Google: Infrastructure Built to
Build
Prof. Bala Iyer
@BalaIyer
Mission statement
• Google's mission is to organize the world's
information and make it universally accessible
and useful....
Stats for Google
• Over 1 billion users per week. Over 100 billion
searches per month. Over 1 billion Android
activations....
Innovation Engine
• Google has a unique culture, organizational
design, incentive system, and an infrastructure
that is ta...
How Google Does it
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Practice strategic patience
Exploit an infrastructure “built to build”
Rule your own e...
Unique Infrastructure
• Scalability
– Over a million servers
– Unique access to power
– Proprietary operating system and d...
Architectural Control
• Can track activity through links
– Each API call has a unique key
– Calls can be tracked by user/a...
Organizational Design
• Budget innovation into job descriptions
– 70/20/10 for technical people, plus Director of
“Other”
...
Role of a Manager
• Company built by engineers for engineers
• 35,000 employees, 5000 managers, 1000
directors and 50 VPs
...
Constant Innovation
•
•
•
•
•

Roughly 40 products—CEO doesn’t know them all
New feature or function incorporated almost e...
Analytics Driven
• Page rank analytics are the core of Google
• Google has some of the world’s best statisticians and
algo...
All about Knowledge Workers
• Ten Golden Rules—Schmidt and Varian
–
–
–
–
–

Hire by committee
Cater to their every need
P...
Demo
• Adwords, adsense
• Mashups (Housingmaps)

13
Competitors

14
Market Value (11/27/2013)
•
•
•
•
•
•

Market Cap: $355.72B
Revenue: $31.221B(2012)
Employees: 45,421 (Wolfram query)
Rev/...
Source: Wordstream

16
17
18
19
20
ComScore Ranking

Wall Street Journal
21
The Google Way
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

70/20/10 principle
Analytics driven
Experimentation (Google Ventures)
Transparency
Ubiquity ...
Some (Early) Google CSF’s
•
•
•
•
•

Coverage / comprehensiveness
Relevance of results
Speed/latency: infrastructure
Usefu...
Google’s Innovation Ecosystem
(191.44 million unique visitors Sep 2013)

Ad servers

24
Demo of the future
•
•
•
•
•

Vint Cerf - 2020 Shaping Ideas
Mobile Apps
Android Scan
Sergey Brin: Why Google Glass?
Googl...
What should Google do next?
• Take a look at the products listed on their
website
• Pick a product that they should commer...
Google takeaways
• Search is vital to E-commerce
• Google has built a giant search utility
• Learning to use Google could ...
What is a platform?
• A product or service should perform at least one
essential function within what can be described
as ...
29
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Google: Designed for Innovation

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Google: Designed for Innovation

  1. 1. Google: Infrastructure Built to Build Prof. Bala Iyer @BalaIyer
  2. 2. Mission statement • Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. 2
  3. 3. Stats for Google • Over 1 billion users per week. Over 100 billion searches per month. Over 1 billion Android activations. Over 1 billion YouTube users per month. That’s the stats of Google. 3
  4. 4. Innovation Engine • Google has a unique culture, organizational design, incentive system, and an infrastructure that is tailored for innovation. 4
  5. 5. How Google Does it • • • • • • • • Practice strategic patience Exploit an infrastructure “built to build” Rule your own ecosystem Exercise architectural control Build Innovation into Organizational Design Innovate Incrementally and Constantly Support Inspiration with Data and Analytics Make Your Knowledge Workers Productive [Reverse Engineering Google’s Innovation Machine, Bala Iyer and Tom Davenport (HBR, April 2008)] 5
  6. 6. Unique Infrastructure • Scalability – Over a million servers – Unique access to power – Proprietary operating system and database • High performance – Better than 92% of all websites despite being #1 in traffic • An accelerated product development life cycle • Support for third-party development and mashups 6
  7. 7. Architectural Control • Can track activity through links – Each API call has a unique key – Calls can be tracked by user/application/domain – Differential pricing by user or call rates • API-based relationships can be dynamic • Ownership of data and applications allows for different business models • Unique value chains can be crafted for market segments 7
  8. 8. Organizational Design • Budget innovation into job descriptions – 70/20/10 for technical people, plus Director of “Other” • Eliminate friction at every turn • Let the market choose • Cultivate a taste for failure and chaos – “Please fail very quickly – so that you can try again”— Eric Schmidt – “We kind of like the chaos. Creativity comes out of people bumping into each other and not knowing where to go.”—Laszlo Bock, head of Personnel 8
  9. 9. Role of a Manager • Company built by engineers for engineers • 35,000 employees, 5000 managers, 1000 directors and 50 VPs • Span of control is over 30 per manager • Focus on work not micromanaging • Meritocracy and focus on ideas • Creating the best environment for engineers to make things happen How Google Sold Its Engineers on Management, by David Garvin HBR December 2013 9
  10. 10. Constant Innovation • • • • • Roughly 40 products—CEO doesn’t know them all New feature or function incorporated almost every day Many products in semi-permanent “beta” Build and buy Everybody encouraged to innovate – “In my first month at Google, I complained to a friend on the Gmail team about a couple of small things that I disliked about Gmail. I expected him to point me to the bug database. But he told me to fix it myself, pointing me to a document on how to bring up the Gmail development environment on my workstation. The next day my code was reviewed by Gmail engineers, and then I submitted it. A week later, my change was live.”—Google software engineer in blog 10
  11. 11. Analytics Driven • Page rank analytics are the core of Google • Google has some of the world’s best statisticians and algorithms for serving ads • Google makes Google Analytics available for free to users • Anyone proposing a new offering is first asked, “Have you tested it with data?” • Extensive use of analytics on people – Googlyness index for hiring – Prediction of attrition 11
  12. 12. All about Knowledge Workers • Ten Golden Rules—Schmidt and Varian – – – – – Hire by committee Cater to their every need Pack them in Make coordination easy Eat your own dog food… • Mario Batali, Tom Friedman, and Robin Williams drop by in one day • Widespread use of prediction markets 12
  13. 13. Demo • Adwords, adsense • Mashups (Housingmaps) 13
  14. 14. Competitors 14
  15. 15. Market Value (11/27/2013) • • • • • • Market Cap: $355.72B Revenue: $31.221B(2012) Employees: 45,421 (Wolfram query) Rev/Emp: $1.235 million (Wolfram query) Cash: 15.24B (Wolfram query) Number of products: ~40 (Source) 15
  16. 16. Source: Wordstream 16
  17. 17. 17
  18. 18. 18
  19. 19. 19
  20. 20. 20
  21. 21. ComScore Ranking Wall Street Journal 21
  22. 22. The Google Way • • • • • • • 70/20/10 principle Analytics driven Experimentation (Google Ventures) Transparency Ubiquity first, revenues later (URL) Recruiting Owning foundational elements 22
  23. 23. Some (Early) Google CSF’s • • • • • Coverage / comprehensiveness Relevance of results Speed/latency: infrastructure Usefulness Usability • For both users and advertisers 23
  24. 24. Google’s Innovation Ecosystem (191.44 million unique visitors Sep 2013) Ad servers 24
  25. 25. Demo of the future • • • • • Vint Cerf - 2020 Shaping Ideas Mobile Apps Android Scan Sergey Brin: Why Google Glass? Google driverless car 25
  26. 26. What should Google do next? • Take a look at the products listed on their website • Pick a product that they should commercialize to companies • What is the reason for picking this product? • In particular, think about how this helps move a consumer along the customer life cycle. • How would you track the effectiveness of this product? 26
  27. 27. Google takeaways • Search is vital to E-commerce • Google has built a giant search utility • Learning to use Google could help with competitive differentiation • How to use Google for your business – Use Google productivity products – Adwords for searches on Google’s site: bid on keywords – Adsense on your site: relate to key content – Complementary services: Google Checkout, Google Base, Google Analytics 27
  28. 28. What is a platform? • A product or service should perform at least one essential function within what can be described as a “system of use” or solve an essential technological problem within an industry, and • It should be easy to connect to or build upon to expand the system of use as well as to allow new and even unintended end-user • [Platform Leaders by Gawer and Cusumano, MIT Sloan Management Review, Winter 2008] 28
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