Google Was Lax in Killing Failed Projects

(p. 255) Oddly, whereas Google had built its data infrastructure to reroute around failure, it had no human infrastructure to deal with failed projects. “We didn’t know which ones they were, because we never paused to ask ourselves that question,” says Pichette. “The people working on that project know it’s failing– as senior management you have to say, ‘Let’s declare failure– let’s get the champagne out and kill this puppy. Then we can put you on stuff that’s really cool and sexy.'” That had always been part of Google’s philosophy, but whether from lack of rigor or just distraction, the company had been lax in actually issuing execution orders. One of the first puppies Pichette helped drown was a virtual-reality-style communications program called Lively.

Source:
Levy, Steven. In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011.

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