I recently googled it to find out! The phrase originally comes from hunting. | learn more
While visiting the Willis Tower for a meeting this week, I heard a story of spiders flying across the lake from Michigan and attaching themselves to tall buildings. My skepticism alarm went off right away and I had to google it. | learn more
“How CEO Daniel Ek plans to beat Apple, Amazon, and Google at the music game.” | learn more
Author: John Doerr
John Doerr is the legendary venture capitalist who invested in (among others) Google, Amazon, Compaq, Intuit, Netscape, Symantec, Twitter and Zynga. Seriously this guy is an OG in the venture world. He started his career at Intel where he learned the system of OKRs (“Objectives and Key Results”) developed by Andy Grove. He’s been sharing it with the world ever since, it seems.
The OKR system helps organizations focus the talents and efforts of groups of people to accomplish incredible things together – from “making the trains run on time” to moonshot goals.
Shortly after Doerr’s firm Kleiner Perkins invest into Google, he showed up with a slide-show to pitch Larry & Sergey on OKRs. He presented it as an operating system for their business. They signed up, and have been using it ever since. This book includes excerpts from Larry Page and other founders/execs telling their story of OKRs.
I loved reading this book because I am a believer in goal-setting generally, and goal-setting processes for teams specifically to improve outcomes. Goal-setting and measurement are, for me, permanently intertwined. At eComfort, we used a similar methodology to set goals and metrics for each individual, and I was thrilled with the results. It was a bit rougher than OKRs, so the next opportunity I get I think we’ll migrate over to this instead.
Bonus: Google’s OKR Playbook
“Doctors at a U.K. eye hospital are getting algorithmic help interpreting the results of 3D eye scans, using a system developed at Google’s DeepMind that can identify more than 50 eye problems and recommend a course of action with human expert-level accuracy.” | learn more
Here’s an interesting perspective from Wired UK that’s heavy on quotes from Kai-Fu Lee, one of the most famous technologists in China (he’s been an exec at Apple, Microsoft and Google). The author thinks China will win the global race. I think the jury’s still out. | learn more
The real-life person who inspired the Leonardo DiCaprio movie “Catch Me If You Can” is exactly as interesting as you might imagine. He told his story first-hand at Google, and luckily it was recorded and published for the rest of the internet to enjoy! | learn more
This is a short article published by Axios. “Google is a gigantic octopus, with sprawling, growing tentacles reaching deep into every nook and crevice of media companies — very much including Axios.” | learn more
Google’s parent company uses a multi-pronged approach to investing. “Taken together, Alphabet is one of the most prolific corporate investors in startups. In 2017, Crunchbase data shows that Alphabet’s three main investing arms — GV (formerly known as Google Ventures), CapitalG and Gradient Ventures — and Google itself invested in 103 deals.” | learn more
Cartography expert Justin O’Beirne is at it again. He’s back with a current analysis of the different mapping services. He analyzes just how far ahead Google Maps is when compared to Apple and others. | learn more
One of the technologies they had to apply for Project Loon (balloon-powered internet) turned out to be interesting for other applications. Now Google’s moonshot team is toying with Free Space Optical Communications, which reminds me of ancient light-based relay stations. | learn more
Ever wonder how much tech jobs pay? With a couple years of work experience, the engineer received job offers from Facebook, Google, Lyft, Dropbox, and other big tech companies. | learn more
When I’m thinking about giant tech companies, it’s easy for me to conflate all the giants together. Ben Evans (a16z) relieves me of this misconception by highlighting the massive scale difference between past tech giants (i.e. IBM and Wintel) and today’s winners (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon). | learn more
Aaron Batalion, VC at Lightspeed Venture Partners, writes about the SAFT project (Simple Agreement for Future Tokens), and how it can enable access to early stage investments without the traditional prerequisites (including explicit permission from the founders). “In the past, if you wanted to invest pre-IPO in a Google or Facebook, you had to be in Silicon Valley, meet the team, and convince them to allow you to invest in their company.” | learn more
The Altantic offers an enlightening journey into Waymo’s (subsidiary of Google’s parent Alphabet) infrastructure for developing self-driving car technology. This includes a physical road network and simulation systems. | learn more
Ben Thompson updates his views on Aggregators and Super-Aggregators in his latest Stratechery post. This is a very unique and interesting view of business models, and a must-read for anyone trying to make sense of the future of tech companies. | learn more
X is the ‘moonshot’ group within Google’s parent company Alphabet. They’re now working on technology that may help solve the energy storage problem that plagues renewables like solar and wind. The idea isn’t new, but might the technology be coming of age soon? | learn more
An example of a really dumb smart guy (he’s an MIT researcher). “Prosecutors say Yan searched ‘how sec detect unusual trade’ before he bought numerous stocks and options that netted him around $120,000 in illicit profits.” |learn more
She’s credible: “Jepsen is a former engineering executive at Facebook, Oculus, Google[x] (now called X) and Intel. She’s also been a professor at MIT and is an inventor on over 100 patents. And that’s the abbreviated version of her resume.” Now she’s creating a wearable (i.e. hat) that can do the work of an MRI machine. Next, she’ll try to use that technology for instant thought sharing. | learn more
Cartography expert Justin O’Beirne created a fascinating post diving into the nuanced changes in Google and Apple maps over the past year. This is way more interesting than it sounds! Thanks to Alex S for the link. | learn more
Kim Scott worked for Sheryl Sandberg at Google. After a presentation to triumvirate Larry, Sergey, and Eric, Sandberg wanted to help Scott by offering real-time feedback. Scott was having a hard time hearing it until Sandberg said “You know, Kim, I can tell I’m not really getting through to you. I’m going to have to be clearer here. When you say um every third word, it makes you sound stupid.” This helped Scott define her model for management success – radical candor. | learn more
Larry Page, one of the cofounders of Google, has been investing (over $100mm by some reports) in creating a flying car since 2010. This week the company Kitty Hawk unveiled an early prototype called The Flyer, which can take off vertically and looks like a lot of fun to fly. It’s already permitted by the FAA for flight in uncongested areas, and does not require a pilot’s license. | learn more
While not the most recent news (Summer 2016), it’s worth highlighting that we’re already living in the world of AI. Google tasked it’s DeepMind AI unit to address the challenge of lowering energy usage in its data centers. Rising to the challenge, the machine learning controller achieved a 40% reduction in energy used for cooling, which is one of the largest sources of energy usage in the data center. | learn more
“Back in 2013, Google’s People Operations Group conducted a rigorous analysis deemed Project Aristotle to identify what underlying factors led to the most effective Google teams.” | learn more