An Ex-Googler Explains Why Google Failed So Often, Despite Hard Work And Commitment

Product design is hard.

Cover image via The Verge

From Orkut (which could have been Facebook) to Google Answers (which could have been Quora), there have been several Google products that have failed over the years

Image via Tribune

Orkut was the first ever modern rendition of a social networking site.

These Google products failed not because the people who worked on them were lazy. It's every bit possible that they gave their everything to make these products work.

It has to do with the fact that product design a hard nut to crack. So hard that even the best companies fail to succeed 100% of the time.

And reflecting on the same, an ex-Googler, who led new AdWords product launches, shared his reasons as to why Google failed so often, despite hard work and commitment

Responding to a question on Quora regarding Google product failures, Lewis Lin, who was at Google from 2006 to 2008, has perfectly explained the reasons.

Below are the reasons Lewis listed on the post:

1. Lack of vision

"There are only so many people who can predict the future. Sundar Pichai was one of those rare individuals who saw the Chrome browser and Chromebook OS opportunity, despite daunting odds and endless customer naysaying."

2. Lack of resources

"When I was at Google, I believed Google Notebook had half an engineer working on it a few months out of the year. Hard to defend the fort if the guard tower is empty."

3. Lack of insight

"The Google Wave and Google Glass team worked hard, but both teams missed the critical insight that others realised. That is, Slack realised work messages belong to channels. And Google Glass was too dorky to wear in public."

Image via edudemic

4. Lack of focus

"Google+ included everything but the kitchen sink. It was an authentication service. And a commenting plug-in. And an address book. And a multi-user video conferencing feature. It felt and was designed by committee."

5. Lack of trying

"I believe Marissa Mayer once said, 'There are great (product) ideas that are executed poorly.' In other words, we shouldn’t conclude an idea is flawed because it failed.

"After Google Answers shut down, it was wrong to conclude that the Internet didn’t want a Q&A service. It was more appropriate to conclude that Google Answers just implemented Q&A the wrong way."

This story is part of our series on Quora answers that have attracted a large group of people. Previously, we featured 8 people and their answers about racism on SAYS:

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