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Last Week, Google Had A Strategy. This Week, It Doesn't

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Last week, Google was emphatic right on its own blog that they weren't "just a bunch of mad scientists running around doing whatever we want." This week, Google CEO Eric Schmidt is quoted as saying they "delight" in having no strategy.

From the very good InformationWeek interview with Schmidt that Gary summarized earlier on the blog.

InformationWeek: ...people outside the company like to imagine that there's some sort of grand strategic vision that's driving everything.

Schmidt: [laughs] They've obviously not visited Google. We delight in the lack of such strategy. We're very careful to say we're not trying to build one thing. We're trying to innovate in all these interesting spaces. Every innovation is end-user tested and as they become more and more widely adopted, we figure out interesting things to do with them. These teams show off all day when we do product reviews and I say just don't talk to me about long-term strategy. I'm not interested. I want to know why is your product not shipping until next week. And then after this thing is released, tell me what you're going to do about it.

Honestly, is it any wonder people may be confused? For more on how Google recently explained "non-core" activity as leading to the impression it has no strategy, see my past post: Google Factory Tour Recap, the Google Master Plan bulletpoint.

Also interesting was this comment from Schmidt on the oft-discussed idea of Google trying to build a replacement operating system:

What we will say is that we're busy making our products more useful, more extensible, more end-user focused. So the evolution of Gmail, the evolution of search...I think it's up to you and others to speculate about what's going on. That's not how we think. We don't sit there and say, 'Wait! We want to build an Internet operating system! Would you like to join me?' That conversation does not occur.


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