The Big, Important Startup Lesson From The Recent Google Leadership Shuffle

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The Big, Important Startup Lesson From The Recent Google Leadership Shuffle

 

As you’ve heard, there’s been some big announcements at Google recently (announced during their earnings call).  In fact, it’s impossible to not have heard this news, as it’s being shouted in every major media channel (online and offline) there is.onstartups ignore google

Eric Schmidt is changing roles, and Larry Page will become the new CEO of Google, effective April 4th.

So, what’s the big lesson here for startups?

Answer:  It’s the same lesson to be learned from most of the big news coming out of Google.

Your startup is not Google.  Google exists in an alternate universe where the laws of mere mortal businesses do not apply.

If you try to emulate a single aspect of Google, you will be transported to their alternate universe.  The resulting change in atmospheric pressure will cause your startup to explode spectacularly.

The best lesson here:  Resist the temptation to extrapolate insight from a data point of 1.  When faced with pontificators and speculators, not politely (it’s easier than if you engage) and go back to working on your product.

What do you think?  Has any startup been able to draw relevant lessons from the Google?

Posted by Dharmesh Shah on Fri, Jan 21, 2011

COMMENTS

Hmmm, that alternate universe scares me. LOL.

posted on Friday, January 21, 2011 at 10:24 AM by Mike Lopez


Dharmesh, 
 
I would think there's something to be learned from what they've done culturally, both in how they treat their engineers (food, hack time, etc) as well as how they for a long time managed to make "Don't Be Evil" actually a very simple, yet powerful corporate ethos. 
 
Overall though, I totally agree. The same could be said for Facebook or Apple; things the titans can do are not the same things us mere mortals can do. 
 
Thanks, 
Jason

posted on Friday, January 21, 2011 at 11:08 AM by Jason Evanish


It seems logical. You have a hyper talented founder that needed seasoning as a manager. You bring in maturity to manage growth, add structure and above all mentor and develop leadership.

posted on Friday, January 21, 2011 at 11:14 AM by Cenk F Ipeker


I heard different stories. They are replacing a guy who is too obsessed to compete with Microsoft, and failed in most of the products while doing so.

posted on Friday, January 21, 2011 at 11:41 AM by Rajeev Arora


Of course you can take lessons from Google. You just probably can't fiddle around with random stuff like your management team the way they do without blowing up. 
 
The biggest lesson I take from Google: the combination of a big problem, an elegant algorithm, and monetization is worth billions of dollars. I'm constantly thinking about how to approach the elegance of PageRank in the way my company solves problems.

posted on Friday, January 21, 2011 at 12:26 PM by Greg


Great read, very interesting... I would say Google has the cash flow to do whatever they want, as a startup, you wont.

posted on Friday, January 21, 2011 at 5:13 PM by Printing companies in Gauteng


I think we can learn our limitations. Google does a shockingly small number of things well, and only one of them makes money. Find your core thing and stick to it until you are doing many billions of it.

posted on Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 7:34 PM by Scott Rafer


Awesome post Dharmesh, I love the way you share your view. Sure, our startup is not Google and we should try to make the right decision that will make our company move forward. I think Eric has a reason for switching lanes. Thanks for sharing.

posted on Monday, January 24, 2011 at 1:15 AM by Samuel


Awesome post Dharmesh, I love the way you share your view. Sure, our startup is not Google and we should try to make the right decision that will make our company move forward. I think Eric has a reason for switching lanes. Thanks for sharing.

posted on Monday, January 24, 2011 at 1:20 AM by Samuel


Awesome post Dharmesh, I love the way you share your view. Sure, our startup is not Google and we should try to make the right decision that will make our company move forward. I think Eric has a reason for switching lanes. Thanks for sharing.

posted on Monday, January 24, 2011 at 1:45 AM by Samuel


Awesome post Dharmesh, I love the way you share your view. Sure, our startup is not Google and we should try to make the right decision that will make our company move forward. I think Eric has a reason for switching lanes. Thanks for sharing.

posted on Monday, January 24, 2011 at 1:49 AM by Samuel


Awesome post Dharmesh, I love the way you share your view. Sure, our startup is not Google and we should try to make the right decision that will make our company move forward. I think Eric has a reason for switching lanes. Thanks for sharing.

posted on Monday, January 24, 2011 at 2:43 AM by Samuel


well, if you want money from VCs for your startup, you must do only two things: 
 
1. call it with the most stupid and nonsense name you can find .. urguu, yoops, nwaq, ngergr, ooxz, etc. 
 
2. say them that your startup can make more profits than Google within two years 
 
then, you will receive million$ of funds ... :-)

posted on Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 11:37 PM by gaetano marano


Dharmesh: I generally like your posts, but I just didn't get the point you are making if any in this post. Sorry.

posted on Sunday, February 13, 2011 at 8:22 AM by Anil G.


This is a very funny post. 
 
 
 
With all the news coming out over the past year about Google, making it sound like the adjustment bureau and Big Brother had a baby and thought they could fool everyone by hanging a "don't be evil" sign on it, I agree totally with the alternate universe idea. Things are getting just bizarre with them. I don't think any of us will ever fully understand the CEO shift, but that doesn't really matter, they made an adjustment and it was newsworthy for a few days. 
 
 
 
I do want to share your wonderful articles and spread the word so I'm going to put it on our site under Business and Economics. 
 
 
 
Thank you for the great startup advice!

posted on Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 12:28 PM by Eric Smith


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