How does Google do it? How are they so innovative?
In my new book BOLD: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World (coming out February 3rd, 2015, Simon & Schuster), I team up with my coauthor Steven Kotler to provide a playbook for the exponential entrepreneur.
One of the fun stories we tell – that I’m happy to recount in this blog – is a summary of Google’s 8 key innovation principles.
Google’s 8 innovation principles
The following principles are derived from a 2011 article by Google’s SVP of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki.
My suggestion is that you write them on your wall, use them as a filter for your next big idea and, above all, don’t ignore them.
- Focus on the user: Larry Page, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, and many other successful entrepreneurs speak about the importance of building customer-centric businesses. Everything you do should solve a problem or fill a need for your “user.”
- Open will win: In a hyperconnected world with massive amounts of cognitive surplus, it’s critical to be open, allow the crowd to help you innovate, and build on each other’s ideas.
- Ideas can come from everywhere: Ideas are everywhere these days, and tapping into the power of the crowd is the best way to succeed fast. This is the basis for XPRIZE itself – when you’re looking for a breakthrough, turn to crowdsourcing for incredible ideas, insights, products and services.
- Think big, but start small: This is the basis for Singularity University’s 10^9+ thinking. You can start a company on Day 1 that affects a small group (with a minimally viable product), but aim to positively impact a billion people within a decade.
- Never fail to fail: The importance of rapid iteration: Fail frequently, fail fast and fail forward.
- Spark with imagination, fuel with data: Agility—nimbleness—is a key discriminator against the large and linear. And agility requires lots of access to new and often wild ideas and lots of good data to separate the worthwhile from the wooly. The most successful startups today are data-driven. They measure everything and use machine learning and algorithms to help them analyze that data to make decisions.
- Be a platform: Look at the most successful companies getting billion-dollar valuations — AirBnb, Uber, Instagram, Whatsapp — they are the platform plays. Is yours?
- Have a mission that matters. Does the company you’re starting have a massively transformative purpose (MTP)? Passion is fundamental to forward progress, and having an MTP is absolutely necessary to keep you moving during the most difficult times, keep you focused and attract the best talent to your company.
Google’s MTP is to “organize the world’s information,” Singularity University’s is to “positively impact the lives of a billion people in ten years,” and XPRIZE’s is “Making the impossible possible.” What’s yours?