As we continue to consider the options between Google Apps for Education and Zimbra as an online email, productivity, and collaborative suite, I have noticed more articles about Google and the innovation methods that they use. Yesterday I came across an article from the NYtimes that discuses Google Pulls the Plug on projects that are going no where. The article was interesting in an of itself because it is interesting to see some of the inner workings of Google be discussed more openly (I will let others decide if it is transparency or calculated public relations).
Toward the end of the article this quote has caused me to ponder a few times…
“Perfection closes off the process,” Mr. Jarvis said. “It makes you deaf. Google purposefully puts out imperfect and unfinished products and says: ‘Help us finish them. What do you think of them?’ ”
It is pretty representative of a significant change in providing technology. The willingness to take something less than perfect (because it is free) and work with it through various beta releases. Or more so waiting for the “beta version” to be released as that will be a stable release. It wasn’t so long ago that beta wasn’t good enough for anyone beyond the true technology geek but these days it is different.
In addition to this thought, I reflected on how I led the roll out of Web Help Desk (or do any project for that matter). I spent enough time figuring it out behind the scenes to work out the required processes and to know it well enough to say this will work, then spin it through wider and wider circles refining the basic processes and and making sure that additional required functions are ironed out, then we start using it. As we use it we refine it asking for feedback and taking risks to figure out what we didn’t know (or think about) and use the users to help shape the technology. I am not sure if this makes me user centric or if I just work at things until they are successful. I wonder what it would take for me to pull the plug on a project?