Larry Page officially takes over as CEO of Google today, and one of his goals is to shake up the organisation and return the company to its startup roots.To do so, he might want to look at how broken the process is right now at Google to get a new product live. A Quora user described the ordeal.
The user is anonymous, but the answer has so many upvotes, including from Silicon Valley dons, and feels so right, that it’s worth sharing.
Here’s the gist of what it’s like:
- Engineering starts the project, writes all the code, and is ready to launch.
- The product manager gets replaced halfway through by somebody who reports to a different VP, and now the product doesn’t fit into that VP’s existing strategy. Six months of political battles ensue. Product dies, quality is compromised, or PM is forcibly ejected.
- The UX function didn’t allocate a designer to the product early enough, but now that it’s about to launch, they want their say and send somebody with no familiarity with your product to re-design it. Wait six more months. In this time, PM may have been replaced, in which case go back to #2.
- Did you check with Site Reliability? They have a 40-item checklist to fill out before you can launch. This checklist is designed to minimize the number of pages handled by Site Reliability, not to make your product launch fast or allow you to iterate quickly.
- Does your product require a non-standard network configuration or server hardware? Well, now you’re going to spend the next six months trying to convince Operations you’re not a moron.
- You launch (maybe).
- But by this time, the Marketing department has been re-organised and you’ve lost your marketing person. Sorry.
- If your user numbers are good, you might get protection from an executive and be allowed to iterate. But if you managed to piss of any of the above groups, they’ll try their hardest to spin the data so that your product is killed or starved for resources early.