Google - Key Business Management Principles

Google - Key Business Management Principles

By David Willden

The key business management principles that undergird Google’s success aren’t magical – but they are very real and compelling. They include an unrelenting focus on:

  • Their noble passion
  • Alignment with their greatest talents
  • Finding economic opportunities that can sustain but never compromise their noble passions
  • Continuously seeking to provide the greatest contributions possible to the end users
  • Focusing on perfection, especially in the area of search
  • Believing deeply in democracy and the good it can do
  • Seeking to develop a fun, innovative, passionate and deeply respectful culture

Google - Key Business Management Principles

Background on Google

Larry Page and Servey Brin were brilliant not only with their technology solutions, but in how they found where they could make an important contribution, knew their competition, realized their strengths and addressed their weaknesses, and in time developed a compelling business model. This article doesn’t address the strategic reasons for Google’s success, which are compelling and merits attention. Rather, this article focuses on the business management principles that are foundational to Google’s success.

Larry Page and Servey Brin, the co-founders of Google, were Ph.D. students at Stanford University. Larry observed on the web how unproductive it was to just follow one link from one webpage to another. He thought it would be help to know who was linking to whom on the web. Larry decided to try and count and qualify backlinks on the web.

Larry’s objective intrigued Brin. Brin was a brilliant mathematician. The two developed a good friendship and eventually joined forces. In 1998, they literally started working in a garage with just 8 employees. The evolution and history of the Google Inc. is fascinating and you can learn more by visiting
- Google Corporate History

Jim Collins' Len

To understand what ultimately led to Google’s success, let’s review key principles that Jim Collins shared in his book “Good to Great.” Jim led a team in a five-year study in which he and his team “scoured a list of 1,435 established companies to find every extraordinary case that made a leap from average results to great results.”

Jim’s team came to simple but powerful conclusions. One important point they make is referred to as the ‘hedgehog’ concept. A key to greatness is finding the intersection, referred to as the sweet spot, between your talent, passion, and economic opportunity. Jim’s diagram below helps to illustrate these points.

Google - Key Business Management Principles

When we look at Google from the “hedgehog” framework, here’s what important business management principles we learn from Google:

Passion

What are you deeply passionate about?

Most businesses are focused on making money first. Is money a strong enough motivator to create tremendous value to customers? Google’s passion is to make all information in the world instantly available to everyone. They envision how that focus will facilitate important breakthroughs in countless areas.

Talent

What you can be the best in the world?

“We do search. With one of the world’s largest research groups focused exclusively on solving search problems, we know what we do well, and how we could do it better.” (Google’s philosophy statement)

Economics

What drives your economic engine? In other words, how can you focus on your passions and talents and make a living?

Google found its economic engine in search coupled with advertising. Google’s revenue for 2009 was $23,650,563,000.00 dollars

Google's Philosphy Statement

Highlights of Google’s philosophy statement provide us important insights into their principles of business management:

Focusing on the end user

“Since the beginning, we’ve focused on providing the best user experience possible. Whether we’re designing a new Internet browser or a new tweak to the look of the homepage, we take great care to ensure that they will ultimately serve you, rather than our own internal goal or bottom line.”

Develop the perfect search engine

“We do search. With one of the world’s largest research groups focused exclusively on solving search problems, we know what we do well, and how we could do it better.”

Democracy on web

“Google search works because it relies on the millions of individuals posting links on websites to help determine which other sites offer content of value. We assess the importance of every web page…”

Fun culture

“Our founders built Google around the idea that work should be challenging, and the challenge should be fun. We believe that great, creative things are more likely to happen with the right company culture… There is an emphasis on team achievements and pride in individual accomplishments that contribute to our overall success.”

Google - Key Business Management Principles

Google - Key Business Management Principles