Great Marissa Mayer Webcast on Google Innovation

Marissa Mayer speech at Stanford on innovation at Google (23 minutes, 26 minutes question and answers). She leads the product management efforts on Google’s search products- web search, images, groups, news, Froogle, the Google Toolbar, Google Desktop, Google Labs, and more. She joined Google in 1999 as Google’s first female engineer. Excellent speech. Highly recommended. 9 ideas:

(inside these are Marissa’s comments) [inside these are my comments]

  1. Ideas come from anywhere (engineers, customers, managers, executives, external companies – that Google acquires)
  2. Share everything you can (very open culture)
  3. You’re Brilliant. We’re Hiring [Google Hiring]
  4. A license to pursue dreams (Google 20% time)
  5. Innovation not instant perfection (iteration – experiment quickly and often)
  6. Data is apolitical [Data Based Decision Making – this is true but as an operating principle requires people that really understand data. See: Data can’t lie.
  7. Creativity loves Constraints [process improvement and innovation]
  8. Users not money [the opposite of what business school’s teach business case]
  9. Don’t kill projects morph them


42:22 into the video she answers about how to motivate employees now, given the changes at Google… I think she gives a great answer which without stating it this way is essentially that Google employees are intrinsically motivated. And it echos the quote we posted a couple days ago by Guy Kawasaki “the key to getting great people to work for you is to have a great product.” It isn’t about motivating employees, see: Stop Demotivating Employees and McGregor on theory y. Her answer could have gone into much more detail on this topic, but it was much better than most answers to such questions that immediately jump to extrinsic motivation thinking.

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