October 19, 2011

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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Steve Myers was the managing editor of Poynter.org until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens,…
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