How LANIT brought a cat to Google and learned about working with startups

    The meeting of two friends living in different cities always brings a lot of emotions and charges with a positive. It was just for inspiration that the LANIT team of top managers went to Dublin this spring at Google headquarters. We share photos with you and talk about what I remember most from the trip - how Google works with innovative ideas and startups.

    In March, LANIT held one of the stages of the annual strategic meeting of leaders in Dublin, where the European headquarters of corporations such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, eBay, PayPal, Yahoo (now Oath), Twitter, Accenture, Airbnb are located. Why is such an accumulation of transnational giants in the Irish capital? First of all, due to the low corporate tax rate, which currently stands at 12.5%, and secondly, due to the widespread English.

    By the way, IBM (1956) and Ericsson (1957) were the first to come to the land of the Celts. Then the others reached out, and now in the country there are, according to some reports, more than 700 IT companies. Most offices are located in the areas of Silicon Docks and Digital Hub.


    We went to Google at Silicon Docks. The corporation owns office buildings on Barrow Street, connected by a passage at the third floor level.

    A source


    The Google European office has more than 7,000 employees on staff and on contract. This is a huge multinational center, where cultures and traditions are mixed, and there are much more talented developers visiting than local residents.

    Google impressed us with its hospitality. We carefully prepared for our visit, and there were no trifles for the receiving party. For example, we were asked to send the LANIT logo in advance, and upon entering the office we saw our own logo on monitors, navigation and advertising panels.

    We admit, we were happy as children when they searched and found their names and surnames on the running lines of a flight of stairs.

    And branded cupcakes baked on Google pleased our stomachs forever remained in our hearts and Instagrams.

    On behalf of European Google, we were greeted by the leaders of the sales department for large customers Dmitry Maselsky and Artem Gordin, cloud sales manager Lena Klochko and strategic cloud services engineer Leonid Kuligin.

    At the end of last year, we opened the LANIT Innovation Center and are actively developing this area, so it was especially interesting for us to hear how Google works with internal startups.

    When it comes to startups and innovations at Google, the first thing that comes to mind is the Tilt Brush VR application for three-dimensional drawing in virtual reality (by the way, we were given a try and the feelings in the new reality are fantastic, it is hardly possible to describe them). The second bright project is Waymo, which develops technology for unmanned vehicles, the brainchild of a subsidiary of Alphabet.

    There are also projects such as balloons distributing the Internet, or high-tech kites that are engaged in power generation, using the power of air flows at a certain height.

    Perhaps only corporations can afford to develop such projects. There is no serious financial or administrative pressure on their participants. Over time, some R&D projects turn into business units.

    One of the problems that Google faced at one time: the most talented employees, wanting to develop their own business ideas, left the company, since some processes at the start of the project are difficult to combine with the usual job responsibilities. So the corporation lost both promising people and promising ideas. Therefore, Google has created a whole system that allows employees to realize their creative potential, and the corporation itself - to preserve unique developments.

    Google’s internal incubator is called Area 120. Area 120 is now an office space in California, New York, and Zurich. And this project activity is supported by an online platform on which any Google employee can propose his idea and assemble a project team from among colleagues around the world. So, a marketer from an office in Dublin can find an engineer from an office in Munich and a designer from Singapore to create a prototype of the new system.

    All ideas are carefully studied by partners of the internal incubator Google. To start a project, you need a clear implementation plan and a team with distributed roles.

    If the idea passes protection, Google employees leave their main job duties and move to a new project with a salary. So people realize their entrepreneurial ambitions, get Google resources and do not risk anything (intellectual rights to the idea remain with Google).

    If the project does not take off after a year and a half, it is closed, and the employee has three months to find a job at Google: this may be the old place that he once left, a new project or a new idea for a startup, for whom he will assemble a team again to work in Area 120. Since project participants acquire new skills in the process of developing a startup, they often return to the departments of the corporation with an increase.

    Successful startups Google can further integrate into its units. So, for example, it was with an application for teaching programming in a game form - Grasshopper.

    It happens that Google employees are interested in the topic of startups, but for various reasons they don’t leave their work for the sake of Area 120. In this case, they can participate in numerous third-party events that take place at the corporation's venues. It can be start-up battles, various brainstorming sessions, presentations of innovative projects - googlers participate in them as volunteers, mentors, and judges.

    There is also a program for a deeper immersion in the life of promising startups: a googler can join a startup team, for example, for six months and bring his expertise to the project.

    All Google’s innovative project programs are designed to support the ecosystem of these solutions and enable Google’s self-realization.

    In addition to everything described above, Google regularly organizes and supports startup competitions around the world. By the way, in 2015, Fibrum , a developer of applications with augmented and virtual reality and our partner, received a special prize “Best Global Startup” from Google at the Startup Village project competition.

    It is important that Google sees one of its key tasks not to invest in innovative business ideas, but to ensure that the current projects of the corporation retain their innovative potential. The corporation now has seven products with a billionth audience, and thanks to deep machine learning technologies, they are becoming smarter every year.

    To commemorate the visit to Google, we bought branded hoodies, mugs, badges with Android, and the employees of the Dublin office left as a present a picture with a doodle by Vasya Lozhkin, on which the cat learned the secrets of Google’s success and found Zen.

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