Title: CEO of Hewlett-Packard (1999 to 2005)
Commencement Address: California Institute of Technology (2004)
Highlight: “What will define greatness for your generation? I believe it is to use the knowledge that you have earned here to find ways, not only to connect to computers, but to connect people; not only to bridge gaps in science, but to bridge gaps between cultures; not only to use numbers and formulas to create, but to use words to lead, and in the process, to close that canyon between ignorance and understanding.”
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I just found out Amazon.com added a great new universal wish list bookmarklet. As you probably know bookmarklets are gaining popularity and I think it was brilliant for Amazon.com to create one which lets you add something you want to purchase from anywhere on the web (not just Amazon.com). Let’s say you are surfing a non Amazon.com site and you see something you want to purchase in the future. Normally you may write that item down or perhaps even save it to a Google Docs spreadsheet. With Amazon’s new feature you can add that item to your universal wish list with one click of a button. You can add it to your browser with full instructions provided here. You can also view my wish list any time via the left hand navigation of my website or by clicking the image below. I go to the bookstores to browse books and then send myself emails with the title of the book because I can usually get it much cheaper online. I’m pretty much an open book (no pun intended) so I made my wish list public. Pretty spiffy huh?
The Guardian has an interesting article about Google and how they stay innovative. Below are some interesting things from the article I liked:
- “It was Rupert Murdoch who summed up success in the digital age when he said: “Big will not beat small any more – it will be the fast beating the slow.” That might be inspiring for startups, but in the process-laden, corporate environment, how can big companies keep their edge by moving quickly and lightly?
- Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder, thinks size should help. “It’s important for people to realise that you should benefit from the scale – if you’re not benefiting then you’re doing something wrong, and might as well break up into lots of little things.
- We have been gradually embracing the idea that once you’re successful, we give you much more latitude, says Brin. Somebody who has a success under their belt has really demonstrated accomplishment and in that case we will give them generally more liberty. When they came and proposed this idea they said, ‘We want to do something new and revolutionary, but we’re not even going to tell you what it is. And we want to go back to Australia, hire a bunch of people and just work on it.’ That was a crazy proposal,” Brin says, and not one many businesses would have supported. But, having seen their success with Maps, I felt that it actually was pretty reasonable.” It was two years ago that Brin agreed to support the project, and the full version of Wave will be released later this year.
- The most well-known Google initiative for encouraging innovation in-house is its “20% time” strategy, which has almost become an innovation cliché. The idea that 80% of an engineer’s time is spent on the day job and 20% pursuing a personal project is a mathematician’s solution to innovation, Brin says.
- In-house, Google uses a project database and an ideas mailing list to manage new projects. While noting ideas on the mailing list is important, it is less significant than the project database, says Brin, which lists weekly updates on who is working on what, their goals, progress and links to documentation. That distinction has to be instilled in the company culture.”
I’m a big Matt Mullenweg fan so I really enjoyed this article which details how he works each day.