A few weeks ago I read a note on Internet Actu [fr] , about Google’s innovation model, where many expert gave their opinion on whether it was a model to follow or an exception. My point here is not to discuss Google’s model but to wonder what the very existence of this kind of discussions teaches us.
The question is “is there a model that applies everywhere ?”. And the answer is obviously not.
Many companies fail because they copy a model from A to Z. That’s being unaware that each company is different, in terms of culture, market, ecosystem. To make it short, each company is unique and what works somewhere has many chances to fail elsewhere.
Hence the question : is Google Google because of the way the company operates or is the way Google operates due to the fact Google is Google.
Saying the Google’s model is the best would imply everybody has to copy and implement it, neglecting one’s own specificities. In the other hand we can’t say it doesn’t work. Reality is half way : Google is unique. And this is in what their directors are right : they understood it, assumed it, and they built their own model instead of copying Yahoo or Microsoft.
The myth of the “comparable” company, which implies everyone has to clone his competitors to reassure financial analists is close to its end. Today it seems more useful to develop one’s particularities, to be oneself and to draw all the consequences.
Then, instead of discussing whether the Google model is relevant or not, let’s benchmark it (what works is always a source of progress), but try to build our own Google. Because Google’s success is not due to the famous “20%”, it’s because of its culture.