The Deipnosophist

Where the science of investing becomes an art of living

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Location: Summerlin, Nevada, United States

A private investor for 20+ years, I manage private portfolios and write about investing. You can read my market musings on three different sites: 1) The Deipnosophist, dedicated to teaching the market's processes and mechanics; 2) Investment Poetry, a subscription site dedicated to real time investment recommendations; and 3) Seeking Alpha, a combination of the other two sites with a mix of reprints from this site and all-original content. See you here, there, or the other site!

06 November 2006

Google: Chaos by design?

In my recent post, "Does confusion reign at Google", I attempted to reply to the notion that Google is a frustrated mess. The company might perplex many investors and analysts, but it should never vex you.

This recent FORTUNE magazine article, Chaos by Design, develops this notion even further.
What emerges from months of interviews with employees ranging from fresh-out-of-college hires to the CEO is that Google firmly believes it has a framework for figuring out the future. It should come as no surprise that the plan is as irreverent, self-confident, and presumptuous as the company itself. Google's executives don't articulate it this way, but the framework can be found in the title of Shona Brown's book: structured chaos. Indeed, along with Googleyness, chaos is among the most important aspects of Google's self-image. Understanding how Google thinks about chaos -- like Page's teachable moment after Sandberg's million-dollar mistake -- is critical to divining where the company goes next. "Are lots of questions hanging out there in the market?" asks Sandberg. "Sure. Because we don't always have an answer. We're willing to tolerate that ambiguity and chaos because that's where the room is for innovation." Good strategy -- if it actually works.
Excellent article, and worth your time to read. Even if you do not now own the shares.

-- David M Gordon / The Deipnosophist

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