Since Google co-founder Larry Page took the reins as CEO from Eric Schmidt on Jan. 20, there's been no shortage of speculation as to why the changes were made now, what this means for Schmidt's own future and what the changes portend for the world's leading search company.
One thing that is clear is that Page steps into the role at a time when Google is being pressed by shareholders to return to its innovative roots and suppress growing competition from companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Groupon.
If you're an executive or a manager, you probably know who your top performers are. You may even know what motivates some of them. But do you really know how to get the most out of your staff or your direct reports?
In the latest edition of the Harvard Business Review, Thomas H. Davenport, Jeanne Harris and Jeremy Shapiro examine how leading-edge companies such as Google, Harrah's Entertainment and Sprint are applying sophisticated approaches to analyzing employee data in order to gain insights into the types of factors that help drive productivity, engagement and employee retention.
It's common knowledge in Silicon Valley that you have to be first out with a new product or service in order to enjoy the "first-mover advantage" that lets early birds catch the worm and the dominant market share. This advantage typically leads entrepreneurs to act with haste to be first to market or be forever doomed to a minor role in their niche.
Steve Blank , author, professor and serial entrepreneur (he was part of eight startups in over 21 years, the last one was E.piphany, a CRM company) disagrees with this common adage. He says it's "simply not true." Blank attributes the popularity of this phrase to a paper, "First Mover Advantages," written by Stanford Business School Professor David Montgomery and his co-author Marvin Lieberman published in the Strategic Management Journal in the summer of 1988.
Last Friday software developer BlindType announced in a blog post that it has been bought by Google.
BlindType makes software that it plans to sell to mobile device manufacturers and mobile OS makers. The software aims to bring tactile feedback back to typing on mobile devices, which was lost with the introduction of the touch screen that doesn't offer such feedback, the company explains.
Facebook moved quickly to quash reports over the weekend that it was secretly building its own mobile phone to blunt the increasing power of the iPhone and Android platforms. But the fuss appears to be a largely semantic one. Facebook is clearly trying to weave the popular social network into the fabric of mobile society. And in doing so it appears headed straight into the ongoing battle for mobile supremacy currently raging among Apple, Google, RIM, Microsoft and others.
Attempting to refute the report on gadget website TechCrunch that Facebook is “building the software for the phone and working with a third party to actually build the hardware,” Facebook spokeswoman Jaime Schopflin told the Wall Street Journal's Digits blog that the company is simply working on "deep integration" intended "to make all phones and apps more social.”