Google deserves its reputation as one of the most innovative companies in the world. As I sometimes share when I present to groups of entrepreneurs, a tiny company can become huge on the strength of valuable insights and well-designed solutions.
According to Lorraine Twohill, SVP of marketing at Google, the company still relies on these same ingredients for its growth. When it comes to online behavior, no one knows more about customers than Google does. When it comes to applying data to design effective solutions, Google is the acknowledged leader.
As innovators, we should use the same approach. My second principle of successful innovation states that “Exponential growth comes from new ideas. The best new ideas meet real needs.” To understand real needs, we must acquire deep knowledge of customers. To truly excel, we should know more about customers than they are able to tell us about themselves.
My fourth principle of successful innovation is that “Informed innovation produces the best results.” This means simply that innovation should be based on data. We obtain data by observing and experimenting. Without observation and experimentation, we are left with only hunches (intuition), guesses and assumptions. Those inputs seldom produce successful innovation.
To grow like Google, we must know our customers well enough to discover insights that reveal openings for wealth creation. We must test our conclusions with well-designed experiments that generate valid data. Then, we can build and launch our innovative solutions with confidence that they will produce the kind of results we seek.
Related reading: How Google breaks through