Our week in San Francisco (III): Google and HP

Escrito el 25 Mayo 2007 por Ricardo Pérez Garrido en Educación / Education

Our third day in the valley started with a visit to… yes, the GooglePlex. Thanks to the collaboration of Marco Marinucci (he has posted a couple of videos of our visit in his blog), IE Alumni working at Google, we had the opportunity not only to walk around the facilities with help from a volunteer guide (anybody can help out with this in the company, as I guess the place has become sort of “the place to go” when you are around from anywhere in the world, but also to meet and discuss with several executives from the company.

As you may expect if you know the company, the conversation was very open at all times, and the pride of being at a company leading the industry that it had previously changed, was obvious and created a great feeling in the group. The fact that the whole framework of buildings, offices and services has been created to help googlers feel at home and be able to work and interact at all times is more than a note on the strategy of the company. Though one can discuss if this is appropriate for all companies, probably not, those that want to improve creativity and innovation (and many companies in the world say they want to do so), should have a good look at this place.

The philosophy of the company is something you all know, but probably one thing you can understand better after being there is the magic recipe of flexibility and agility in terms of being able to ask anybody about anything and feeling really close to “the action”. I wonder what will happen when all this great group of young geniuses grow up and change a bit their priorities, but for know you can see this is a company difficult to beat, at least their spirit.

While we were at Google, we had the opportunity (thanks again Marco) of meeting Fabrizio Capobianco, founder of Funambol. Open source and mobility connected to making money. That sounds improbable enough to be successful. And they are. Fabrizio’s passion for his ideas, and the possibilities of development with capital from the valley and intellectual capital from Europe (the development team is in Italy), were a great lesson on how to use the spikes of this not-so-flat world to your advantage.

Finally we spent the afternoon with HP, looking at their latest products (I loved the Misto prototype, great product for the digital living room). One thing that was extremely interesting was the approach to simple solutions for the living room that is going to change the way we interact with our digital life. I wonder how long it will take until you can find a touch screen like this in every house… that will be an interesting change, and also a generational gap for all of us…

We also had the opportunity to experience their videoconference/telepresence product Halo (on Monday we had a meeting with London from Cisco’s offices in the valley, and the differences in approach are extremely interesting, being both solutions a real step forward towards avoiding all those business trips), and finally we spend time talking about their strategy in the Telecom and media markets. What is interesting is how they are building and delivering the concept of platform to help large telcos move faster towards new business and revenue models that can leave behind the memories of the before-the-flat-rate times.

Again a great day, and many thanks to Google, Funambol and HP for their help building it.


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