The Idea: Rarely does one hear of Fortune 500 companies doing something truly entrepreneurial, but Sergey Brin and Larry Page, founders of Google, recently introduced Alphabet, the new name of the entity formerly known as Google. How does a “Too big to break” company continually adjust faster than smaller counterparts? They are trying to become more nimble to get back to their roots of capitalizing on emerging technologies.
After breaking the news of Alphabets inception, Larry Page wrote a letter to the world about the company’s DNA. One line embodied the trait that makes them stick out:
“We’ve long believed that over time companies tend to get comfortable doing the same thing, just making incremental changes. But in the technology industry, where revolutionary ideas drive the next big growth areas, you need to be a bit uncomfortable to stay relevant.”
Google’s success has always been because of constant innovation and flux. Even their homepage was a metaphor for their ever-evolving approach, with a different look every day. Google’s entrepreneurial spirit never died because at heart they are always a company started out of a garage.
Though the jury is still out on Alphabet’s eventual success, I’m doubling down for two reasons:
- They don’t just embrace change, they create it. Hungry, entrepreneurial organisms out-think, out-maneuver and outperform larger, more muscular threats.
- They create change because they make room for it. When talented creatives like Page and Brin are allowed to be flexible, they birth ideas and change the order of things. Alphabet is yet another example.
Years ago, the CEO and founder of a company I worked for stepped into a role as Chief Design Officer. He neither enjoyed nor was very good at managing the day-to-day operations of the company. However, the courage to play his game – the game he was brilliant at – resulted in the company doubling its size. A victory for him and his company. Do you have that level of confidence in yourself and your skills?
Even the biggest and best like Google know that disruption is the only way to truly stay fresh.
Are you comfortable being uncomfortable?