The April edition of The Harvard Business Review features an article about how Google performs and manages its innovation: Reverse Engineering Google’s Innovation Machine. The article explains Google’s innovation ecosystem, which includes Content Providers, Consumers, Advertisers and Innovators. The ecosystem helps Google to know and involve its customers, to serve as a platform for third parties for delivering their services, and to provide value for advertisers. All information passes through Google’s infrastructure providing it with a wealth of relevant information on user preferences, actual use of services, etc.
It describes Google’s 1200 quarter forecast (300y), which provides the company with a long term vision and mission: “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. Part of this vision is currently being monetized through advertisement.
It also details to some extent the famous 20% that Google employees have to spend on innovation (other things than their daily business).
An interesting case study, especially for telcos, which are currently reflecting on whether they should continue to be only a “dump pipe”, or, in addition, a “smart pipe”, or even a “service provider”.