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One of the most important elements in a successful business is the creativity and innovation within thebusiness. Creativity is a mental process involving the generation of new ideas or concepts while innovation can be defined in several different ways. Overall innovation is the creation of a new idea, method or device. According to BusinessWeek, innovation today is much more than new products. Innovation is also reinventing business processes and building entirely new markets that meet customer needs. Businesses need to select and execute the right ideas, while bringing them to the market in record time. One of the most innovative and creative businesses in the world today, is Google.Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin developed a new approach to online search that took root in a Stanford University dorm room and quickly spread to information seekers around the globe. Google is now widely recognized as the world’s largest search engines. It is a free service that is easy to use and usually returns relevant results in a fraction of a second. Google enables you to find information in many different languages, check stock quotes, maps, headlines news, and has phonebook listings for every city in the United States. Google also allows a search for billion of images and peruse the world’s largest archive of Usenet messages. The utility and simplicity of Google has made it one of the world’s best know brands. Since September 1998, the company has grown to more than 10,000 employees worldwide, with a management team that represents some of the most experienced technology professionals in the ingdusty.Schmidt, has said, “We take our jobs to be innovators and we are failing if we are not innovating quickly enough.” Many of our best ideas were envisioned by engineers who were passionate about solving a problem. Popular products, like Gmail, were initially developed by a few passionate engineers outside oftheir normal work. Linus Pauling is commonly quoted as saying, “The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.” Google has made its mark on the industry with new approaches to old problems. Forexample, our systems are built on “flaky” commodity hardware and an infrastructure that dynamically compensates for that flakiness. Initially this was a subversive idea, as other companies at the time were building servers that attempted to eliminate all failures (like the foolproof HAL9000 from 2001). We expect everything to fail and use redundancy and automated compensation techniques to maintain overall reliability. 2.1 BUILDING FOR SCALE Outside the walls of Google, this innovation factory has created desirable products for our users. Inside the walls, it has created large repositories of code, data, dependencies and information that must be managed closely. Consider the logistics of delivering at Google’s current pace: • More than 6,000 engineers and >40 offices. • 2,500 ongoing projects (2.5 developers / project). • 1,600 active external release branches for products. • 59,000 builds / day each with 10-1000 targets.. • 1.5 million tests / day, both manual and automated. • Most products localized into 40 languages. • At least bi-weekly release cycles. 2.2 FLAT & AUTONOMOUS The organizational structure we use is atypical in the industry. For one, Google is a flat organization with many Nooglers being no more than 2-3 steps below senior executives. The company structure can be characterized as: flat and autonomous. At Google, managers are not controllers, they are connectors charged with ensuring that teams make effective use of information and tools. Many managers have 15 or more direct reports, introducing some chaos and reducing the time available to micromanage. Managers are judged on their ability to enable smart people to get things done. Teams are aligned along business lineswe call “focus areas” rather than around strict product lines. People doing similar work, no matter what products they are contributing to, will find themselves in close reporting proximity to their colleagues. This matrix encourages some amount of competition, but also the reuse of good ideas. Projects live and
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