Blogging Innovation » Google versus Apple
Same Exterior, Different Innovation Engines
by Nicolas Bry
As I was completing my thesis on “rapid innovation“, one of the frequent comment was: “and you’re lucky to work in the digital industry because you can include in your case studies Google and Apple”. As if they were two innovation champions of the same kind…
Google and Apple may seem to share similar innovation patterns from afar, but under the hood, they play totally different ball games. This way, they demonstrate their ability to build their own identity based on a genuinely personal innovation model. Let’s get more in-depth into the comparative analysis.
Leadership and Culture
Google was founded in 1998 by two brilliant engineers and strong leaders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. To take their growth to the next stage, and in response to the well-meaning but strong pressure exerted by their shareholders, they strengthened the team in 2001 by recruiting Eric Schmidt, a manager with an international reputation, as Executive Chairman. On joining the business, Eric Schmidt discovered that 60% of searches were run from areas outside of the USA and set up sales teams to develop operations in Europe. The management style is characterized by the care dedicated to recruitment: Larry Page has always carefully considered each and every application from potential candidates and it is not uncommon for up to 10 recruitment interviews to be held. However, this does not mean that there is no scope for thoughtful open-mindedness: to boost the performance of its network of servers, Google’s 18th employee was a neurosurgeon who had qualified at Harvard and the Yale School of Medicine. Finally, one should note the sense of fun “which is taken very seriously” at Google; the Googleplex site is playfully decorated, with toys, benefits and services available on the premises, while the delicious, cosmopolitan and healthy cuisine symbolizes the sense of enjoyment that presides at Google.