google

Google News Initiative

This morning Google announced their Google News Initiative, which is a number of things, but has these three objectives:

  • Elevate and strengthen quality journalism  
  • Evolve business models to drive sustainable growth
  • Empower news organizations through technological innovation

Benedict Evans’ weekly newsletter

If you’re into technology, I highly recommend Benedict Evans’ weekly newsletter. In this weeks email you’ll find stories like, The Inside Story Behind Pebble’s Demise, Google’s blog post titled Assessing Cardiovascular Risk Factors with Computer Vision, a story about how Intel Fights for its Future by Jean-Louis Gassée, and Pete Warden’s story of Why Low-Power NN Accelerators Matter. All good reads.

Google’s Oprah Winfrey Rule

There is a mistake technical and scientific people make. We think that if we have made a clever and thoughtful argument, based on data and smart analysis, then people will change their minds. This isn’t true. If you want to change people’s behavior you need to touch their hearts, not just win the argument. We call this the Oprah Winfrey Rule. (It’s also the way good politicians operate, but Oprah does it better than anyone.)

~ Google’s Oprah Winfrey Rule, from the book, How Google Works

He who lives to see two or three generations ...

“He who lives to see two or three generations is like a man who sits some time in the conjurer’s booth at a fair, and witnesses the performance twice or thrice in succession. The tricks were meant to be seen only once, and when they are no longer a novelty and cease to deceive, their effect is gone.”

~ A quote from Arthur Schopenhauer,
read by Steve Jobs,
as found in the book, How Google Works

“How Google Works” is a good read for entrepreneurs

I’m only about fifty pages into the book, How Google Works, but I can already say that if you think of yourself as an entrepreneur, it’s a valuable read. At first I thought the authors were patting themselves on the back a lot (which admittedly they deserve), but as I continued reading they clearly say things like “We’re not that smart,” “We screwed up,” and “Learning from our mistakes, this is why we created Alphabet.”

Some of their ideas, such as building businesses around their smartest people and greatest assets are things that I did in the past, but couldn’t articulate. Maybe it had to do with being in Kentucky at the time, but I always thought of it as “Get out of the way and let the thoroughbreds run.”

Ship and iterate

A note from this long article about Google’s Rick Osterloh:

Former CEO Eric Schmidt calls this system “Ship and Iterate,” and in his book How Google Works he makes a consistent case for not even trying to get things right the first time. “Create a product, ship it, see how it does, design and implement improvements, and push it back out,” Schmidt writes. “Ship and iterate. The companies that are the fastest at this process will win.”

Google “CLoud TPUs” available in beta

Google is making “Cloud TPUs” available in beta. From their announcement: “Starting today, Cloud TPUs are available in beta on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to help machine learning (ML) experts train and run their ML models more quickly. Cloud TPUs are a family of Google-designed hardware accelerators that are optimized to speed up and scale up specific ML workloads programmed with TensorFlow. Built with four custom ASICs, each Cloud TPU packs up to 180 teraflops of floating-point performance and 64 GB of high-bandwidth memory onto a single board.”