Alberto Savoia founded and sold Velogic for a hundred million US dollars before taking over as Google’s engineering director where he developed AdWords. These successes led him to attempt entrepreneurship for a second time, so he created Agitar which was into “unit test automation”. Agitar did well for a while but IBM’s open source tool in the same field killed them off along with others in that space. Like Savoia, a lot of entrepreneurs faced failures along with intermittent successes in the halcyon days of the 1990s and 2000s. In fact, there is an entire lexicon termed as “Google Graveyard” or “Microsoft Morgue” cataloguing the numerous failures such as the former’s Wave. Management ideas at present seem to emanate from the US West Coast dominated by tech firms, so it is fitting that people such as Alberto Savoia, Steve Blank and Eric Ries, self-proclaimed failures lecture at Executive MBA courses on how best to learn from such setbacks. While the business and tech press have historically concentrated on the big fish such as Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk, the likes of Blank and Ries can provide lessons to learn. They say that today the business cycle moves so rapidly, detailed plans cannot be reliably created. So, prototyping which takes months, needs to be cut down to pretotyping which is a combination of the words- pre and prototyping- and takes just days or even hours. In his new role at Google, Savoia leads business innovation and is a ‘failure analyst’. At his mentoring sessions, pretotyping has become a crucial link.


Uploaded Date:30 November 2017

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