Is your news org willing to fail a third of the time in order to innovate?

The Next Web
About a third of the time, Google’s “beta culture” leads to products that don’t stick, says Harrison Weber. Of 251 Google products released since 1998, 90 have been canceled. The company has logged 8 major flops and 14 major successes. Failure rate: 36 percent. “Google is in the business of failure, and it’s quite possible that if it weren’t for these 8 fails, the other 14 wouldn’t have came to be,” Weber writes. “Google’s experimental nature helps curate new ideas and empowers users to decide what they really want — a very democratic approach that has clearly worked well in the past 12 years.” You often hear journalists talking about how the news industry needs to “embrace failure.”  So here’s your number: If you want to be like Google (or a major-league slugger), get ready to fail about a third of the time.

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  • Anonymous

    What is this nonsense? The Next Web article has nothing to do with news organizations – it doesn’t even mention them. 

    And for good reason. Google has vast mountains of cash, you see, and its revenues and profits are *rising.* It’s in a business that’s growing, not shrinking, and what’s more, it basically controls that business. So it can afford to fail a third of the time. Most news organizations can’t. 

    Out of many pathetically feeble posts that have appeared on this blog in recent months, this might be the feeblest.

  • Anonymous

    I think the news industry is as good as any other at starting products that consumers don’t want.  ;-)  Google has no special talent at that.  We just need to make sure to kill them when it becomes clear there is no prospect of revenue or profits.  Perhaps Google is better at that.

    But there is a fair point here that perhaps Google is better than the big news companies at finding ideas.  Most of the innovation in the news business comes from startups.