The Paths to Innovation

Patrick Copeland, Google, Inc.

There are many paths to innovation. At one extreme, many large companies create research labs, staff them with world-class Ph.D.s, and set them working for years to solve complex technical problems. At the other end is the proverbial "two entrepreneurs in the garage" working on a shoe-string budget. Between these extremes are all sorts of organizational structures, team sizes, budgets, and time horizons to encourage innovation. Patrick Copeland introduces basic models for innovation-top-down, democratic, and his personal favorite “eXtreme”-and describes how Google's core beliefs, culture, organization, and infrastructure have successfully encouraged and enabled democratic innovation throughout its growth. From the now famous “twenty-percent time” offer to engineers to its culture of trust, Google is famous for its innovation and out-of-box thinking and execution. Patrick concludes with an "Unleash the Innovators" manifesto/guide that any team, department, or organization can adapt and adopt to stimulate and leverage eXtreme Innovation. Find your own path to innovation and set out to change your world-one step at a time.

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