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WL USA – Day 3: Making Sure You Know “It” is the Right It

Everyone expects innovation from Google, but how does a now vast organisation ensure that the inventive spirit is kept alive? It’s day three of Wavelength USA and Liam and Matt unpick some of the structures and processes by which Google keeps its’ intrapreneurial culture.

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Video – over 4 mins

At Google, visitors can still feel the passion and hunger of the employees to do interesting stuff, to push the boundaries of what Google can do and be. Key insights into what keeps innovation alive at Google are:

1. Pretotyping before prototyping: Alberto Savoia developed pretoyping for Google, recognising that most organisations spend too much time and resource in prototyping by which point too much invested to abandon or dramatically change anything. Instead pretotyping focuses on ensuring that you know it’s the right it by testing the market first.

2. A core part of the pretotyping toolbox is called the fake door. Here you pretend that the product already exists: the founder of Palm Computing mocked up a Palm Pilot with wood and paper and carried it with him for weeks pretending it was a working device. His objective was to learn if he would actually use such a device, and what was the functionality he as a user wanted it to have, before going to the next, very expensive and time-consuming step of building an actual working prototype.

3. Google’s strong mission and purpose attract exceptionally talented people, in turn those great people want to work on exciting and cool stuff and Google ensures that they have the space and time to be creative: every employee is required to use 20% of their working time to innovate. Some of Google’s best known projects have come from that 20% rule.

4. Google has taken great care to create an environment which is all about collaboration and that “clashes people’s thoughts together”. An inspiring campus, free food and space to work on what you are passionate about.


About: Google’s mission is “to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. A $30 billion business of 53,000 people, Google truly has changed the world – and continues to push the boundaries of our imagination with products such as driverless cars and Google glass. In 2012, Google ranked Number 1 in Fortune Magazine’s prestigious ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ list. Innovative benefits and the opportunity to pursue ideas that challenge the status quo are just a few of the attributes that have continued to maintain Google’s place as one of America’s most in demand companies for top talent.

Read more about this amazing company here.

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