Expect less pasta-on-the-wall product launches from Google says Stuart Smith, Google’s new New York-based strategic planning director of Creative Labs:
What typically happens [at Google] is it is just a load of engineers producing a load of things and then refining until it finds an audience. What they have never really done is to look at audiences and understand audiences and say ‘perhaps there is a need over here — let’s meet that need’. Now I think they have seen an opportunity to come at it from an audience perspective and that is part of what any planners’ job is — to understand audiences. Particularly going into a recession, it is going to be very interesting because we are going to have to justify our actions.
The idea that Google develops new products like the rest of us determine if pasta is ready to eat — by throwing a load of them against the wall and seeing what sticks — was always more Google PR-created myth than reality. (Pssst, “20% time” is bogus, too).
Two of Google’s most recent large product launches, Android and Chrome, took years of planning, for example.
But it is true that some Google products — Google Reader, Gmail and Google’s failed video rentals service come to mind — were launched by the company on something close to a whim.
It’s too bad it took an economic meltdown, but shareholders must take solace knowing Google now plans to focus its resources on making things people want — bad enough to pay for or bad enough that advertisers will pay to be seen supporting.
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