The LA Times’ Chris Gaither reveals Google’s plans to pull-back from launching new products and instead focus on making the 35 it has, more usable.
Co-founder Sergey Brin is leading a companywide initiative called “Features, not products.” He said the campaign started this summer when Google executives realized that myriad product releases were confusing their users.
“It’s worse than that,” said Brin, Google’s president of technology. “It’s that I was getting lost in the sheer volume of the products that we were releasing.”
Google also appears to have decided to actually start integrating products…
The initiative’s primary goal is to make Google products easier to use, especially by packaging disparate products. For example, said Chief Executive Eric Schmidt, Google plans to combine its spreadsheet, calendar and word-processing programs into one suite of Web-based applications.
When asked about product integration recently, this is what Eric Schmidt told us…
Schmidt said that he had suggested the same thing to Brin and Page a couple of years ago and they told him he was wrong. Their concept is to build the user-base first. â€œIf you build an integrated solution, it doesnâ€™t matter unless people use it,â€? said Schmidt. He added, â€œWe want to release products quickly, we want to get them out there, we want to see if they work. I donâ€™t mean work technically, but do they solve a real problem. If they solve a real problem, itâ€™s relatively easy to build an integrated solution.â€?
I guess they’re finally at the point of realizing what’s working – now it’s time to make them more user-friendly.