Success Habits Of The Successful - Google
One of Googles key business principles is to 'Fail Fast'.
"Fundamentally, everything we do is an experiment," says Douglas Merrill, a Google vice president for engineering. "The thing with experimentation is that you have to get data and then be brutally honest when you're assessing it." When introducing new features, Google has remained true to a "fail fast" strategy: launch, listen, improve, launch again.
During the brainstorming for the Google Toolbar, for example, the development team tried about five times as many key features as made the final cut, and most were discarded within a week of testing.
Several of the features in the final version, including custom buttons and shared bookmarks, were prototyped in less than a week. Even when a feature is a full-blown failure, Google prefers to view it as an experiment that yielded useful information.
That's what happened with Google Answers, a four-year effort to build an expert answer service that was shuttered in November, "I don't think Answers was a failure, because we incorporated a lot of what we learned into our new custom search engine," Merrill says. "The failures are the things where you don't learn anything."