The Google approach to self improvement

We got beat because Google runs itself as a series of experiments run by its engineers. They are constantly trying new things at a ferocious rate. A Google chief scientist says they run 3,000 to 5,000 experiments a year. If you use Google in a week, you’re likely to be in three experiments. You don’t know you are, because they are experiments. – A Yahoo engineer

The Google approach to self improvement is inspired by the quote – “If you use Google in a week, you’re likely to be in three experiments.”

My learning from this approach is to go back to the drawing board every weekend. I aim to spend 5 minutes reviewing my goals. In this case, they are my 3 new year sub-themes – health, information and “seek to understand and then to be understood” – along with the overall engagement theme. And, part of this review is reflecting on last week’s experiments and designing new experiments for this week.

So, what is an experiment? A small change in the way I do things. For instance, I’ve been slowly building a more comprehensive work out system. This week, I’d like to add a couple of short sprints to the days when I focus on weights. Another experiment is a change in style in how I make a point in meetings. And, so on.

The goal here is to be similar to Google. If you interact with me in a week, you should be looking at three ongoing experiments. And, hopefully, over time, the small changes that work well will stick.

And, in the long run, these small things become the big things.

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