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September 2022 View PDF

Google's 9 Principles of Innovation


As a Google spokesman, Gopi Kallayil often gives a presentation at conferences and customer events that is titled “The 9 Principles of Innovation at Google.” He says “everyone in the company is responsible to drive innovation no matter what their role is.” The principles of innovation that are core to Google’s culture are not unique to Google and can benefit most companies. Here are the nine principles:

1. Innovation comes from anywhere.

2. Focus on the user, not profits.

3. Think 10 times improvement, not 10 percent.

4. Bet on technical insights.

5. Ship and iterate. (Ship products out to market early rather than wait until they are perfect. Product users will help you iterate by providing feedback to make it better.)

6. 20 percent time. Google employees are encouraged to spend 20 percent of their work time pursuing projects they are passionate about, even if they have nothing to do with their area of responsibility.

7. Default to open. Make your work open to the world—ask for input and ideas from all users. Kallayil says, “There are seven billion people…the smartest people will always be outside of Google.”

8. Fail well. If you don’t fail often enough, you are not trying hard enough.

9. Have a mission that matters.

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