Goodbye Google Labs


Google, that hotbed of employee innovation thanks to generous free time available to chase ideas, has announced it’s locking up Google Labs. Google CEO Larry Page used the term “putting more wood behind fewer arrows” about shutting down Google Health and Google PowerMeter. While those of us who have shot arrows believe this metaphor stinks because you put more string tension behind arrows if you want more power, Page is obviously reorganizing things to put his stamp back on the GooglePlex.

But in a world filled with “me-too” products, the commitment from Google to publicly try many things to find what really works based on user feedback stood out as one of the best ideas in business. So the question now is what this means going forward for both Google in particular and the encouragement of creative thinking in general.

Google’s growing up

Google’s maturing… +1 Trinidad Mondesir on

This is an all-hands-on-deck move. They’ve got something special in Google+, and they really need to get behind it to succeed in the future. Notjub on

I love labs, but this makes perfect sense. When I first got on G+, I had this eerie feeling that Google was up to something bigger than what I was looking at. Staff Atico on

Google’s going corporate

The Apple-ification of Google continues… Ian Williams on

I don’t doubt that Google will keep innovating and come up with new products, but guess that future testing will be more internal or limited to a smaller circle of people. GaborPor on

Probably some decision driven by a bean counter on the board of directors who didn’t see the appropriate profit margin on the division. RD and creative thought outside of bottom line mentality is the true fodder of innovation and profitability. gborgford on

Google’s making a biiiig mistake

Too bad for Google. You need strong RD to remain viable as a company. Renegade Knight on

Really sad. This is what set Google apart from other tech companies. Google Labs was part of what made Google cool, innovative, exciting and fresh. Wrong decision Google. Wayne Finlay on

“In many cases, this will mean ending Labs experiments” That’s BAD news, no matter how you look at it. Rack Nine on

Your turn. Is Google getting more mature (1), selling out their innovation foundation (2), or is Larry Page tweaking the company to reflect his vision? (3).

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