The Synergy Group
I was reading an article in yesterdays New York Times www.nytimes.com/2011/11/10/technology/googles-chief-works-to-trim-a-bloated-ship.html?pagewanted=2. “Adequate but not great”, that is the phrase used by Steve Jobs when he was talking to his biographer, Walter Isaacson, about a meeting he had with Larry Page, the CEO of Google. He said: "The main thing I stressed was focus."
"Figure out what Google wants to be when it grows up. It’s now all over the map. What are the five products you want to focus on? Get rid of the rest, because they’re dragging you down. They’re turning you into Microsoft. They’re causing you to turn out products that are adequate but not great."
The article says "The most significant change at the company is the killing of projects Mr. Page deems unworthy."
Some staff in Google are unhappy with all these changes and interruptions. It seems that he is getting into the nitty gritty, e.g. putting a larger sign-in box in Gmail. He has also killed off Google Buzz
Google co-founder Sergey Brin, explains the new mentality: “We’ve launched some weaker services, honestly. We don’t want to be left with a complicated array of good-but-not-great services.”
What's fascinating about that explanation is that it is almost exactly what Jobs did in 1997 when he came back to Apple after being sacked. At the time, Apple was making loads of products for loads of people and it was confusing.
After weeks of meeting with product people he had heard enough, writes Walter Isaacson in Steve Jobs. He shouted "Stop!" in the middle of a product meeting and said, "This is crazy."
He went to a whiteboard and drew up the chart below which was a simple cross with four sections, consumer and pro and desktop & portable.
By focusing on just four products Apple was able to start its comeback.
Do you need to refocus your company?