The Google interview questions are legendary, the space for innovation and the fact that most of the people at Google are engineers is well known. Many people would love to work for Google, not necessarily for the great perks, but to be able get to make changes to society with a lot of back-up from the organization.
Yet, here’s the thing, what’s the last great thing that Google launched? Wave? No. Google TV, no? Chrome, arguably. Android, it’s doing pretty well. The last really game-changing thing that Google launched was Gmail, and that was a long time ago.
So Google is a company that allows its employees to take risks, and to fail, it hires the brightest and the best. It has all it needs to be successful and to create lots of innovation. To change the world.
Yet, Google is not changing the world. Other companies in Silicon Valley are having much more success at undertaking that mission. Such companies such as Apple, Foursquare, Dropbox, Evernote are all changing the world.
What Google is getting good at doing is taking someone else’s concept and improving it, or at any rate, giving it a Google flavor. For example, Chrome is an excellent implementation of a web-browser. Google docs is an excellent implementation of Microsoft Office, but on the web. Technically, it’s a fantastic product, but from a user point of view, apart from being in a browser, does it feel innovative, or old fashioned?
I wonder if Google’s hiring policy is creating teams that are too engineer top-heavy. They are not diverse enough, and as we know from evolution, diversity creates stronger organisms. Google may need to consider fewer engineers and more designers to work together in small teams, like smaller start-ups. Their idea to launch an incubator within the company is a great one, as long as they hire the right people.