Youtube, Google, Amazon discussed on Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman
Building. Your own rituals is as important as building your product. But if you aren't intentional about the rituals you create, you may find that rituals sprang up on their own like invasive weeds in a garden left unattended. And those unintended rituals can hold you back. I wanted to speak to she shirota about this because it's widely known in Silicon Valley that he helped Youtube scale to what it is today. When she should join Youtube in two thousand and eight, it had around three, hundred, fifty, million visits per month. By the time he left, they had more than a billion and she sheer helped to drive that growth with new rituals that kept the team focused on that audacious goal. Sure. Then brought his ideas about creating rituals to his new startup CODA. CODA lets users create a completely new kind of document with apply elements. It's a bit like up of a text occupant, a spreadsheet and your iphone. We'll get to Kota a bit later in the show. But first let's rewind a bit inches shears life. Straight out of MIT sheer co-founded Centrale a cloud computing startup. Then, he joined Microsoft in two thousand and two and work on office among other things in two thousand and eight sheer moved to Google taking on a role. That's a bit of a head scratcher. He was head of TV at Google. But very soon, she was working on Google's new acquisition. It was a deal that raised a lot of eyebrows. Youtube was not obvious at the time you to was in fact, many people looked at it as Google's first mistake now spent one point six, billion dollars on a company that was known for grainy videos, big lawsuits, copyright issues, cat videos it seems hard to believe now but at the time, the acquisition of you to was seen as Google's folly. Youtube had only just launched and shears moved to Youtube was also met with raised eyebrows. Multiple, thought is primary competition was a company called my space and a company called flicker, and so the idea of getting up and comparing youtube to. ESPN and Disney and so under sounded stupid and crazy. Sheer, sounded crazy to some. Right I ended up using this phrase that ended up being my calling card for the next few years was that online video would do to cable cable to broadcast. Broadcast was three channels cable was three hundred channels, and my view is that we're going from three to three hundred, three million channels. This is just history repeating itself. Tusha Shear. It was obvious that Youtube had the wind at its back, but that was not necessarily a good thing in his book when you have a tailwind, a couple of good things happen you get this amplification effect. So everything you do all of a sudden just seems genus and better than you would have expected. The other thing you get is a covers, tons of mistakes when the wind at your back you SORTA, don't have to hit the inside straight in order to make things work. There's a word for relying on your tailwind. Coasting. Coasting you just along doing things you doing because you seem to be winning. But meanwhile your competitors are experimenting with new ways to do things and before you know it though pull ahead. Sheer New Youtube had to stop relying on that tail when alone to keep ahead and once we realized that, hey, this tailwind, the tail one we have is on video is going to do to cable cable broadcast and here's this trend that were writing. Now, we had to take every philosophy and every system in lean into it tailwinds really matter and once you recognize it, you got to reshape your whole organization towards. However, some of Shears team wanted to follow the lead of Youtube is new parent. The simple framing of it was he come to Youtube at the time and you search for something we would return all the results could on youtube and that was that if we had it, we had it and we didn't. We didn't. There was a part of the team that was very focused on. Hey by Google, we should just give people the right results modern family is hosted on ABC dot com, which is tell people go ABC dot com the marketing and content partnerships team said look if you keep sending traffic off of youtube than going to come back and we're never gonna get that content on Youtube if we just drew people to it. Sheeran his team took an in depth look at the new rituals users creating not just around watching videos, but around searching general to work out how they should proceed. and. One. Of the observations we had google competitive property called Google product search started as a property called. Frugal and Amazon, was kicking. It's about. And every logical explanation said that should never have happened. Google products are should obviously have one because of the super set of Amazon indexed everything on Amazon and the rest of the web. If you ever searching for a product, why would you ever go Amazon when you come to Google products or at least that was the theory but clearly, and even at that time it was obviously, it was better. Amazon's approach evolved a centuries old ritual going to the store to buy goods. Sure it was an enhanced online twenty-first-century experience but at its heart, it was consistent with ritual everyone knew and practised. In contrast Google's approach was outta whack with a shopping ritual. It gave people too many choices. It was too comprehensive. Amazon focused on consistent over comprehensive and what does that mean in practice it meant that when I bought something from Amazon or just when I went to the site reviews roster structure the same way I understood how the return policy work I understand shipping work, and yet didn't have everything a lot of things it close enough to having everything, but I would rather have something that I trust trust in this sort of consistent or something comprehensive. Google was beholden to search ritual was after all the thing that had made the company wildly successful, but trying to enforce that same ritual at Frugal had held it back. And sheer believed it would do the same with you to. The Youtube team decided against the search ritual of showing comprehensive search results. And to say at work is an understatement youtube quickly cemented itself as the Go-to site for videos. and not just grainy cat videos in copyright infringements. Whole new type of user quickly emerged users who are making their own content and winning legions of subscribers. Sheer calls them makers. Everybody's presumption at the time was the only way that you can build. And make interesting content was to live in Hollywood pay for very large budget studios on, and that's how you may content and people really underestimated what this group of people would do. The makers help create a whole new set of rituals around how interesting creative content could be made distributed and discovered. SHEARN team made sure they supported these rituals. By. Two thousand eleven youtube already felt like they had one no other video platform at least in the Western world could touch them. They were in danger of hosting. We are still scaly. We just Kinda lost your out in front now and you don't quite remember what are we doing? Why do we push ourselves? To keep you out in front sheer started to imagine an entirely new way of defining success for the company. I have no idea if this is folklore not but I like it apparently, there's some board meeting at Coca Cola for somebody said, every single board meeting was, oh, we have x percent Shavers Pepsi and it's fifty to forty eight went back and forth back and forth like is this really the game we're in and somebody said, are we just competing for who can own the Brown water market? In this, telling the board members were locked into the ritual of obsessing over the Brown water market share and trying to get a few points up in the Brown water market. One of the board members said, what if we thought about this differently about we thought about our goal as something like percentage of stomach and they ended up broadening their view to whole lineup of drinks, and now they make water and they make all these other drinks and so on reshaped their market. Breaking out of this ritual opened a whole new range of opportunities for Coca Cola, and sometimes breaking out of an old ritual that is holding you back is as simple as asking yourself is this the game or really in? There's another question that she asked himself constantly, which he took from Britain's Olympic rowing team at the two thousand Olympics. Mantra, which was they would make every decision based on a single question, which is, will it make Boko faster and every decision? So is should this person sitting in front of the boat of the backup boat? Will it make book faster? Should we have Italian for dinner? Well, we'll make the BOKO faster Should we go to this? Well, we'll make the book of Esther. It. Seems like an obvious question ask will this make us go faster but sometimes we can focus on the wrong thing. Maybe you fixate on the shape of your sale and end up neglecting the direction of the current..