Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Creativity, Innovation & Telecommuting, Silos-effect

Yahoo CEO has decided to stop telecommuting. Presumably to increase collaboration and innovation. (In Microsoft most people have a separate "office" room, so even on same location, they communicate by emails.)

Telecommuting and Yahoo's Desperate Need for Innovation - IEEE Spectrum:
"...John Sullivan: ... Creativity is not innovation.

Creativity is idea generation
And, you know, you might create a lot of ideas smoking pot or sitting in a room,
but innovation is implemented ideas. 
Innovation is ideas that come to marketplace.
... If you look at telecommute workers, they’re happy, they’re engaged, they’re productive,
but none of those are even related to innovation..."

So Larry Page, the head of Google, actually has a phrase: He expects you to improve at 1000 percent. In other words, improve everything you do by 10 times. And he actually says if you focus on continuous improvement—or efficiency or productivity, in my terms—if you focus on continuous improvement, you are guaranteed never to be wildly successful because you’ll be so focused on improving by, you know, these small percentages, you’ll never see the big picture.

The profit return from innovation is literally 10 times higher than the profit return from efficiency. Accountants make you very little money; innovators make you lots of money. For example, the average employee at Apple generates US $2.2 million every year. The average employee at Yahoo generates $350 000. Six and a half times...

Obviously, this is a creative usage of statistics.
Apple is selling hardware, and Yahoo is selling online advertising.
The revenue on hardware is faster to get.

But innovation comes from improvement, not from "random" trying.
It just appears at the end, looking from outside, that it "just happens".

Google is in fact using "collaborative design", that keeps iterating and improving.
How do we know? They have explained themselves:

Collaboration is a way to avoid small "silos-effect"

A bigger on-site group can make a bigger silos-solution :)

Google Maps 'street view' of world's tallest peaks

Google Maps now allows users to take 'street view' of world's tallest peaks - NY Daily News

The snowy top of Mount Elbrus, which at 18,510 feet, is the highest peak in Europe.

Dan Fredinburg, a technical program manager for Google and avid mountaineer, lead the Google Mountain Enthusiast team up each summit, which included Aconcagua in South America (22,841 feet), Mount Elbrus in Europe (18,510 feet), Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa (19,341 feet) and Everest South Base Camp in Asia (17,598 feet) in 18 months.

@ Wired

Next view: Moon.
Moon is already on Google Maps: ("Google Moon"),
just need to add "street view". Can Google make this "Moon Shot"?

Even Mars is on Google Maps...