A Letter from Google CEO

Velocity, execution and focus

Sergey and I founded Google because we believed that building a great search experience would improve people’s lives and, hopefully, the world. And in the decade-plus that’s followed, we’ve been constantly delighted by the ways in which people have used our technology—such as making an artificial limb using old designs discovered online.

But we’re always impatient to do better for our users. Excellence matters, and technology advances so fast that the potential for improvement is tremendous. So, since becoming CEO again, I’ve pushed hard to increase our velocity, improve our execution, and focus on the big bets that will make a difference in the world. Google is a large company now, but we will achieve more, and do it faster, if we approach life with the passion and soul of a start-up.

Last April, I began by reorganizing the management team around our core products to improve responsibility and accountability across Google. I also kicked off a big clean-up. Google has so many opportunities that, unless we make some hard choices, we end up spreading ourselves too thin and don’t have the impact we want. So we have closed or combined over 30 products, including projects like Knol and Sidewiki. In addition, we we gave many of our products, such as Google Search, a visual refresh, and they now have a cleaner, more consistent, and beautiful look.

Continue reading : http://investor.google.com/corporate/2012/ceo-letter.html

 

2011 Was the Year of the Mobile Consumer, What’s in Store for 2012? Value

2011 saw a surge in mobile users, but 2012 is the year when smartphone owners become the majority of users, currently hovering just below 50% of U.S. mobile phone users. Tablets, too, take center stage with a near 24% CAGR in adoption.

 

  • Tablets comprise 7% of population of all mobile devices owners
  • Android users spend on average 1.24 hours daily engaging with the device
  • 77% of smartphone users put their phone to work while shopping
  • 58% of adults are somewhat or very likely to make a purchase on their smartphone (this will only become standard one day)

One of the biggest areas impacted by this constant change in market dynamics is of course retail. This past holiday season only proved the point. Consumers scanned barcodes or QR codes to check prices nearby and online. And, before they would consider finalizing the purchase, they would ask for a little help from their friends by taking to social networks or review sites to validate decisions.

Avoiding Mistakes and How to Win

1. Align mobile with other key teams

Winning mobile teams are tightly aligned with marketing loyalty programs (if applicable) and e-commerce teams. For example, Starbucks built its wildly successful application not around revenue or loyalty card adhesion, but instead around ease of purchase.

2. Focus on what the user needs

Mobile strategies should be holistic and remain focused on what users are seeking. Informational apps may seem simple in design, but a solid strategy seeks to solve the “information” problem, not just the “mobile” problem.

3. Allocate the resources necessary to make mobile successful

Allocation of the necessary resources at U.S. pharmacy and convenience retailer Walgreens is at the forefront of everything the company does in mobile. The Walgreens app used the mobile device’s camera to scan a prescription barcode to initiate a refill, is an example of “multichannel lite” activity.

4. Mobile means multiple platforms

One of the few retailers profiled that has built a tablet and smartphone version of its app along with a fully featured mobile website, Zappos, worked many processes in parallel to get its application off the ground.

 

 

 

 

Congratulations Crunchies Winners!

This year’s fifth annual Crunchies Awards has just finished up at the classy Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, and it was a smashing success.

Here are the nominees and winners:

Best Technology Achievement
Lytro (Runner Up)
NFC
OnLive
Siri (Winner)
Tesla Flat Pack Battery

Best Social Application
Facebook Timeline
Instagram (Runner Up)
Google+ (Winner)
The New New Twitter
Path 2.0

Best Shopping Application
Birchbox
Fab  (Winner)
Gilt Groupe
Lot18
Warby Parker (Runner Up)

Best Mobile Application
Evernote (Winner)
Flipboard (Runner Up)
Pandora
Spotify
Square
TaskRabbit

Best Location Application
Airbnb
Foursquare
Grindr (Winner)
RunKeeper (Runner Up)
Uber

Best Tablet Application
djay
Eventbrite At the Door
Fotopedia (Winner)
GarageBand
Netflix (Runner Up)
StumbleUpon

Best Design
Gojee
Orchestra
Path 2.0  (Winner)
Pinterest (Runner Up)
Quora

Best Bootstrapped Startup (2010 winner: addmired)
Github (Runner Up)
Imgur (Winner)
Instapaper
Onesheet
Tap Tap Tap (Camera+)

Best Cloud Service
Asana
Box (Runner Up)
CloudFlare
Dropbox (Winner)
Okta
Twilio

Best International Startup
Badoo
Klarna (Runner Up)
Peixe Urbano (Winner)
Rovio
SoundCloud
Wonga

Best Clean Tech Startup
Alta Energy
Array Power (Runner Up)
EcoATM (Winner)
EcoMotors
Hara

Best New Device
Galaxy Nexus
iPad 2
iPhone 4S
Kindle Fire (Runner Up)
Nest (Winner)

Best Time Sink
Modern Warfare 3
Quora
Skyrim (Runner Up)
Turntable.fm
Words With Friends (Winner)

Biggest Social Impact
Charity: Water (Runner Up)
Khan Academy
Kickstarter
Practice Fusion
Twitter (Winner)

Angel of the Year
Ron Conway
Paul Graham
Reid Hoffman (Winner)
Keith Rabois
Naval Ravikant and Babak Nivi (Runner Up)
Kevin Rose

VC of the Year
Marc Andreessen & Ben Horowitz (Winner)
Matt Cohler (Runner Up)
Vinod Khosla
Aileen Lee
Yuri Milner
David Sze

Founder of the Year
Leah Busque (Task Rabbit)
Brian Chesky (Airbnb)
Jack Dorsey (Square, Twitter) (Winner)
Susan Feldman & Ali Pincus (One Kings Lane)
Drew Houston (Dropbox) (Runner Up)

CEO of the Year
Dick Costolo (Twitter)
Daniel Ek (Spotify) (Runner Up)
Phil Libin (Evernote)
Mark Pincus (Zynga)
Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn) (Winner)

Best New Startup of 2011
Codecademy (Runner Up)
Fab
Nest
Pinterest (Winner)
Turntable.fm

Best Overall Startup of 2011
Dropbox (Winner)
Instagram
Gilt Groupe
Spotify
Square (Runner Up)
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Do a Barrel Roll” on Google, and You Won’t Be Disappointed

Do a barrel roll” has become a trending topic on Twitter and elsewhere, thanks to an Easter egg on Google Search.

SEE ALSO: Type “Let It Snow” on Google for a Lovely Surprise

 Type the phrase in Google, and the screen will tumble around (it’s a barrel roll, after all). The same thing happens if you search for “Z or R twice.” If you’re feeling lazy, you can simply click here and see the effect for yourself. Because it was built in HTML5, it doesn’t work on all browsers. Firefox and Chrome seem to support it best.