Larry Page's Direction For Google
When Google's co-founder Larry Page returned to the role of CEO, many analysts started wondering what was in store for Google's future, comparing his return to that of Steve Jobs and Apple in 1997. In Page's latest strategic move as CEO, Google announced that they will shut down 10 different services, including Google Desktop, Google Pack and Google Notebook, over the next few months. Is Google headed in the right direction?
With this move, along with the acquisition of Motorola, Page is certainly shaking things up at Google. He has already applied a new product-focused management structure that aims to streamline efficiency within the company, highlighted by the coming end of Google Labs. Page is focusing on specific products rather than having many different beta projects open at the same time, as seen with the eventual ending of Google Labs.
Google has long thrived on giving products the "beta" label along with providing employees the chance to take about 20% of their time to work on a "company-related personal interest." With this culture, Google was able to innovate web search and internet ad space, along with open up their product lines. For example, Bharat Mediratta, software engineer at Google, said that Gmail and Google News are two products to come out of the 20% time from different employees, which added a whole new dimension to Google.
Early on, Google effectively had many different start ups in an incubated environment, being fed resources to create many successful projects under the Google name. Over time, that changed. According to iTWire, Google is just too large of a company to continue that method of getting things done. With 25,000 employes globally, things get tougher.
Recently, The New York Times reported that Google Places, a listing of businesses based on Google Maps, was spammed, and companies that were not actually closed were reported as closed, hindering business sales. Mike Blumenthal, a search consultant and blogger, even managed to "close" Google's Mountain View Headquarters for a period of time, which meant that Google was shown as closed on their own Google Maps. This kind of failure typically occurs in larger corporate environments, where small occurrences can slip through the cracks.
Let's use Chrome OS, Google's upcoming netbook operating system, as another example. After the initial demonstration, Google was expecting to release it in late fall of 2010. However, apart from the prototype CR-48's sent out by Google, the product wasn't released until June of 2011. However, source code for the OS was available during this time as Chrome OS was open source. That kind of delay is very uncommon from start-up environments, and bad for the company as a whole.
What can Larry Page do to prevent issues like this? Exactly what he is currently trying to do. Google needs the employee's they have, otherwise the innovation that made them famous will cease to exist. That being said, there needs to be more direction in what products and markets Google tries to be a part of. With Page's product-focused management style, Google will become a smarter company and continue to see success in the future.
Reach Ankit Tyagi here.
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