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
Global Economic Impact of Coronavirus – Assessment and Mitigation (B)
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


Leveraging Employees in Fostering Innovation

In the year 2005, Google’s former CEO, Eric Schmidt. introduced a business resource management model called the ‘70/20/10’ innovation model for the employees. Under this model, Google’s employees dedicated 70 percent of their working to core business tasks, 20 percent to projects related to the core business, and 10 percent to projects which were totally unrelated to their core business. This model led to better utilization of the skills of its employees and helped the company come up with new products and technologies.

The option to work 10 percent of their time on projects not related to their core business gave the employees a lot of freedom to work on any task they liked and come up with new and innovative ideas. The success of the ‘70/20/10’ model led to the total organization of Google under this philosophy underlying the total organization of Google for a long time..

Google X and the 'Moon Shot Mentality'

Even when Google came up with new products in response to competition, it strove to offer benefits that had been unimaginable till then. For instance, when the company launched Gmail, it offered users 100 times as much storage as they could get anywhere else. In August 2011, Google acquired Motorola Mobility LLC for US$ 12.5 billion in order to make its own hardware for smartphones, tablets, and other devices. Google had been eyeing Motorola for a while for its vast patent portfolio and manufacturing expertise. Some technology companies like Apple made their own software and hardware which gave them full control over the devices made by them..

Keeping the Spirit of Innovation Alive

Google constantly strove to ensure that its growing size did not come in the way of its innovation driven culture. Google kept its commitment for innovation and risk at a constant level by following several policies like having a corporate mission that could guide them, constantly looking for new ideas everywhere, working for continuous innovation rather than instant perfection, proper usage of data, etc. (Refer to Exhibit VIII for the Google’s Eight Pillars of Innovation). Google tried its best to maintain the nimbleness of a startup..

Looking Ahead

As of August 2013, Google was chugging ahead with its future innovation plans. The top management team including Page, Brin, and Schmidt had always believed that a lot more innovation was possible than had been achieved. Commenting on future possibilities at Google, Page said, “Today, we’re still just scratching the surface. Google is working on so many innovations. I get goose bumps about it.” Google was even looking to enter new product categories by launching new types of gadgets. In August 2013, Google confirmed that it had acquired Android smartwatch maker WIMM Labs. The acquisition led to speculation among industry observers on Google entering another lucrative wearable gadgets category..


Exhibit I:Revenues, Profits, and R&D Expenses for 10 Years (In US$, Millions)
Exhibit II: Profiles of Google’s Top Management
Exhibit III: Google’s ‘10 Things’
Exhibit IV: Market Share of Google’s Key Products
Exhibit V: Selected Financials of Google from 2008-2012 (In US$, Millions)
Exhibit VI: Google and Apple: A Comparison
Exhibit VII: Various Channels for Google’s Employees to Express Themselves
Exhibit VII: Eight Pillars of Innovation
Exhibit IX: Chart of Google’s Share Price from September 5, 2008 to September 4, 2013
Exhibit X: Top Innovative Technology Companies in the World

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