Photo: Julie Bort/Business Insider
Google search guru Amit Singhal says that working for Google is like having a hundred computer-science research departments at your beck and call.The real mistake at Google isn’t tackling a project that ends in failure. It’s not choosing projects that are risky and ambitious enough that they might fail, even with all those resources.
Speaking at the Churchill Club on Thursday night in Santa Clara, he described Google’s it’s-OK-to-fail culture.
It’s an attitude of tackling insane projects and being OK with uncertainty.
“Someone thought of a car that would drive itself.” And Google said, “Why not?”
“We’re just going to go there, and we’ll figure everything else out there in the middle.”
Not everything works, and even in a culture where failure is OK, that’s still hard. He offered the example of Google Wave.
“When we have to shut down a product, it’s not a fun process,” said Singhal. “It is hard. Real people put in real work,” he says. But they recover quickly by joining another team. So the tech they built doesn’t go to waste. It winds up in another product.
“I believe you should let people run crazy. Good things will happen. They may not build a product that solves the problem they set out to build, but everything they build along the way will be good.”
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