Artificial intelligence is the thread running through all of Google's disparate efforts at innovation, including autonomous vehicles, enterprise cloud, and the new smartphone line.
GOOGLE STRATEGY TEARDOWN:
Betting the Future on AI, Cloud Services, and
Since its 1998 incorporation in a Menlo
Park, Calif. garage, Google has become
the torchbearer for corporate innovation
in the post-dot com era. Its affinity for
incubating far-out concepts has
manifested in several concrete ways
from its well-known "20% time" policy
for its employees' personal projects
(which led to the birth of Gmail and
AdSense), to its establishment
of Google Ventures as a
quasi-independent venture arm
in 2009, to its moonshot-focused
Google X innovation lab, now simply X.
However, in recent years the company
has started to shift from its
experimental approach, risky R&D,
and decentralized company structure.
After taking the helm in 2011, CEO
Larry Page (now head of Alphabet)
announced Google would put
"more wood behind fewer arrows":
transitioning from a democratic,
bottom-up innovation approach to a
more top-down, focused strategy.
Indeed, the "20% time" policy has
reportedly been restricted in recent
years, requiring more managerial
approval and oversight.
At the same time, the company has
moved beyond its core search and ad
business to explore disparate fields
from consumer hardware to autos and
telecom to healthcare and venture
Last October's Alphabet reorganization
was couched as an effort to bring
greater structure, transparency,
and fiscal accountability to this
sprawling web of initiatives. The
move coincided with the May hiring
of Ruth Porat as CFO, an experienced
Morgan Stanley executive with a
reputation for financial discipline.
One year on, these moves have already
driven clear changes in how Mountain
View handles acquisitions and R&D.
New equity awards will tie employees'
Artificial intelligence is the thread running through all of Google's
disparate efforts at innovation, including autonomous vehicles,
enterprise cloud, and the new smartphone line.
OCTOBER 20, 2016