How People Work At Google

Aside has an interesting article describing the environment over at Google.

From the article: “Hundreds of projects go on at the same time. Most teams throw out new software in six weeks or less and look at how users respond hours later. With 82 million visitors and 2.3 billion searches in a month, Google can try a new user interface or some other wrinkle on just 0.1% of its users and get massive feedback, letting it decide a project’s fate in weeks”. Now thats agile!

Gillmor Gang – User Driven Innovation

The latest Gillmor Gang podcast talks about a concept called “User Driven Innovation” using Google and other vendors who have opened up their API’s as an example of this concept. The main subject of the podcast is disruption, of which this is just a part.

User Driven Innovation is the opening of service API’s to allow users to create applications based on a conglomeration of different service providers. You might remember reading something about this in articles on this site, including the ones here and here.

I have to say, I like the term “User Driven Innovation” much better than “Application Level Reuse”. Whatever you call it, it was validating for me to hear this on the way home last night.

Google Reader

I’ve been using the Google Reader for the last few days since I’ve been away from my home machine, where I usually use FeedDemon for all of my RSS aggregating needs. I have to say, I’m digging it. One nice thing about having Google software to manage this kind of stuff is that they are confident enough to give you the ability to export your feed data to external feed readers if you aren’t happy with it.

Joel Spolsky wrote an article back in 2000 about removing barriers to entry in order to get your product accepted in the market. One of these barriers is allowing the user the option to go back if they feel they have made a mistake. Google has removed this barrier to entry for us, allowing us to go back to what we are comfortable with if we want to.

I’m not sure I’m going to go back. I really like what Google has done with their aggregator. Check it out and see if you don’t feel the same way.