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Monday, July 13, 2015

The dark side of Google's focus on massive world-changing projects

Disagree with the author's assertion of "a little more incrementalism could do Google some good." Would Google Chromecast have been possible if it weren't for the "failure" of Google TV? The world is already saturated with incrementalism. Healthcare pharmaceuticals and devices fall into this lot. Medications are approved based on being "noninferior". For instance, many anticancer drugs are approved based on spurious length and quality-of-life benefits. Such a drug may be approved by demonstrating an increase in length of life of days or weeks with no significant improvement in quality of life; and, indeed, sometimes with detraction to quality-of-life. such as, most of this extension is spent in the hospital rather than at home with loved ones. What if the new anticancer drug was approved based on a minimum requirement of increasing length of life of one year? How might the researchers re-prioritize their focus and effort in the laboratory?
from Rajesh Harrykissoon, MD Google lives by the gospel of "10x." That helps its take on wildly ambitious projects, but sometimes it can cloud the need for incremental change.