topic: If information is TOO organized, its usefulness diminishes. Its by the cross-fertilization of ideas between seemingly unrelated areas that we make many of our gee-whiz advances - velcro being a simple example.

Re:Googles problem will be their increasing size (2, Insightful)

shoemakc (448730) | more than 8 years ago | (#15217046)

Yes, but you're forgeting something. There's plenty of accounting magic you can use to show a profit year after year even when in reality you're loosing money hand over fist. A publicly traded company :::depends::: on continuting to show a profit; frequently the first indication that a company is in real trouble is when they file for chapter 11.

-Chris

Yeah, but Google's fans confuse clever with smart (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216123)

Google's been clever, and they've used that cleverness to build huge market share and even entire markets.

And that's great. Good for them. They got this far when lots of others failed.

But there's no evidence that they're smart enough to survive long-term. In fact, it seems to me that Google thinks they're better and smarter then their competition. I doubt that seriously.

Re:Yeah, but Google's fans confuse clever with sma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216368)

In fact, I would venture to say that while Google has released a lot of products in recent time, none of them have been great. At least not to the standards they once held. It seems having Google attached to the name is more important than the product itself.

Re:Googles problem will be their increasing size (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216138)

Many companies started out fresh and lightweight like Google did

That is not true! Most companies started out with 30,000 employees, $10 Billion in cash, and a $30 Billion credit line.

Re:Googles problem will be their increasing size (1)

tornsaq (961735) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216154)

Unfortunately, ever since Google went public the company itself has obligations to uphold for its shareholders. They may not have much of a choice to "do no evil".

Re:Googles problem will be their increasing size (1)

fish_in_the_c (577259) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216227)

I have often contemplated if the public interest would not be better served by the government requiring a specific mission statement for the purposes of incorporation and then preventing the entity from going outside of that stated purpose. It seems that would limit corporate size, increases competition allow for greater free enterprise and a more even distribution of wealth while still managing to keep the rewards of success substantially high enough to encourage innovation. Also , it seems to me smaller companies tend to have better customer service because they are more focused on their core business. Larger companies become unresponsive to customers because they no longer have a 'core' business but instead many course and so the button line provided by pleasing 70% of people is good enough vs the 90% you want to please if you do only 1 thing.

Re:Googles problem will be their increasing size (1)

DeltaHat (645840) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216484)

Interesting idea, but the big companies would just spin off all their business units into separate companies, owned by a conglomerate who's mission statement is "to own many smaller companies."

Re:Googles problem will be their increasing size (1)

LordOfTheNoobs (949080) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216552)

Make it impossible for a business to own a business. Wham. Suddenly you can trace ownership and people get just a little more responsible for their actions.

Not gonna happen, but it is a possibility to float with the force a purpose group.

Problems will increase when they don't deliver (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216244)

Nobody minds you being different while you're performing. If the performance drops off then you better straighten up! Wall Street and boards of directors etc allow companies a pretty free reign until..... the returns flatten off or dip. Then things will tighten up/ become more conservative to make Wall St happy.

This all stinks of geese and golden eggs, but Wall Street's memory of positive indicators only extends to the last quarterly result.

Re:Googles problem will be their increasing size (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216503)

brilliant analysis.
aren't you smart?

Novell? (1, Funny)

Zen (8377) | more than 8 years ago | (#15215997)

Was anybody else besides me wondering why Google was using a Novell system when they read the headline?

Re:Novell? (1)

FiveDollarYoBet (956765) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216020)

Lol

That's the first thing I thought of too when I saw the title.

Re:Novell? (2, Funny)

onedotzero (926558) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216151)

Actually, no. I was wondering what on earth Google and Novell had to do with Aids growth...

--
onedotzero
thedigitalfeed.co.uk [thedigitalfeed.co.uk]

Re:Novell? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216282)

Ohh... that's because AIDS is spread by buttfucking.

Re:Novell? (1)

coldtone (98189) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216350)

HA!

Re:Novell? (1)

antoinjapan (450229) | more than 8 years ago | (#15217127)

If life gives you AIDS, make lemonAIDS

Re:Novell? (1)

keroppi (160187) | more than 8 years ago | (#15217399)

You my friend, are a pun master. That was hilarious.

Re:Novell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216404)

HAHA!!! I was! Kinda makes me feel better that someone else thought so as well.

Re:Novell? (1)

codename.matrix (889422) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216515)

I wasn't ... It's because their CEO was Novell CEO who used a very interesting system of managing a company. See http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/25/geeks.html [fastcompany.com] for more infos. It's quit an interesting read !

Re:Novell? (1)

markana (152984) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216895)

I thought it was their *NOVEL* management system (i.e. http://books.google.com/ [google.com] ) - you know, the one that got them in trouble with the book publishers....

Re:Novell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15217293)

The way I read it, Novell had outsourced management...

Wrong versioning scheme (5, Funny)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216011)

...Google Beta 5.0, 'an innovation factory that produces a torrent of new Web-based services, including Gmail, Google Desktop, and Google Base. More than likely, Beta 6.0 is around the corner.

Fixed.

Re:Wrong versioning scheme (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216302)

More than likely, Beta 6.0 is around the corner

I hear that Google Beta 6.0 will be called "Wii".

The Friendly Giant... (3, Insightful)

ZSpade (812879) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216024)

As the artical points out, Google is pretty much going right where all have gone wrong in the past with traditional business models before. This is what makes them so innovative. The tremendous openess in the company, along with their creedo to do no wrong has also given them a squeky clean public image. The world loves Google and wants to see the friendly Giant smash the mean people eating one.

All that said, how long can Google really maintain it's unorthadox business methods while allowing VERY orthadox investors to buy stocks in the company. I'd say it's only a matter of time, and the price for become a truly large corporation. I can only hope that I am wrong.

Do no Evil? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216088)

Oh please. Google allows paediophile websites on it's service, which is against US law, and does NOTHING when confronted about it. Meanwhile it gives into all sorts of censorship demands by the Chicoms and bends over backwards to follow their highly represive demands.

People don't like google that much, and the more they learn about google's ultra liberal ways, the more they are hating it. Do no evil? Google embraces evil.

Re:Do no Evil? (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216169)

> Google allows paediophile websites on it's service

Is that a official statement from Google?

Re:Do no Evil? (1)

ZSpade (812879) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216210)

If you're going to make outstanding claims like this, you need to be able to back it up or everyone will simply laugh at you, like me... ha...ha.

Re:The Friendly Giant... (2, Insightful)

kognate (322256) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216111)

very orthodox investors will continue to buy as long as GOOG continues to make money. The recent growth in earnings means that GOOG is still GOOD. Size doens't matter nearly as much as culture. If GOOG can maintain their culture, they can maintain everything else. Culture is the Most Important Thing.

More products and more inovation means more dollars. more dollars means hap-hap-happy investors. now if only Google would hire me.

Re:The Friendly Giant... (5, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216132)

Google is currently somewhat insulated because its Class A stock (the publicly traded one) has 1 vote per share, and its Class B stock (held only by a narrow group of insiders) has 10 votes per share, which give those insiders something like 2/3 of the voting power.

Re:The Friendly Giant... (1)

lgordon (103004) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216714)

Of course, everyone who buys google's stock is completely aware that they have almost no voting rights.

Re:The Friendly Giant... (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216736)

That seem to be very good reason. IPO's usually are killers of start ups in terms goodness. Wall Street is a stupid biomass.

Re:The Friendly Giant... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216738)

They only went public to cash in and satisfy the VC. Brin and Page aren't Gate's, they are now in the 'this sure is fun' phases of their lives.

Re:The Friendly Giant... (4, Interesting)

erbmjw (903229) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216276)

Another example of a company that utilizes unorthadox business methods, but still manages to please share holders; look at Costco, because they were able to convince their orthodox share holders of the benefits of supporting Costco's unorthdox business methods.

If these companies continue to communicate to their share holders the sustained benefits of long term gain, we won't see a signifigant change in their unorthadox business methods.

Re:Time will tell (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 8 years ago | (#15217392)


Google is still young - let another 10 years pass, and see what happens. People get stale - it's just part of the human condition. The only way I see to gaurd against this is to ensure that there is a controlled degree of turnover in staff (especially managmement) so that nobody gets too comfortable.

Reminds me (5, Interesting)

Peturrr (940456) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216030)

of 'The Seven Day Weekend' from Ricardo Semmler. The CEO of SemCo with revolutionary ideas about business. A lot of his ideas are mentioned in TFA.
Really great book if you're interested in the ideas behind firms like Google.

Remember when Yahoo was the darling? (1, Insightful)

Banner (17158) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216031)

Now it's Google's turn in the box. With the way Google is getting involved in Politics, both in the US and China, I'm sure a lot of people are going to start having issues with them and I'm sure a lot of it will spill over into their workplace.

As a previous poster said, as it gets bigger, things will not go as well. Just as everyone turned on MicroSoft, I'm sure one say everyone will turn on Google as well. We're a fickle industry.

Ah yes (1)

Changa_MC (827317) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216076)

Oh absolutely, everyone has completely turned their back on Microsoft [dallasnews.com]

[/sarcasm>]

Re:Ah yes (2, Insightful)

Banner (17158) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216109)

You haven't been reading this website long have you? Here the attacks on MicroSoft never end, and Google is like the second coming.

Re:Ah yes (1)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 8 years ago | (#15217083)

Clearly, you haven't been reading this website long either. You're missing a clause:

YHere the attacks on MicroSoft never end, and Google is like the second coming...
... of Microsoft.

China and the internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216804)

Special Report / China and the internet [economist.com]

The party, the people and the power of cyber-talk
Apr 27th 2006 | BEIJING
From The Economist print edition

At present the party has the upper hand. It is starting to sweat, though

IMAGE [economist.com]

“DO YOU know how serious a mistake you’ve made?” Yan Yuanzhang recalls an official asking him not long ago. Mr Yan had been summoned to Beijing’s Internet Propaganda Management Office to talk about his websites. They were causing, he was told, the Communist Party to lose face. They were providing material that foreign media could use to attack China. They were illegal and must be closed down within 24 hours.

“Farewell, worker comrades,” wrote Mr Yan in notices posted that day on his China-based websites, China Workers Net and Communist Net. Visitors could hear a lugubrious rendition of the communist anthem, the Internationale, through their computer speakers as they read. “Whether there is any hope of starting again, heaven knows.” He says now that he will relaunch one of the two sites on May 1st, this time on a server in Taiwan.

It is remarkable that the websites lasted as long as they did. Mr Yan, who is not a party member, launched them on May 1st last year to mark Labour Day. The aim, he says, was to provide platforms for a “leftist” critique of China’s embrace of “Dickensian capitalism”. They did not, as he tried to explain to the city government, attack the party itself or its leaders. But they did provide something the party abhors: uncensored news about worker unrest. In September he launched a bulletin board on which visitors could directly post their comments. Messages complained about corruption, the privatisation of state-owned enterprises and the hardships of unemployed workers.

As Mr Yan talks, he gets a text message on his mobile phone. It is from Tan Jiaming, a university student in southern China who has been running a website of similar outlook, Revolutionary Marxism. It too, the message says, has been closed. The student had posted a notice entitled “Strongly Protest the Snuffing Out of the China Workers Website by the Beijing Authorities”. He was summoned to hear a dozen officials threaten him with expulsion from his university for backing Mr Yan.

IMAGE [economist.com]

Six years ago Bill Clinton described China’s efforts to restrict the internet as “sort of like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall”. But as China’s web-filtering technology has grown more sophisticated, and the ranks of its internet police have swelled, some have begun to wonder. A report in 2003 by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace suggested that, despite the difficulties the internet posed to authoritarian regimes, it could also be used to fortify them. China, the authors concluded, had been “largely successful at guiding use” of the internet. At a congressional hearing in February on American companies involved in internet business in China, a Republican congressman, Christopher Smith, said the internet there had become “a malicious tool, a cyber sledgehammer of repression”.

Some of the companies testifying at the hearing—Cisco, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo!—deserved a grilling. Why, for instance, had Microsoft, at the request of Chinese officials, removed a popular site in December from its Chinese version of MSN Spaces, a service for personal diaries and blogs? Yahoo! too had questions to answer about reports that information it provided to the police about its e-mail services had helped put dissidents behind bars. More recently Reporters Without Borders, a human-rights group, said that a Hong Kong unit of Yahoo! had given the police a Chinese user’s draft e-mails. These were then used as evidence at his trial for subversion, for which he received a four-year jail sentence. Yahoo! has condemned efforts to suppress freedom of speech, but says it must obey Chinese law.

For foreign companies, the internet business in China is certainly a moral minefield. But the internet should not be dismissed as merely an instrument of control for the Communist Party. In the past three years, China has seen far more extensive use of the internet and the rapid development of groups that share views online that are by no means always the same as the party’s. The numbers of internet-connected computers have more than doubled since the end of 2002, to 45.6m, and internet-users have risen by 75%, to 111m. China now has more internet-users than any country but America, and over half of them have broadband (up from 6.6% at the end of 2002). Users of instant computer-to-computer messaging systems have more than doubled, to 87m. Blogs—online personal diaries, scarcely heard of three years ago—now number more than 30m. And search engines receive over 360m requests a day.

The spread of mobile telephony has been no less spectacular. At the end of last year China had 393m mobile-phone accounts, nearly 200m more than at the end of 2002 and more than any other country. If, as many believe, China’s first third-generation mobile-network licence is to be awarded in the coming year, internet access at broadband speeds will become available on mobile handsets. And, crucially, many people in towns can now afford all this technology. China’s economy in the past three years has been growing at around 10% a year, enriching a growing middle class that increasingly sees the internet as an aid to information-gathering, communication and entertainment. Even many students can afford laptops. In big cities, they congregate in cafés that offer free wireless access.

Moreover, the technological transformation is spreading far into the hinterland. Almost every county now has broadband. Internet cafés with high-speed connections are ubiquitous and cheap even in remote towns. Fixed-line internet access is still uncommon in rural homes. But in many parts of the countryside, it is possible to surf the internet at landline modem speeds using a mobile handset (though few peasants can afford to). With the government’s encouragement, state-owned companies have poured quantities of money into the building of a telecoms infrastructure worthy of the rich world.

Keeping the genie half in the bottle
The government has also spent freely to keep its liberating side-effects under control. The committed few who are brave or foolhardy enough to use the internet to challenge the authorities now face a police force of some 30,000 online monitors, say foreign human-rights groups. They also say that China has jailed over 50 people for expressing views online or in text messages. Worried about the forces unleashed by rapid economic and social change, China’s leaders have stepped up their efforts in recent months to control not only the internet but other media too. A handful of outspoken newspapers have been closed and their editors sacked.

At February’s congressional hearing, representatives of America’s internet companies argued that their presence was helping to promote access to information by encouraging the internet’s development in China. Jack Krumholtz of Microsoft said the Chinese people would be the principal losers if his company’s internet services ceased in China. They would be denied, he said, “an important avenue of communication and expression”. That was an exaggeration. Foreign companies help to spur competition. But it is Chinese companies—some of them listed on American stock exchanges—that in many respects, and often unwittingly, are transforming China faster.

Google’s decision to set up a self-censored version of its search engine in China this year aroused a storm of criticism in America. But iResearch, a Shanghai-based market-analysis firm, says China’s Baidu [baidu.com] enjoys more than 56% of the search market; Google follows with less than a third, having been the leader three years ago. Popular features of Baidu’s engine are its ability to link searches to related chat forums, and hunt for MP3 music files, most of them pirated.

Baidu’s searches are not nearly as comprehensive as Google’s. But self-censorship, both by Baidu and by Google in its new China-based engine, still allows information through that the party dislikes. For instance, news about the congressional hearing—ignored by China’s print media—can be found on both. Entering the Chinese-character equivalents of the words “Congress America internet freedom” into Baidu produces three prominent results relating to the hearing. All are blogs. Two even contain advertisements with links to pornographic websites.

Google’s engine in China produces more relevant results. But many are blocked by a firewall, the barrier between the internet in China and the rest of the world that filters out banned sites and those containing prohibited keywords. Curiously, it is the Chinese search engine with a more rigorous filtering system than Google’s that provides the readiest access to uncensored information about the congressional hearing. For those who know English, the House of Representatives’ website [house.gov] offers copies of evidence and a webcast of the entire proceedings. These are not blocked.

The firewall is porous. Imaginative users can find ways of searching for sensitive topics such as news about Falun Gong, a banned spiritual movement. In Google, entering the words “Falun Gong” will cause the entire results page to be blocked, but “FLG movement” will not. Many Chinese internet-users are well practised in configuring their internet browsers to route page requests through unblocked proxy servers outside China. These help bypass the firewall.

Blog-standard evasion
Blogs make the censors’ work all the more difficult. China’s fast-growing legions of bloggers know they must avoid taboo keywords, including those programmed into the Chinese version of MSN Spaces. If you enter any of those, the postings will not be shown or your attempt to set up a blog will be denied. But, as China’s internet companies engage in fierce competition to draw blog traffic to their portals, few checks seem to be made about who is writing them. A blog can easily and quickly be set up on a Chinese portal, and no one asks for verifiable personal information. Bloggers often display postings that would make party censors shudder. Mr Tan, the student who used to run the Revolutionary Marxism website, has a blog [msn.com] on MSN Spaces that keeps up his campaign for workers’ rights despite the demise of his own site and continued harassment by officials.

Human intervention is no less fallible than the firewall. In the middle of the huge open-plan newsroom of Sina Corporation [sina.com] in north-western Beijing, a score of censors sit in front of their screens. They are young employees whose job is to examine thousands of blogs and comments posted by internet-users on Sina’s news items. It is a round-the-clock task, designed to find anything that could have got through the filters and might still offend the authorities.

Direct attacks on the party, its leaders or on the political system rarely get through (or at least, not for long). But that still allows room for far more vigorous debate on a range of social and economic issues than China has enjoyed before under Communist rule. According to Qian Hualin of the government-affiliated China Internet Network Information Centre, Chinese service-providers report that some 70% of their bandwidth is taken up with pirated music and films. That still leaves lots of room for discourse.

Even the party itself pays attention to the deluge of public comment. Eager to acquire some legitimacy, but anxious to avoid democracy, it is trying its hand at populism. The prime minister, Wen Jiabao, said last month that the government should listen “extensively” to views expressed on the internet. With few other ways of assessing the public mood, the internet is indeed a barometer, even though surveys suggest that users are hardly representative of the general population, being mainly young, better educated and male.

In 2003 many internet-users expressed outrage on bulletin boards over the beating to death in jail of just such a young, well-educated man who had been arrested for failing to carry the right identity documents. This led to the scrapping of a decades-old law giving the police sweeping powers to detain anyone suspected of staying without a permit in a place other than his registered home town. Later that year the commuting of a death sentence of a gang boss prompted a similar online furore. The Supreme Court retried the case and ordered his execution.

The knitting of a network
Guo Liang of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences describes 2003 as a “milestone” in the development of the internet in China. During the outbreak early in the year of SARS, an often fatal respiratory disease, many people stayed at home and made extensive use of the internet to gather information and keep in touch. The government’s efforts to block news of the outbreak collapsed as word spread by e-mail, computer and text message. By late 2004 home installation of broadband began to take off, and with it the growth of blogging, instant messaging and internet-based phone and video calls.

The party worries about any unregulated networking among ordinary people. It severely limits the activities of non-governmental organisations, even straightforwardly charitable ones. It ruthlessly suppresses organised dissent. But China’s love affair with the mobile phone, text and instant messaging has helped people to form networks on a scale and with a speed that is beyond the party’s ability to control. Windows Messenger, Microsoft’s instant-messaging system, is one popular tool. But by far the biggest share of this market is enjoyed by a Chinese company, Tencent [tencent.com.hk] . Its messaging service, QQ, generates revenue by linking a free online system with mobile phones, for which users must pay.

The QQ service has helped Mr Yan retain some of his online network of contacts since the closure of China Workers Net and Communist Net. He replaced the two home pages with notices inviting anyone interested in staying in touch to join a QQ chat group called China Working Class Net. Members can hold discussions with dozens of people all at once. With webcams, some chatters can also see and hear each other. Some even go in for luoliao, naked chatting, which is causing the authorities and parents some concern. The government, however, seems to devote more resources to controlling politics on the internet than to controlling sex.

One frequently criticised aspect of China’s internet development is that nationalist diatribes have a much better chance of getting past the censors than other political comment. But nationalism has also provided a convenient cover for experimenting with new forms of mobilisation. The power of instant messaging, for instance, became evident in April last year, when it was used to organise big anti-Japanese protests in several cities. In the build-up to the protests, Sina organised an online campaign aimed at demonstrating public opposition to Japan’s bid for permanent membership of the UN Security Council. Some 20m people submitted their names. Since starting a similar campaign a few weeks ago, Sina’s rival, Sohu [sohu.com] , has gathered more than 15m names. “It shows the power” of the internet, says Charles Chao, Sina’s boss.

The government keeps issuing new rules to keep users of both the internet and mobile phones in line. Last September news portals were banned from publishing anything that might incite protests; anything issued in the name of any “illegal civil organisation” was also forbidden. According to news reports, the government plans this year to issue rules to require people buying pre-paid mobile phone cards to submit proof of identity: over half of China’s mobile-phone accounts are not registered in any name, making it easy for criminals—or dissidents—to use them without being identified by the police. “The internet in China is a wild place, it’s crazy,” says Charles Zhang, head of Sohu. “I don’t think it’s monitored enough.”

Catch me if you can
But the market is likely to prevail over restrictions. Limiting phone-card sales to just a few shops with the ability to process registration requirements would be a blow to mobile-phone companies and huge numbers of private vendors who thrive on such business. It is hard to see how it could be enforced any more rigorously than, say, China’s ban on the unauthorised reception of satellite signals. Illegal sales of satellite dishes and cable services offering uncensored foreign satellite channels are big underground businesses in urban China.

China’s news portals, in their competition for traffic, will continue to test the limits of official tolerance. And in a competitive market few internet-café operators pay attention to government requirements that users’ identities should be registered. An hour on a broadband connection in an internet café in a small town can cost as little as one yuan—about 13 cents.

Research by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences suggests the scale of the government’s task. Over 20% of people surveyed in five Chinese cities last year said the internet had increased their contacts with others who shared their political interests—a far higher proportion than found in a similar survey conducted in America (8.1%) by collaborators in the investigation. Nearly half of the respondents said going online increased their contacts with people who shared their hobbies, compared with less than 20% in the United States (networked role-playing games, growing fast in popularity in China, may partly account for this). And nearly 63% agreed that the internet gave them greater opportunities to criticise the government.

“China is changing, it’s improving,” says Jack Ma, head of Alibaba [alibaba.com] , which last year took over the running of Yahoo!’s Chinese operations—for, despite an early start in China, Yahoo! has been elbowed aside by domestic rivals. “Ten years ago, 20 years ago, in Chairman Mao’s time, if we came here to talk about these things [government censorship],” he begins. Then he puts an imaginary pistol to his head and, with a grin, fires it. That, of course, was when power just grew out of the barrel of a gun. Now it also grows out of the infinite, albeit virtual, barrels of the internet.
 
::: yfnET

Whooops (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216072)

I read that article title and did that "automatic brain" thing where you only read key words.

The article title came out "Google's management (has) AIDS"

Oops.

Low management overhead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216082)

I read somewhere (I think it might have been Steve Yegge's blog) that Google has an unusually high number of employees per manager. This reduces their overhead, although it requires hiring employees who don't need as much supervision.

Anyone know if this is true? How many people report to a manager at Google?

An innovation factory.... (1)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216084)

...I'd say that Amazon is starting to turn into one of these. Their new S3 storage service is a very nifty thing; I've seen folks using it all over the place.

We're using it for the indi [getindi.com] downloads and it's been working great - especially when paired with the Ruby API [blogs.com] .

God I hope it lasts... (1, Insightful)

TheNoxx (412624) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216095)

All it takes to cripple an innovative company is for people outside the tech world, usually managers from ivy league schools with big fancy MBA's, to come in and cement themselves into positions of power and shift the focus from innovation to profits. Happens all the time... people with MBA's don't really contribute much to society and they know it (honestly, slight contribution to efficiency, maybe, but absolutely nothing else), but they also know to look for the most up-and-coming sector and the companies in it to try and get positions high up.

Eh, at least that's what I've seen happen. Hope I don't get modded down too much by angry managers. :)

Re:God I hope it lasts... (3, Insightful)

Valar (167606) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216261)

Who, exactly, would you like to manage large projects (or large companies)? People who don't know anything about management or business, because they are educated in tech? Yes, occasionally companies run from the top down by techies work, but that's not the reason why they work. Believe it or not, the ability to lead, to allocate resources, to plan ahead, to determine whether something is marketable, to deal with supply chains and distribution, and to keep people happy are skills. Good MBA programs teach those skills. The second /. heresy in this post is the following: the best piece of software doesn't always make the best product! Look, I've been programming since I was 5 years old and so I have the same feelings as the most of you about great software. At the same time, I realize the business world isn't a perfect world. Sometimes your clients don't want it perfect-- they need it now. Sometimes you _could_ spend a few more weeks adding really great functionality to your project-- but marketing research says that it won't change sales numbers a bit.

Re:God I hope it lasts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216788)

Good MBA programs get you a bigger salary than bad MBA programs. They don't teach anything. An MBA is a paper credential.

See, that's my biggest issue. (1)

TheNoxx (412624) | more than 8 years ago | (#15217123)

Please not that I'm not talking about management that have experience, training, and/or education in technology. Regular managers and folks with MBA's are better suited to environments like factories and non-tech corporations, where the majority of their workforce is not particularly smart or well trained in a profession that's much closer to lawyers, engineers, and architects than accountants or average corporate employees. I think alot of managers forget they're talking to incredibly intelligent folks when working in the tech industry, and not some guy on an assembly line or somebody working their way up from the mail room. When was the last time you saw a lawyer dealing with someone inexperienced with law telling them what to do?
I know it's not quite the same, but my point is that software engineers and programmers are more than intellectually capable of making a large portion of management into a network program that works like an autonomous democracy; it really seems like most of what managers do are relics and old customs from the days before the internet, and have just managed to cling on for roughly the past decade. Supply chains, distribution, and resource allocation should be the job of well designed software alongside the more seasoned employees, or just seasoned tech people that went ahead and got an MBA.
  If you have a good company with a good reputation with lots of skilled people working together without the bungling of incompetent higher ups, who's to say that potential clients couldn't just file a request detailing what they need and in what time? and that all that had to happen was that the most experience and respected employees got together, sketch out the architecture and put a timeline into the network telling what had to be done when? Seems like a good idea to me. If you didn't finish what was decided upon on time, you get a cut in pay or some other disciplinary action. Just like any other job, screw up enough and you get fired, let people who want to work in an intelligent community-run company do it and love it and make their money.

  Anyway, marketing and designing a sellable product aren't really the jobs of management... they have a lot of control over what happens, but they don't contribute. I could be completely wrong here, but in all honesty I've never met someone who only specialized in business administration who knew anything about what would sell as software. There shouldn't more than a handful of people specializing in economics and business overseeing what goes on just to make sure there aren't any avoidable fuck ups.

Bah, I'm getting all idealistic from extreme lack of sleep. I could be flagrantly, abhorrently wrong, and I know I'm at least somewhat incorrect... but I'm pretty sure I'm onto something useful. I still have no idea what most corporate employees do, and I've become pretty much convinced that the majority of cubicle workers that aren't coding or engineering are in on a huge scam to get a regular decent paycheck (Yeah, I have lots of friends with these kinds of jobs, and yes, I pay attention when lots of people complain about working about 1/3 of the time they're at the office... I dunno, sounds wasteful to me, the kind that can be gotten rid of by trimming the work force and telling the less productive to do something useful with their lives).

Re:God I hope it lasts... (4, Interesting)

cyclone96 (129449) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216297)

I don't know if it means anything, but one of my former coworkers left a (very good) NASA engineering position to get his MBA from Columbia. He'd been with NASA for about 10 years, and was looking to shift out of engineering for a change. He certainly came from a background that was a lot different and much more technically oriented than almost all of his classmates.

Google just hired him to do business development. Unlike the stories I hear about how difficult it is to get hired there, he did very little work to get the position except submit a resume - in fact, it was more like they were actively looking for someone like him.

Anyways, perhaps that's some sort of indicator of the MBA types Google is recruiting.

Re:God I hope it lasts... (4, Insightful)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216341)

Its not MBAs that are the problem. Its MBAs that don't know anything about the industry that their company is in. Even worse if they think they know a lot more than they do (ie. PHB). An MBA that is also very technically proficient is worth his/her weight in gold.

Re:God I hope it lasts... (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216721)

What about a skinny MBA that is also technically proficient, you insensitive clod!

Re:God I hope it lasts... (1)

Randalathor (971375) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216348)

Google is a business. They are out to make, yep you guessed it, money. More over -- it is a public business, thereby its owned by serveral hundreds of people. Guess what these people want from their company? This is the capitalist system. It creates a need, and this need is filled by shiny MBAs who get paid very handsomely for what they do -- make money.

And in 2016, Google becomes self aware..... (4, Funny)

rts008 (812749) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216115)

"It is driven by an open-ended mission to organize the world's knowledge..."
and:
"Google seems to have grasped the new century's most important business lesson: The capacity to evolve is the most important advantage of all."

My bet is on Google to solce the problems of a working A.I., maybe by accident, maybe by design.

Re:And in 2016, Google becomes self aware..... (1)

pimterry (970628) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216199)

Just think! With an index like google's an AI would end up thinking some wonderful things. Ohhh would it laugh at the french military... And it's indexed wikipedia too. Just think, some troll changes an article to say that Bush eats fat kiddies for breakfast and 'the google overmind' starts ddos'ing the white house...

PimTerry

Re:And in 2016, Google becomes self aware..... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216300)

Evolve? They have one revenue stream. Google is about to tank faster than a drunk me. Check out http://www.fuckedgoogle.com/ [fuckedgoogle.com] or http://www.thomasmaddengroup.com/resources/article s/0001-1.php [thomasmaddengroup.com] for a real eye-opener.

Re:And in 2016, Google becomes self aware..... (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 8 years ago | (#15217107)

What if they make their own versions iTunes, eBay and Paypal like the rumours are saying?

I would take issue with one point from the article (5, Insightful)

Calibax (151875) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216133)

From the article:

Elitism may be out of fashion, but Google is famously elitist when it comes to hiring. It understands that companies begin to slide into mediocrity when they start to hire mediocre people. A-level people want to work with A-level people.

The only problem is that a company cannot thrive longterm with only A-level people. As a software company grows and matures so the average age of the company code base increases, and there's a gradually increasing requirement for maintenance of the older products. A-level people rarely consider their primary task in life is settling in as a maintenance coder on products that are no longer considered to have a substantial "wow" factor.

Having said that, code maintenance can be some of the most demanding work around, as programmers are asked to come up to speed on outdated code they didn't write and make it do things it was never designed to do. But, speaking generally, this isn't considered something that will make you stand out in your company and it's not where A-level people want to be.

Equally well, having everyone take a turn at maintenance doesn't work either. I would imagine that there's few programming tasks worse than taking over code that's been maintained by half a dozen people who only wanted to move on to other things. You probably aren't going to get any of the awards mentioned in the article by burying yourself in old code, regardless how valuable that might be.

Excellent Point (1)

Banner (17158) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216166)

Very good point you have there.

Re:I would take issue with one point from the arti (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216215)

Code maintenance, yeah, those are the jobs we will outsource to India and China.

Re:I would take issue with one point from the arti (5, Insightful)

kognate (322256) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216241)

A-level people want to do what is best for everybody (for themselves and the company). If Google keeps rewarding people who make the most contributions, then code maintainers will be rewarded. Maintenance is considered a low-tier job at hierarchical companies where only people working on the 'wow' products are rewarded.

The whole point of googles flat structure makes it possible to have maintenance be a sexy task within the organization by allowing rewards to go where they should go too. I would say that 'most companies' create the hierarchy because they don't have the guts to manage the way that google does.
I've worked at far too many companies where the disconnect between espoused values and actual values create the kind of situation you describe (ie maintenance coding is a loser job, best avoided or gotten promoted out of).

Re:I would take issue with one point from the arti (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216626)

Two words:

Continuous refactoring.

perpetually "beta" (1)

chocolatetrumpet (73058) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216681)

You just explained why everything google does is perpetually "beta."

WSJ is submitting articles now? (2, Interesting)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216141)

Seriously, look at the submitter...

Re:WSJ is submitting articles now? (1)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216186)

Well, Carl Bialik [slashdot.org] has submitted many articles. And, as I recall, has been doing so for at least one year.

Re:WSJ is submitting articles now? (1)

javaxman (705658) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216194)

Seriously, look at the submitter...

You must be new here...

Novel? (2, Interesting)

rtaylor (70602) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216157)

Looks strikingly similar to the models that 3M, IBM and possibly a number of other companies used during their rapid growth periods, particularly in their research/development departments. An emphasis on employee driven product development has high overhead to the number crunchers (lots of work is thrown out) but it really only takes 1 unique application of an idea (all ideas are old) in 100 to more than make that back.

i disagree with the evolutionary steps (5, Interesting)

moochfish (822730) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216172)

Google 1.0 was a search engine that crawled the Web but generated little revenue; which led to Google 2.0, a company that sold its search capacity to AOL/Netscape, Yahoo and other major portals; which gave way to Google 3.0, an Internet contrarian that rejected banner ads and instead sold simple text ads linked to search results; which spawned Google 4.0, an increasingly global entity that found a way to insert relevant ads into any and all Web content, dramatically enlarging the online ad business; which mutated into Google 5.0, an innovation factory that produces a torrent of new Web-based services, including Gmail, Google Desktop, and Google Base. More than likely, 6.0 is around the corner.

It should be:
Google 1.0: A nobody search engine
Google 2.0: Outsourcing search engine
Google 3.0: Contextual ads in searches
Google 4.0: Adsense network
Google 4.1: Information hoarding of users

My version 4.1 highlights Google's recent overt interest in aggregating data on its users through services like the personalized homepage, Gmail, Gcal, Gchat, and the Google Desktop. Why is it not 5.0? Because these enhance the previously established revenue streams without changing the way they make money. It is not an evolution in Google's financial model, just new ways to better target their contextual ads (3.0 and 4.0).

In order for a 5.0 to happen, Google has to redefine its primary revenue stream or add a new one that pulls in revenue from a seperate audience. My point is made most clear by highlighting the benefiting party of each evolutionary step:

Google 1.0: A nobody search engine - You and me
Google 2.0: Outsourcing search engine - Yahoo/AOL/portals
Google 3.0: Contextual ads in searches - Web advertisers
Google 4.0: Adsense network - Web masters
Google 4.1: Information hoarding of users

Likely candidates for a 5.0 would be:
Television or radio advertisement domination
Online music store, or other type of goods for cash type of business
Online payment system (clone paypal)
A novel online service as a subscription service (seems least likely with Google's history)

Those would be Google 5.0.

Re:i disagree with the evolutionary steps (1)

Zebra_X (13249) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216394)

I agree completely.

Google 5.0, 'an innovation factory that produces a torrent of new Web-based services, including Gmail, Google Desktop, and Google Base'

Innovation factories are great - innovation is great. I'm really hard pressed to figure out how google is making more money by deploying these products. Sure Gmail has adsense, but how many of those ads are really relevent? My experience has been mostly "miss". More over, do the clicks really pay for the cost of deploying and maintaining the accounts, who knows? How does Google Desktop add to the bottom line?

The thing that I keep looking at from Google is some diversification. At the momement AdWords are pretty much the only way they make money, granted a lot of it. However, as other engines ramp up, I'm thinking of Yahoo! in particular, the value of the words goes down. The same will hold true for google's only source of income.

Re:i disagree with the evolutionary steps (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216777)

Google 5.0: ???
Google 6.0: Profit!

It's late. Please forgive me.

Re:i disagree with the evolutionary steps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15217026)

Froogle and Google local provide outstanding potential for new streams of revenue IMO. Additionally, their current text-ad business model does not mesh well with their technical vision of indexing the worlds information. Froogle and glocal can generate revenue by provding imformation to the public relevant to online and brick-n-mortar businesses, respectively.

beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216211)

everything google has is still BETA -- how many years can you be beta, really?

Profit? (0)

Piroca (900659) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216281)


Google 5.0, 'an innovation factory that produces a torrent of new Web-based services, including Gmail, Google Desktop, and Google Base

Can someone please care to explain how Google Desktop and Google Base (and *all* other services except Gmail) make mokey for Google? Is it innovative to use the old "underpants gnomes" logic?

It's not a troll when it's true

Re:Profit? (2, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216364)

Can someone please care to explain how Google Desktop and Google Base (and *all* other services except Gmail) make mokey for Google?
They make money by developing goodwill and customer affinity and keeping users attached to the Google brand, and by integrating with and therefore encouraging use of the main search engine, Gmail and the other advertising-supported services.

Usenet Death Penalty for Google Groups (3, Interesting)

Parker51 (552001) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216343)

Google's apparent indifference to the use of Google Groups [google.com] by anonymous posters to wreck Usenet with SPAM, off-topic posts, and overall abuse has led some to call for a Usenet Death Penalty (configuring news servers to drop all articles originating from a given site). See:

Call for UDP against Google Groups [google.com]

Re:Usenet Death Penalty for Google Groups (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216576)

UDP against Google? What are you some kind of DDOS-bot? Besides, everyone knows that the Intarweb runs on TCP.

Bozos, etc. (5, Insightful)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216345)

keep the bozos out and reward people who make a difference

Well, everybody does that, don't they? Even the Bush administration does that. The key is in your perception of who the bozos are, and who makes a difference...

Re:Bozos, etc. (1)

fatmal (920123) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216594)

Well, everybody does that, don't they? Even the Bush administration does that. The key is in your perception of who the bozos are, and who makes a difference...

Except the bozo in charge!

Rejected submission (1)

Unski (821437) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216353)

Gary Hamel, visiting professor at Slashdot Business School, argues in a Wall Street Journal commentary that Slashdot's 'novel management system seems to have been designed to guard against the risk factors that so often erode an organization's evolutionary potential.' Among Slashdot's advantages: The 20% non-dupes rule, an 'inflated sense of purpose' and the credo, 'keep the noobies out and reward people who agree with you.' Hamel also traces the company's evolution from Slashdot 1.0, 'a small clique that pontificated about the Web but generated way too much body hair,' to Slashdot 5.0, 'a group-think factory that produces a torrent of super-heated techno-fetishistic mutual masturbation' . More than likely, 6.0 is around the corner.

torrent of new Web-based services (1, Funny)

x2A (858210) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216395)

"an innovation factory that produces a torrent of new Web-based services"

Anyone got a link to this torrent?

Novel Management... (2, Funny)

smbarbour (893880) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216418)

Leave it to Google to come up with a better design than "alphabetically, by author, then title"

(Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

Keep the Bozos out (1, Interesting)

neves (324086) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216476)

Arguing for the "Keep the Bozos out" mantra, the very smart Peter Norvig posted a stupid post [blogspot.com] at Google Research Official Blog. He describes Google hiring strategy as "hiring above the mean" and plot some graphics showing how great it is.

The premisse is that you can reduce all the richness of human beings to an unidimensional measure. The best teams I worked with have a diversity of talents, each one contributing for the success.

Re:Keep the Bozos out (1)

Unski (821437) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216536)

The premisse is that you can reduce all the richness of human beings to an unidimensional measure

Yeah I'd say '+5 Insightful' as far as your post is concerned and '-1 Overrated' for the mod categories available on /. . I put down some idiot on a bus today who thought he knew something about something, telling him he was '-1 Troll' and he beat me repeatedly into a thin paste, shitting all over my fetid stinking condescending remains. And rightly so.

Re:Keep the Bozos out (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216609)

Well they -definitely- wouldn't hire you if you can't even understand the graph and it's purpose.

Re:Keep the Bozos out (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 8 years ago | (#15217370)

Arguing for the "Keep the Bozos out" mantra

You misspelled "Keep the Midwesterners out". That's what Google does best.

Keep the bozos out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216851)

It is the bozo who is first to call another person a bozo.

I don't trust these Google people: they behave as though they are angry about something.

How the King's Novel Wardrobe Aids His Rule (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15217005)

How the King's Novel Wardrobe Aids His Rule

that's not silk... that's his bare *ss!

'nuff said? not quite...

google isn't bullet proof. if they were, theyd actually make enough money to grow instead of parting fools from their money by funding ops from equity markets.

this is a marketing expense bubble enabled by the current bubble economy. when times get hard, and they will, google is in BIG trouble since advertising is one of the first expenses to get the rug pulled out from under it.

the stock price indicates google is bulletproof but, then again, the naz looked bulletproof at 5000+. truth be told, that's when it was at its weakest point ever.

caveat emptor - and i don't play this knowingly ignorant love fest game.

oh, and i LOVE google and google groups.

I Would Never Work For Google..... (1)

ChronoFish (948067) | more than 8 years ago | (#15217106)

I Would Never Work For Google..... Not because I don't want to, but because Google would never let me in the door. Despite 12 years of Software Development experience, they still require a high GPA which I can never modify/rectify no matter how many life corners I may turn. Let that be a lesson to the new CS students. It's too bad too. I am your typical Make Magazine fanatic who brings "outside the box" thinking to his job. Always looking to do more than the initial requirments when appropriate, always looking to add that little extra bit of "wow", always looking to make life easier for the end user. My current boss loves it, and at least he'll feel safe knowing that Google will never steal me away. -CF

Shocking News! Guru likes Google (1)

Profmeister 3000 (926684) | more than 8 years ago | (#15217327)

Yet another example of a management guru hitching his/her star to a hot company.

Most innovation theorists in b-schools would desperately like to believe that managing a whole company like an R&D lab is the way to go. It may be true, but Google hasn't shown it yet. Their money-making business models (AdWords/AdSense) were mostly developed (or stumbled upon) before Google grew into this "innovation factory".

Less glamourous but effective models for the long term, like the Toyota Production System, demand that management have an absolute grip on how their business operates, and always compare their performance vs. some measurable reality. The rest is tools and techniques.
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