Google’s culture of yes
Nikesh Arora, Google’s President of Global Sales Operations and Business Development, spoke to Chrystia yesterday at a panel during the Paley Center for Media’s November International Council meeting. Arora explained how Google is able to keep its garage-workshop spirit of innovation even as the company swelled to 20,000 employees. The key, he said, was to establish a “culture of yes” where the default option is for management to approve employees’ new ideas andprojects rather than trying to nitpick and say no. Several of Google’s most recent initiatives, from driverless cars to a new offshore power grid to promote wind power, were the byproduct of this bottom-up process.
In response to Chrystia’s question about whether Facebook’s new e-mail service will steal users away from Google, Arora said the “internet is not a zero-sum game.” He predicted that in five to eight years, 80 to 90 percent of people’s time will be spent on internet-enabled devices, and in such a world, it would be impossible for any one company to dominate all online behavior. Arora foresaw a future in which there are 15 to 20 players that provide the most popular online services, and that he would include Google and Facebook in that list.
Finally Arora shared his outlook for what areas Google is investing in most heavily. He said the company’s focus on advertising, while sizable, is aimed only at the 10% of the $600 – $700 billion ad market that is online. In five to eight years, he predicted 30 to 50 percent of the ad market will shift to online. Google will be poised to take advantage of that shift, as well as the shift to personalization and interactivity in ads that will occur in the near term.
Posted by Peter Rudegeair.