Tag Archive for 'strategic mistakes'

What small business can learn from Google

WWGD? No, this isn’t some new twist on a religious question. Or is it?

This acronym stands for “What Would Google Do?” which is the title of the new book by renowned blogging pioneer and 21st century media expert, Jeff Jarvis. In his book, Jeff doesn’t go so far as to say Google’s influence is tantamount to a religious movement, but almost.

Unlike Yahoo, Google isn’t a portal, as Jeff explains in the book; it’s a network. He reminds us of what we really already know but may have forgotten: Google doesn’t want to control the content you seek; it just wants to help you find what you seek and manage it once you’ve found it. And he also reminds us that the best content in the world is useless unless it can be found, and that’s where Google comes in.

One of the many things small business owners can learn from Google is how to manage mistakes in the creative process. In his book, Jeff reveals how Google manages its creative process through beta offerings, where users contribute to what is announced up-front as a work in progress. The creative and development process is composed of many decisions resulting in smaller mistakes leading to micro-adjustments, the discovery of which is contributed to significantly by Google users, who are its customers.

Imagine that: customer-influenced product development. There’s a 21st century success strategy that entrepreneurs at all levels of the marketplace would do well to employ.

But with all of its success, which on many levels is unprecedented, everything Google touches doesn’t turn to gold. Recently, Google abandoned unsuccessful campaigns that sold ads on radio and in newspapers. One of the things Jeff likes about Google is that when something doesn’t work out, it’s often right out there for all to see. So if we pay attention, you and I can benefit by discovering what not to do.

Recently, Jeff Jarvis (buzzmachine.com) was a guest on my small business radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show. He talked about what makes Google unique and what we can learn from where this company has been and where it plans to go, including the potential of mobile platforms. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to listen to what this expert has to say. And be sure to leave your own comments.

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