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Danny Goodwin

Marissa Mayer Lists Google's Top 3 Mistakes

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Google has had a ton of massive successes -- AdWords, Maps, Gmail, and Chrome to name a few. It's always interesting to get insights from the top execs at Google of what they consider failures. Any good company will learn and grow from its failures.

After the demise of Google Wave earlier this year, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said, "We celebrate our failures. This is a company where it is absolutely OK to try something that is very hard, have it not be successful, take the learning and apply it to something new."

Marissa Mayer, Google's first female engineer and one of the first 20 hires, was recently interviewed on "Digg Dialogg" and asked what she considered Google's biggest mistakes:

  1. Google Wave: "Wave. Certainly there were things that we've learned from that, there were things that we would have done differently."
  2. DejaNews: "Shutting down Dejanews.com at 11 a.m. on a Monday morning, and not really having anywhere to post to or browse usegroups was perhaps a mistake"
  3. Gmail Launch: "Launching Gmail on April Fools day was widely misinterpreted. ... It wasn't a mistake as we planned it. It was just a mistake in how we executed."

"One of the things we do at Google is experiment, launch early and often, and iterate," she said. "And so part of that process is making mistakes.

"We've made some mistakes along the way, but our goal is to learn from them and accept that making mistakes really is part of the overall process. It's really how you learn from those mistakes, what do you learn from your users through that, and how do you make your product even better the next time."

No mention of the botched Google Buzz launch earlier this year, or the ongoing Street View privacy issues.

Other topics discussed include the visit of President Obama to her home, Google TV, and more. Here's the full interview:

What do you think are Google's biggest failures?

Also, you can take a walk through the Google Graveyard, courtesy of this WordStream infographic (click image for full size version).

google-graveyard.jpg

(HT The Next Web)


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