First Prize in the 2013 AESE Case Writing Competition organized by AESE Business School, Portugal

Corporate Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Google, Inc.

Corporate Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Google, Inc.
Case Code: LDEN089
Case Length: 20 Pages
Period: 2003 - 2013
Pub Date: 2014
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.500
Organization : Google, Inc.
Industry : Information Technology
Countries : Europe; US; Global
Themes: Corporate Entrepreneurship, Innovation Management, Innovation Strategy, Innovation culture
Corporate Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Google, Inc.
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


By August 2013, Google, Inc., known more for its dominance in the area of internet search till then, began to overtake its major rivals in innovation. The firm started working on a lot of other projects and increased its spending on research and development, thus gaining an edge over its competitors (See Exhibit I for revenue, profits and R&D expenses). Some analysts predicted that Google had started outpacing Apple, Inc. (Apple) in design, an area traditionally dominated by Apple. Google achieved this feat by making innovation an everyday process rather than as a necessity during times of crisis.

It followed a unique ‘launch and iterate’ process to innovation where the new products developed were initially made available to the public as beta versions. Google improved these new products after getting feedback from the early users. It also practiced the system of using lead users to find new and innovative applications for its products. In addition to this, its CEO and co-founder, Larry Page (Page), continuously pushed the employees to go in for ‘moon shots’, i.e., create products and services that were 10 times better than the competition.

According to Page, “How exciting is it to come to work if the best you can do is trounce some other company that does roughly the same thing? That’s why most companies decay slowly over time. They tend to do approximately what they did before, with a few minor changes. It’s natural for people to want to work on things that they know aren’t going to fail. But incremental improvement is guaranteed to be obsolete over time. Especially in technology, where you know there’s going to be non-incremental change.”

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