Found a nice little review of a talk by Google Product Manager Marissa Mayer. Check out some of the stuff she revealed, pretty darn interesting.
The prime reason the Google home page is so bare is due to the fact that the founders didn’t know HTML and just wanted a quick interface.
Lesson Learned: Simple Works
How true is this? Sometimes things just work out. Don’t always think you have to over analyze something. And most importantly, if you’re confused at what to do, go simple. Simple usually works.
Due to the sparseness of the homepage, in early user tests they noted people just sitting looking at the screen. After a minute of nothingness, the tester intervened and asked ‘Whats up?’ to which they replied “We are waiting for the rest of it”. To solve that particular problem the Google Copyright message was inserted to act as a crude end of page marker.
Lesson Learned: Testing Means Everything
I’m going to guess this was ‘back in the day’ of slow internet connections. However, there is a lesson to be learned here as well. Testing means everything. You may think it’s so easy a monkey could do it. You know what? Sometimes, just sometimes, it can be too simplistic and it can confuse people. Test.
The name ‘Google’ was an accident. A spelling mistake made by the original founders who thought they were going for ‘Googol’
Lesson Learned: Embrace Mistakes, Sometimes
Wow, it makes you wonder if ‘Googol’ would have hit with us as well? I don’t think so. Regardless, it’s important to realize that mistakes happen, and sometimes they happen for a reason. Don’t kill yourself over mistakes, instead, learn from them and sometimes embrace them.
Employees are encouraged to use 20% of their time working on their own projects. Google News, Orkut are both examples of projects that grew from this working model.
Lesson Learned: Your Employees Are Your Best Experts
If you’re running a business, think about this some more. Your employees are the #1 expert resource about your product or service, therefore, they are most likely the ones who can come up with the next big idea for you. Why not invest some of their time back into the possible future of your company?