Marissa Mayer gave an interview to Business Week and unveiled some very interesting things about Google's products and the changes that will happen soon.
Marissa says Google's strategy is too launch products early and often. New products don't get too much promotion and are tested by a small number of people. If the products are good and they solve a problem, they will spread by word of mouth. If not, Google gets feedback and tries to improve them, while keeping a low-profile on them. The idea is that a product grows much healthier if the users can see it from the beginning and provide feedback. If released at an early stage of development, the products aren't mature enough to compete with other established ones (like Google Spreadsheets vs Microsoft Excel), but users are a part of the product's growth.
Marissa also thinks that Google News, Blog Search and Google Finance should be merged. "When I look at Google News, where I know we have a user base that is very concerned with current events and likes to see multiple viewpoints, that feels like a really good place to integrate in something like Blog Search and/or Finance." This way, Google won't have a such a big list of products and they will be more powerful as a result of integration.
Another interesting detail is that DaVinci Code competition was used to promote Google's products, including Google Personalized Homepage. Sergey Brin has solved all the puzzles, and he was number 10,072 from 100,000 people who finished the puzzles. Unfortunately, he was a Google employee (actually co-founder), so he was disqualified.
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