Business Lessons You Can Learn from Google’s Company Philosophy!

Google business lessonsSome few weeks ago I wrote a guest post title, “6 Business Success Lessons Every Entrepreneur Can Learn From Google!” Frankly, that post is a bag full of business wisdom!

Unfortunately, since it was published I’ve felt nothing but disappointment because, what I expected of it was not what I got.  You may not believe it, but from researching through writing and corrections, I spent nothing less than 5 days, working an average of 4 hrs a day, on that post! And that is the reason for my disappointment because the exposure I dreamed of it did not really happen.

Since then I’ve been thinking of how I can redo it and publish it somewhere else and that opportunity came just a few hours ago.

I don’t know if you have read Google’s business philosophy title, “Ten things we know to be true” which you can read here.? Now, all these years I’ve never come across this page nor read anything that has to do with this philosophy.  And so, it was a WOW moment for me when read it a few hours ago.

You may not believe it but right there I saw that every point I raised in the guest post is just what has been driving the online search giant all these years!

This was a deep confirmation for me to redo the article. And so, in this post I want to pick just 4 of the lessons and present them here with Google’s “Ten things we know to be true” as a basis.

Please read carefully!

1.     Focus On the User and All Else Will Follow.

This is philosophy #1 and here is what Google has to say,

“Since the beginning, we’ve focused on providing the best user experience possible. Whether we’re designing a new Internet browser or a new tweak to the look of the homepage, we take great care to ensure that they will ultimately serve you, rather than our own internal goal or bottom line.”

And this is what I wrote,

In All That You Do, Know Your Customers – Google knows so much about the online user than any other business online. Most of the tools Google freely gives away to marketers are simply aimed at helping Google to better understand the online user. This has helped Google to tailor each of her services towards satisfying a specific need in the market.

Lesson: Implement resources that will help you know your customers better. Get close to them. Talk to them. Ask questions. Count them as partners in building new tools and services. Include them in the designing process when developing new products. If you can know your customers unmet wants and needs and then use your core competencies to solve them, you will greatly increase your success.

2.     It’s best to Do One Thing Really, Really Well.

Google’s insight on this,

“We do search. With one of the world’s largest research groups focused exclusively on solving search problems, we know what we do well, and how we could do it better. Through continued iteration on difficult problems, we’ve been able to solve complex issues and provide continuous improvements to a service that already makes finding information a fast and seamless experience for millions of people.”

And here is my own insight,

Build on Your Strengths – Working on your weaknesses in order to improve them, works great if you are in school or in paid employment; but not in business. Unfortunately, many business entrepreneurs spend a whole lot of their time trying to improve their weak areas. If only they will learn from Google.

Google Inc. definitely understands its area of strength – search technology! When Google+ launched and people were trying to compare Google+ with Facebook, Google introduced various innovative tools and services that made it clear that Google was not trying to compete with Facebook but was simply strengthening its search technology (its area of strength) with Google+ as the central hub.

Lesson: What is your area of strength? What are your core competencies? What are those things you know and have experience in?  As an entrepreneur trying to build your business in the areas where you have little skills or knowledge, is tantamount to a waste of resources. Learn from Google and use your strength to your advantage!

3.    The Need For Information Crosses All Borders.

“Our company was founded in California, but our mission is to facilitate access to information for the entire world, and in every language. To that end, we have offices in more than 60 countries, maintain more than 180 Internet domains, and serve more than half of our results to people living outside the United States. We offer Google’s search interface in more than 130 languages, offer people the ability to restrict results to content written in their own language, and aim to provide the rest of our applications and products in as many languages and accessible formats as possible. Using our translation tools, people can discover content written on the other side of the world in languages they don’t speak. With these tools and the help of volunteer translators, we have been able to greatly improve both the variety and quality of services we can offer in even the most far–flung corners of the globe.”

In this I saw Google’s desire to provide free tools across all platforms and it is not far from what I wrote:

Never Underestimate The Power Of Free – If you truly want to succeed online then you must make the word FREE your biggest ally! Google understands this very well! Think of the various tools and services they offer without any cost to the online user. Google dominance of the search engines is simply because when others like Yahoo! went for paid search listings, Google remained a free search engine. The result is that today Google is synonymous with search – you can “google” it; but never “yahoo” it!

Lesson: Look into your business. What and how much of your product/service can you give away free? And how can you turn what you’re giving away into profitable business? You must be able to work this if you’re going to succeed marketing online.

4.    Great Just Isn’t Good Enough.

Google is always on the lookout for improvements just as it clearly stated here:

“We see being great at something as a starting point, not an endpoint. We set ourselves goals we know we can’t reach yet, because we know that by stretching to meet them we can get further than we expected. Through innovation and iteration, we aim to take things that work well and improve upon them in unexpected ways.”

I think that is really insightful. And here is what I wrote,

Don’t Compete, Create – There’s no doubt about it, competition can never really be avoided in business. But Google has a big lesson for us here. Since launching Google plus, a whole lot of tools and updates have been introduced by Google aimed at strengthening its position as a leading authority in search technology, especially as it affects search and social media.

Lesson: Instead of doing or offering just what your competitors are doing and offering and hoping to outwit them in some way, use your imagination to think up new products and services that will make the existing ones obsolete! Be creative and in your creativity, innovate – ensure that your ideas are turned into profitable realities.

The above are just 4 out of the 6 lessons based on the Google’s business philosophy.

Here are two: based on my insight researching the Google brand:

5. You Are Not a Failure Until You Give Up

Google is a good example that you are a failure only if you quit. This is very clear in its doggedness in becoming a social media player. Despite the fact that her several attempts at social media failed – Open Social, Orkut and then Google Buzz – and not many gave her any chance, Google did not give up. There is no gain saying that since the launch of Google+ there have been a whole lot of changes in the social media scene!

After various failed attempts many would have given up. But not Google. Understanding the importance of social media in the new internet, Google was dogged in her attempt to play a major role.

Restrictions from Facebook and others who wouldn’t allow its search engine to crawl certain information on their sites didn’t stop Google. Like it is said, if you can’t find it then build it, Google went out to build its own social media hub – Google Plus!

Lesson: No matter what you may have experienced in the past, never be afraid to break into new grounds. Successful business is about innovation. Take a look at your target market and find a way of building on an already existing product or simply introduce a new one. Forget the past and take the bold step forward!

6. Never Stop Marketing

Another insight I’ve glimpsed from working with clients is that many business entrepreneurs who desire to create visibility online have wrong notions about the internet. Many falsely believe that building a great website and then creating profiles in various social media sites is just enough. But how far from the truth!

Marketing is the sole of every business. Your website needs marketing. Even the content you create needs marketing if it must market your product/service. The same goes for your social media profiles. They need to be marketed if they must achieve the desired result.

With its success and the position it occupies in the search engines, no one expected Google to “waste” time about marketing. But not in your life! The launch of Google+ came with a well structured marketing plan. Various tactics were employed – blog posts, articles, videos and even Google Adwords!

Lesson: No matter the position you occupy, never downplay the importance of marketing. Know your products; know your target audience and then structure your marketing language to appeal directly to them. Marketing is how your business will create new customers and ensure that the current ones are retained. Neglect marketing and your business will be strangulated!

Over to you: What do you make of these lessons? Please share your thoughts with us in your comments below.

28 COMMENTS

  1. Google is, at its core, a business. And certainly, it gives us some of best lessons to learn from. The best tip that Google offers, as you mention, is the user focus. Without identifying what the user actually wants, you can never achieve success with any business.

    Thanks for this comprehensive article!

    • @Faissal Alhaithami,

      I cannot but agree with you. I’ve really seen this all over Google business products and I know its really an insight into running a successful business. Your customers are your best bet if you want to succeed.

      Thanks for the comment.

  2. Hi Chadrack,

    This is a saying from Google I have always managed to keep in mind when writing content or working on websites; “Great Just Isn’t Good enough”. This is totally true – especially with the ever growing social media channels and people (citizen journalists) it has become ever more important to offer high quality and unique content.

    • @Anton Koekemoer,

      Me too Anton. That’s why I spend so much time on my blog posts and every other thing about my blog. I always try to go beyond what is others are doing. Sometimes it’s really tasking but I know that ultimately, it will pay off!

      It’s a pleasure to see that the post resonate with you. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    • @bj,

      Yeah, I really saw the doggedness of Google in becoming a big time player in the social media game despite the challenges it has faced. There are definitely going to be great challenges in whatever we do, but in all we must our targets and never turn back!

  3. Google is defiantly a firm we should analyse, as they make huge profits because of their efficiency and smartness – not sure if that is a word!

    I have always been on Google’s side Chadrack. Until recently that is. I still like the search giant, but my eyes have recently been opened to the darker side of the company that exists. I recently wrote about this as part of an article. An article which you commented on: http://www.technologybloggers.org/search-engines/the-journey-of-an-email-as-told-by-google/#comment-5143

    Anyhow, good writing Chadrack 🙂

    Will I ever be able to tempt you to write an article or two on Technology Bloggers? You have such great style, and I think our readers are missing out! Think about it 🙂

    • @Christopher Roberts,

      Oh, so you have taken that as Google’s darker side? That’s really funny. I did remember that post and of course the comment I made on it. In fact, I’ve just gone over to read it again and must say you don’t have to hate Google for that!

      You rightly mentioned that “the story of send” was really a promotional for Google. And like I mentioned in the comment, you don’t have to expose the defective side of your products when you’re marketing. And besides, those defects you tried to point out, are not a strange thing when you talk of technology. There could be failures here and there any time. The only thing is that when that happens, there is room for improvement.

      Any way, I’m really fond of Google and I just love what they are doing with their online business. I think what we should do, when we see some good point in those who are successful in their field, to find a way to incorporate those good points in our own operations.

      Christopher, I must say I’ve just been considering doing a post for Technology Bloggers, frankly. You know I created an account some time ago but since I’m not really into this technology issues, I’ve not been able to bring myself to doing something in that line. I really want to write an article that will more appeal to the audience there. But not to worry I’m sure I’ll come up with something very soon.

      Thanks for the comment.

      • @Chadrack, something I forgot to mention in the end of my last comment was that we are not just about technology! I thought you may say that, but I forgot to add in that bit to my comment :-/

        People read the blog because of the diversity of writing styles and topics, not purely because they are hardcore techies!

        Check out out ‘Topics’ on the sidebar. Some that I think are probably in your niche include: Blogging, WordPress, Business, Search Engines, SEO and Social Networking. If you think of a related topic, I am more than happy to add it in for you 🙂

        • @Christopher Roberts,

          Yea, I’ve actually seen that. Only thing is that I just discovered most of the posts in those categories really did not command the kind of attention those on “techie” subjects have! But like I said, I’ll definitely put something up for you. It will really be my pleasure!

  4. Great lessons Chadrack,

    If I would try to write an article like this, Did you really spend on 5 days on this article? I mean it is really worth reading. If I would try to write an article like this, it will take more than 10 days for me to complete it.

    • @Ehsan,

      The gathering of the ideas from various research is what actually took me most of the time. The actual writing took barely hours. But then after completing it I had to keep it away for some days when I occasionally come around to read it over and then put in one or two things here and there. But putting all together, I want to believe it was not more than those 5 days.

      • @Chadrack,

        Exactly Worthy writing needs In-depth research and in-dept research needs more time 🙂 ..So, the more you spend your time on something the more it will have worthy :).

        • @merry,

          I agree with you Merry. That’s why I spend a good time researching before I write most of my posts. I really try to make my posts stand out.

  5. Hi Chadrack…
    I hope you will get your expected result from this article…
    I really like your way of taking the things and explaining it.

    Your method to add lesson with each concept is really good and i’ll try to folow it in my writing as well wherever possible.

    • @sandeep kumar,

      It’s a pleasure that the post resonate with you. Frankly, I try as much possible to give the little I can. I truly do hope that this post will achieve its aim, helping as many as will put the lessons into use.

      Thanks for the comment.

  6. Chadrack, You are so right on this one!

    I especially love the very first lesson which revolves around knowing your customer. Customer knowledge is something any product developer should aspire to have.

    If you know your customer, half of your problems are solved. All that is left would be to make what they want and give that to them.

    Google has never been last at customer knowledge. Their web analytics tool give uncommon insight into what your audience seek for – showing the very search terms that bring people to your door.

    Sadly, most bloggers do not have a Google Analytics account created – throwing away the opportunity of having such insight.

    Big mistake:(!

    • @Yeremi Akpan,

      Glad to see you around. Frankly, any blogger who is not using Google analytics is either new to the game is plain ignorant of the power of that tool, except of course, if he/she is using something else.

      I think knowing your customer is really the biggest lesson I’ve learned from Google. I’ve have always wondered why Google will spend money on some very good tools and give them away to online users. It was only when I saw the power in what Google was doing that I realized that Google was not really losing giving away those tools!

      This is what I have been applying in my business too. For example, on this blog, I aim always to give only the best. Most times one will be tempted to package the same information and sell it as special report but knowing that by giving value and using it to assess your readership will ultimately bring more dividend than the immediate gain is something I’ll like to go for any time.

      Thanks for joining the conversation.

  7. Really useful advices, especially for me, because I am a newbie to the blogger scene. I have just started my first blog a couple of days ago, and any helpful information is welcome:)

    • @Eva,

      It’s really great to know that you find this post useful. Visited you blog but I’m sorry that I couldn’t read it since it’s not in English. I hope you make good use of the knowledge you would be receiving as you make this blogging journey. Thanks for the comment.

  8. I like the 4th and 5th lessons. You think you are great, and you are really great, but you don’t know how to use your greatness for, isn’t it a useless? And I really admire Google that they will never give up no matter what may happen. That’s what brings them success nowadays. And I believe that they are now keeping trying and improving as much as they can.

    • @futures trading,

      It all shows that all of us have challenges but how we handle those challenges matters. Google will rather go back to their drawing boards and see how they can use their market insights rather than give up. And I believe that one tool that Google has given to us which we can actually use to the same is Google Analytics. We can use that tool to understand our market and give more value which in turn will return success for us!

      Thanks for the comment.

  9. Good points. Google wants you to provide good, useful evergreen content that your potential customers actually want. Good for your customers, good for your rankings. Simple.

  10. Great article! Google is definitely proof of a successful business, no matter how many times they make changes which affects many website owners 🙂 I think their amazing services and free tools make up for that!

  11. I am really saw the doggedness of Google in becoming a big time player in the social media game despite the challenges it has faced. There are definitely going to be great challenges in whatever we do, but in all we must our targets and never turn back.

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