Author Archives: brendansterne

About brendansterne

Director of Innovation Labs, Indeed.com

Gmail wasn’t really a 20%-time project

I always thought gmail was an example of an employee coming up with an idea, and having automatic-permission to explore it due to Google’s 20% time.  It is constantly referenced in articles about the policy. But there is some nuance … Continue reading

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Criteria for continued funding of new products

At Indeed we’ve been working on continually improving our processes for funding, staffing, executing and assessing new experimental products. One of our challenges is assessing early products and figuring out whether to kill or continue them.  One approach used in … Continue reading

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Seeds, Pods and Big Bets

Indeed is investing more and more in discovering and building new products.  As the product team discussed and evaluated our successes and failures – I found it difficult to communicate without some common terminology around the different types of innovation … Continue reading

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Technical Risk vs Market Risk, Part II

Haters gonna hate.  Engineers gonna build.  Unsurprisingly, engineers are drawn to the challenges that interest them: reliability, scalability, and reduced technical risk.  In a product space where Market Risk dominates (see Part I), these are the wrong priorities. A lot of … Continue reading

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Technical Risk vs Market Risk, Part I

If someone could build a teleportation device that worked, and that cost less than $2,000 to transport a person across the planet, they would be rich. If someone were to build a bluetooth-controlled LED display that could be affixed to the … Continue reading

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Inside Amazon.com, what’s the culture really like these days?

I’m inclined to agree that the recent New York Times article on Amazon “Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace” appears pretty slanted and seems written to match a pre-conceived narrative. I’ve never worked at Amazon, but I … Continue reading

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First 24 hours with the Apple Watch

It’s a pain in the ass to pull a phone out of your pocket when you’re sitting down -especially in jeans. I pull my phone out of my pocket 30 times/day just to interact with it for 5 seconds: when … Continue reading

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