Preface: There are a lot of new companies popping up in the technology and Sass market. Web based, mobile based, and the rebel based. As usual, there is a lot of writing, tweeting, posting and otherwise uninformed opinions being tossed out into the cloud(s). For the sake of this post, I'm going to use Google as my polestar. As Google is making a change to their management structure and people are more than willing (and presumably happy) to tell Google what they've been doing wrong–for so many years. For a few words below, I'm going to allude to what they may have been doing right. And what a lot of companies are doing right.
It seems to me that Google is doing the one thing many new-wave-neo-classicist business men and women wish they could do. They're trying everything at least once. Succeeding and failing, more or less, faster than most companies can do or are willing to do. When was this methodology was implemented? I have no answer to this. Was/is it intentional? Some say "yes", others say "no".
Essentially, they're not required to stay in the Search Business anymore than you or I are required to wear the same clothes every day. While they're a large company, they're doing exactly what every Social Media Guru and Business Innovation Guru says to do in their convention pamphlets. When these gurus are hired by a company that needs revitalization and innovation, their rhetoric is usually centered around recreating a culture, revitalization of talent and innovation.
These same gurus berate this decade's newest upstarts for the same exact thinking. Business pundits both applaud and exile companies who don't adhere to the existing business model for growth and development. Or, rather, these companies are being subjected to the deprecated statistics and skewed growth trends from 20 years ago.
Companies are building and creating. Discarding when it doesn't work. They're making use of the hive or collective mind, workspace and environment. They're in a position to fail, whenever they want without crying or side-stepping the failure itself. Honestly though, I'm not sure I would call anything they've done a failure. The amount of data and knowledge gained through their products has limitless application thereafter. It's all viable.
They know this.
To say that a company should could continue on the path that made them great, goes against everything a guru's (randomly numbered) bullet list of philosophies perpetuated through pontification as a means for companies to grow in this new business world-order. Think, Create, Recreate, prototype rapidly, discard aggressively, hire slowly, fire quickly.
Human nature demands that we express our curious-analytical side. It also demands change on a very fundamental level. Certain company culture(s) embrace these concepts. This happened in another decade of emotional equity and techno-love–the 80's. And a lot of those companies are big–super global world–big. Others were revealed to be vultures. Others have collapsed under the idealism I've outlined above. Perhaps more than technology changes, it was a cultural change.
Remember the Gen-X'ers? You know the ones that marketing had a hard time figuring out how to approach a generation that had grown immune to a lot of their strategies (isn't this natural?).
So instead of isolating the actual cause of the issue, they started blanketing their reports and statistics with X. Not because of the commonly misconstrued definition of a lost generation, but as an anomaly on their charts and graphs. X–unkown.
Hooray for the organization that manages to build a company around a simple, progressive model that thrives on our more natural tendencies as people as opposed to employees.
Boo to those who are hiding in the trees and throwing bananas because the jungle is to dense and unruly.