Posts Tagged ‘Google’
This week’s readings have centered on communities of practice. Although I was not previously familiar with the term, this is something that I utilize and benefit from constantly. It was interesting to read about an idea that has become so embedded in my life without me realizing it. Years ago, I searched for information on specific topics in an effort to perform research, but today, I Google nearly everything. The items that I Google are often extremely random question that I am seeking a quick and immediate answer to. For example, in the past 24 hours, I have Googled the following questions seeking instant gratification:
The answers to all three of these questions were delivered to me by a community of practice. The first search directed me to the website Savvy Vegetarian. The site supports vegetarian & vegan diets and is comprised of a community randing from life-long veg to those just thinking about it. The site’s goal is to provide/promote “easy recipes, simple cooking, health eating, green living.” The second and third search directed me to Yahoo! Answers, a forum where people ask and answer each other’s questions and readers rank the answers based on validity. Although the Savvy Vegetarian and Yahoo! Answers have a different scope, they are similar in that they are based on the open sharing of knowledge. Individuals with different skillsets collaborate in order to inform novices and share learnings relative to their topic of expertise.
As more and more communities of practice find their home online, more and more individuals have access and are able to get involved and benefit from them. This is particularly interesting in regards to communities that are seeking the development of new technology and innovation because the online space has the ability to drastically decrease the time between problem designation and solution development. As a result, my question to the class would be, what industry can/has benefit(ed) the most from online communities of practice?
In the summer of 2004, while just starting as an intern at FierceMarkets, a coworker sent me an invitation to create a Gmail account and I’ve been following Google in some way, shape, or form, ever since. It often appears as though everything that the company slaps its name on or develops turns to gold and every market it enters, it dominates. Although this case reads a bit like the Wikipedia page of Google, it’s interesting to read the in-depth history of a company that I personally find intriguing.
What I found the most interesting is how Google is such a prime example of a company that does things correctly. Google has never type casted itself as a search engine company (read more about Ted Levitt and Marketing Malpractice in my previous post). Instead “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible to all.” In addition, Google understands the importance of a shared value and vision and lives and breathes it. Extremely important decisions are routinely based on the philosophy of “don’t be evil.” It truly impresses me that the company, which Fortune placed 2nd on its 2011 list of most admired companies, so closely follows the strategies that I am currently learning about as an MBA student.
Google seems to be doing nearly everything right, but being on top today does not ensure future success. Being on top means you must constantly fight to stay on top. The case asks what Google should do next and the clear answer to continue innovating. To date Google has been so successful because it has constantly changed and improved and developed and created. As long as the company can continue to hire the right people and focus on constant innovation, it will continue to be successful.