Innovation: Advice from Google Ad Gal

Here’s a great article, The Eight Pillars of Innovation, by Susan Wojcicki, employee #16 with Google, and currently it’s SVP of Advertising.  And here’s an interview with her in conversation with Wired’s Steve Levy where she said, “Google is fascinating, and the book isn’t finished. I’m creating, living, building, and writing those chapters.”  I digress….. here’s the 8 pillars of innovation she highlights:

1. Have a mission that matters

2. Think big but start small  (like Google Books)

3. Strive for continual innovation, not instant perfection (iterative process teaches valuable lessons)

4. Look for ideas everywhere

5. Share everything (encourages discussion, exchange & re-interpretation of ideas leading unexpected and innovative outcomes)

6. Spark with imagination, fuel with data (Google recruits people who believe the impossible can become a reality, like driverless cars, & they encourage blue-sky thinking through 20% time, a full day a week where engineers can work on whatever they want)

7. Be a platform (“Open technologies … allow anyone, anywhere to apply their unique skills, perspectives & passions to create new products & features on top of [Google] platforms)

8. Never fail to fail (good example, Google is known for YouTube, which it bought, not Google Video Player — “learn from your mistakes and correct fast. Google Answers was retired after 4 years.)

These pillars resonate so much with me because Rebecca and I have been talking about these things for years in workshops, consulting, and coaching.  It’s great to see such a wonderful list from a talented lady.  Wojcicki also says that “nurturing a culture that allows for innovation is key” — tough but doable in my opinion, and also necessary for every organization.  Innovation is what distinguishes your organization.  Go for it!


One thought on “Innovation: Advice from Google Ad Gal

  1. Vince Poscente

    Jane… great list. I’d add one more item. Make sure it’s fun. I had an interesting experience today with Google’s YouTube. I was researching the best way to upload a video and I expected one of those HO HUM video boxes where you suffer through as a dull techie sort drone thru – step – by – step… blah blah blah. Then, to my delight, the creative sorts at YouTube (Google) made their informative piece fun AND informative. We adults learn best when we’re having fun. This, I believe, is a CRITICAL part of innovation. (I’m sure you see that at events you organize.) Here is the link for that video if you want to see it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: