Google Case Study: The Architect of Innovation

Google Case Study: The Architect of Innovation

Introduction

Google LLC is a company initiated back in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin as a search engine company with its headquarters based in Mountain View, California (Steiber, 2014b). Google has been among the top thriving industries in the technology sector following its global recognition. The company operates at a multi-national level mainly specializing in product development and internet related services (Carmona, 2012). Google Inc handles the most significant share of search requests from all of the internet traffic thereby making it the most preferred search engine globally (Dhara, 2016). Google has progressed significantly over years thereby enabling it to rank as the most recognized company in the technology sector competitive market space.

Today, Google specializes in email services such as Gmail and Inbox, the creation of software for mobile phones such as Google Android, and tablet computers including Google Pixel. According to Iyer and Davenport (2008), the company also sells hardware in form of mobile phones such as previous Nexus devices and the present Pixel products. Google’s product portfolio is diversified such that it has emerged the most influential corporation worldwide (Swann, 2014). Nevertheless, the most considerable revenue earned by Google exudes from the corporation’s search services. Innovation has been the core strategy for success and sustainability of Google (Steiber, 2014).

Innovation is the process where a company acquires new ideas in the course of its businesses and executes them for business growth (Satpathy, Agrawal & Mohapatra, 2015). In innovation, the company focuses on putting these ideas into practice to ameliorate daily internal and external operations, develop new products and services, or improve existing processes for betterment of the company’s competition competency (Swann, 2014). Google’s commitment to regular updating of its ecosystem has demonstrated innovation. For instance, Google Android Operating system has tremendously progressed since its initiation to present Android 8.0 Oreo. Google applications such as Google Chrome browser, Google Photos, Google Books, and Google Alo which have been successful courtesy of innovation. This case study has been authored after critical analysis of Google LLC culture, process of product development, risk-taking, and innovation and how the factors are linked to innovation process in the company.

Strategic Vocabulary

The mission and vision statement of Google LLC define what the company seeks to attain in the course of its daily processes as well as in the future. Google has a vision of providing access to information universally in a single click (Thompson, 2015). The corporation fulfills the vision by crawling over web pages. Additionally, accessibility of this information is realized by maintaining large databases containing information relevant to the user and a search engine that can be used by everyone. Notably, the term, ‘one-click’ as drawn in the mission statement, is confirmed by the ability of people to use Google Search Engine and instantaneously access information. Iyer and Davenport (2008) explain that this vision statement guides the company and propels it to high extents to invest in research and development purposed to come up with new products through rapid cycles of innovation.

The mission of Google is to organize information gathered across the world and make it beneficial and accessible universally. The strategic vocabulary that can be derived from the mission statement is an organization, world’s information, usefulness, and global accessibility. According to Iyer and Davenport (2008), Google has continuously been motivated to make its search engine more useful in information accessibility by developing its algorithms aimed at actualizing this objective. Moreover, by offering Google search services globally, the firm accomplishes its mission of ensuring global availability of information. Convincingly, the mission statement delivers the company’s motive with help of strategies including the ones related to new product development. Noticeably, both the Google’s mission and vision statement are equivalently aligned to promote innovation and the company’s continuousness (Thompson, 2015).

Iyer and Davenport (2008) assert that Google has various core values which it regularly upholds. One of the Google core value entails making technology innovation a livelihood of the company. This value enables the firm to prosper towards building the most efficacious products and unique technology as well as application of creativity and technology in problem-solving process (Thompson, 2015). Moreover, other values comprise earning consumer’s loyalty and respect regularly, active involvement, objective to work with great people, supporting surrounding communities, and undertaking the right thing while refuting evil.

Culture

According to Steiber and Alänge (2013), Google’s culture and its innovation are inseparable. The company has crafted a culture that drives its employees towards innovation. The culture of forging towards this direction is based on the principles of voice, space, mission, and transparency. Google creates environments where sharing of information and ideas is stimulated. In everyday activities, Google attempts to accomplish the mission of thought-provoking people to remain motivated (Vise, 2007). The transparency principle is essential in ensuring that every employee is aware of their obligations and contribution to the company’s success. Also, Google has embedded a culture of providing an environment that favours free flow of information. The initiative follows the principle of voice whereby; every employee is granted equal opportunity in contributing ideas that may propel the company towards innovation. Google’s model of motivation and leadership is employed in guiding organization culture (Steiber & Alänge, 2013). The model has an immense focus on the results achieved rather than individuals producing the outcome.

Steiber and Alänge (2013) explain that the uniqueness of Google’s culture is a great determinant of the firm’s growth and success. This means that Google has a corporate culture that is not seen in any other major corporations, for instance, employees work in environments that are open and somewhat not restrictive. The model drives the company to a culture of maintaining employees’ satisfaction by having people who make workers happy, motivated, and more productive in the course of daily operations (Cook, 2012). Google has been defined to have a unique hiring process which includes a rigorous interviewing of its employees. The recruitment process include asking applicants asked questions that are not necessarily related to technology but rather the commonplace questions. The sole purpose of asking such questions is to assess the thought process of an individual under pressure of such confusing questions. According to Steiber and Alänge (2013), technology corporations continually contend with competition problems where they have to ponder critically and come up with solutions to problems emerging in the market. An employee is supposed to work under such pressures. Notably, through this culture and successful implementation of Google model of Motivation, the firm has managed to produce the most innovative employees globally.

Innovation Strategies

Steiber and Alänge (2013) expound that Google Inc rules towards innovation have been the company’s driving factors towards a competitive advantage in the market. Innovation is a significant factor in Google following the accelerating changes in the market. The dynamics have made the company deploy myriad strategies to create a robust and innovative ecosystem (Satell, 2017). Strategies are methods that a company employs in overcoming effects of these outcomes and fostering sustainability. The firm is truly committed to research. Google is a company characterized by the spirit of discovery. In this regard, the company’s strategy revolves around investing significantly in research and development. Google values the essence of research because it fosters new discoveries that lead to innovation of new processes, ideas, among many other advantages. Google’s continued research in Artificial Intelligence and machine learning has been a result of rigorous research, for example, the case of Google Assistant (Gibney, 2017).

Google’s strategy focuses on user drives innovation. In Google’s daily operations, consumers come up with new needs which require fulfilment by the company. Google focuses on customer’s perspective to make clients satisfied by guaranteeing meeting of their needs  (Steiber, 2014). For instance, through innovation, Google has been able to save customer’s time when using the search engine by giving more accurate prediction after few words have been keyed in. The accomplishment has not only increased number of clients Google receives every minute but also earned the company goodwill.

Google’s culture is in itself an innovative strategy. The firm attracts most of the most talented minds from all over the globe following its cultural strategies manifested in the company’s organizational structure (Iyer & Davenport, 2008). Google places a budget on innovation for every section or department in the company. The move implies that there is an innovation aspect in whichever section an employee is assigned. Steiber and Alänge (2013) claim that this organization empowers employees to continuously come up with novel ideas and work effortlessly to innovate in the company. Furthermore, by using this strategy, the company saves huge expenses during recruitment process. In return employees taken in are competent and innovative.

New Product Development Process

According to Steiber and Alänge (2013), new product development (NPD) is a process that entails bringing a new service or product into the market. This process is carried out initially to establish a company’s market share. The undertaking follows the diffusion theory. The first process of New Product Development involve generation of an idea from which every employee’s thought is accepted. There are multiple sources of suggestions including open innovation policy, research and development within the company, employees, customers, among others (MacCormack et al., 2012). The process majorly entail analysing problems and brainstorming probable remedies to the identified gaps. The second step involves screening of the developed ideas and prioritizing them. Screening is essential to identify appropriate concepts to avoid appropriation of resources in unsound ideas (Newton, 2017). The criterion employed in this phase evaluates the benefit that the customer accrues, manufacturing technical feasibility, and profitability at the end of the development phase.

After the concept has been approved, it is developed through small agile development teams. Steiber and Alänge (2013) state that during this stage, the product or service is developed according to predetermined specification and design. Engineers work on developing the concept for a defined time from which they transition to other projects and maintain the fluidity. The completion of development is followed by testing of Google products. In this phase, a deep analysis is undertaken concerning functionality to determine any faults that may emanate from software bugs or hardware miscommunication (MacCormack et al., 2012). The significance of executing the phase is to guarantee that the product functions optimally to the user.

Google products are launched following development and testing. It is in this phase where consumer accesses the product and puts it to use. The institutive is done annually. Google has a tendency of launching several products at once where there is a possibility of at least one product succeeding in the market (Steiber& Alänge, 2013). It is from inauguration that the company solicits feedbacks from the consumers, both good and bad, to enable the company improvise on the next generation products and services that it intends to undertake. Finally, the company evaluates the sales it has made from purchased products and services together with the revenue earned to determine its performance (Johan Grönlund, David Rönnberg Sjödin & Johan Frishammar, 2010).

Risk Taking Level

Steiber and Alänge (2013) argue that the ability of a company to manage the levels of risk it takes is essential in the innovation process as well as in the evaluation of business strategies. Google faces massive global encumbrances. However, the firm has to overcome the impediments to sustain itself in the current corporate competition. For instance, internet security is a challenge in Europe because of the distinctive policies and perspectives regarding internet security as well as the privacy of its clients (McDonald, 2015). Google evaluates risks through actuarial and quantitative analysis. This evidences to be significant towards ensuring that the company is aware of what business strategies the firm has in place. Google works effortlessly on emerging risks in the course of its operations and addresses the prospects by promoting best practice in the innovation process continuity. Steiber and Alänge (2013) explain that the types of risk Google faces include political, economic, social, technological, and operational threats which inversely translate to the innovation requirement.

Google faces problems with international jurisdictions following the firm’s availability worldwide (Jones & Jones, 2010). These policies serve as a threat to the company’s data protection policies and therefore may lead to loss of customer’s loyalty. The global economic crisis is a major economic risk to Google. Steiber and Alänge (2013) explain that occurrence of such perils would trim the company’s revenues accrued from internet advertising. Public awareness of privacy and security is a social risk that Google has to contain for the sake of its reputation. Innovation is a significant aspect of technology. The function therefore it a necessity in a company such as Google. Risks include intellectuatual property threats (Finkle, 2012).

Through risk management, google has set strategies that foster innovation. According to Steiber and Alänge (2013), the outfit offers consumers free products and services such as Gmail and Google Photos so that they can integrate their resources adequately. The firm’s strategy is essential towards maintaining customer’s loyalty. Research and development is a pivotal innovation tool that Google employs to counteract the most undetermined consumer uncertainties. Furthermore, to avoid infringement of Google’s intellectual property, the company signs agreements with its employees and the third-parties. Risk management demands innovation so that the company can support itself even in occurrences of crisis (Loosemore, 2014). It is therefore, essential for Google employees participate in maintaining company risk level by being more innovative.

Recommendations

A number of recommendations can be deduced from the research conducted above in regard to the different aspects related to Google LLC. The company is acknowledged to be an innovative enterprise because of the good leadership ingrained in the firm’s confines. Steiber and Alänge (2013) explain that teamwork in Google should be encouraged and supported extensively. The company also has shifted its principle focus to Machine learning and Artificial intelligence. However, the outfit to date is yet to arrive at a major breakthrough. The company should, therefore, focus more towards increased investment in research and development to facilitate the said endeavour. The company’s culture entailing making its employees happy and motivated to foster productivity has favoured Google to a great extent such that it has become the most preferred company to work in by many workers (Vise, 2007). The discussed culture presents a vital outcome and should therefore be maintained or otherwise improved further.

The process employed in recruiting new workers in Google is commendable. The company is encouraged to increase mentorship and scholarship programs to young students in other nations who are enthusiastic about technology and innovation but cannot afford the process. This means that the undertaking be made a worldwide affair (Steiber & Alänge, 2013). The initiative would enable the company have many numbers of competent and creative minds, who are innovative and can propel the company towards achieving its future long-term goals. The company should also focus on developing few products and services to have a greater focus on furnishing few products to meet the consumers’ needs.

The company setbacks identified serve to be overdependence on software. The company has few hardware devices such as tablets. The portfolio should be augmented with mobile devices and tablet computers to a scenario where when incorporated with the software, the possibility of success would be feasible. Steiber and Alänge (2013) outlines that Google’s ecosystem has been successful courtesy of its integration, synchronization and applications. It is recommended that the company should continue advancing these services as well as constantly updating them in response to consumer demand through aggressive market research. Summarily, Google Android operating system has seen a tremendous progress over years and should be preserved and continued.

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