What Would Google Do?

Something You Should Know – Mike Carruthers, editor of Something You Should Know interviews Jeff Jarvis, author of What Would Google Do?

Mike Carruthers: Everyone knows that Google has become a huge success, but how did they do it?

Jeff Jarvis: Rather than borrowing huge amounts of capital to make huge acquisitions Google instead built a platform and networks for others to succeed.

And I think that's the way companies have to grow in the future - by not trying to own and control everything but by trying to enable great amounts of success and that's what Google has really done. So on my blog buzzmachine.com I have Google videos and Google maps and I have Google ads and Google pays me for that. It helps me succeed and I help it succeed by distributing Google.

Carruthers: Google also puts out beta products, products that are not finished.

Jarvis: And by doing that it says to the public "Help us finish this" - right there is a very different attitude. Google thinks in a very decentralized way and says, "No we're not perfect but you'll help improve us."

Carruthers: And Google takes risks - some things fail, some succeed.

Jarvis: Look at newspapers and yellow pages that could have created the new means for small advertisers to come online - they didn't do it, Google did. The book industry complained about Google scanning its books so that people could find and read its books and they recently came to a settlement but the truth is the book industry could have done everything that Google did. Google just sees opportunities and takes them and it's hard to blame them for that.

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