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Agile Development with Google & blur Group

January 13, 2010Sparxoo


By Ethan Lyon, Senior Writer

Often times, large, bureaucratic organizations get too caught up in the process. All thinking and no action leads to nowhere. Agile development is about innovating on a dime. For industry leaders, it means focusing on product development and implementation over strategy.

Google thrives on agile development. The search giant is a strong proponent of alpha and beta testing. First, Google builds a framework, then releases it to a team of outside developers who provide feedback and refine the product before it hits the beta testing phase. After the developers finish building a strong framework, the product is then released on an invitation basis. Google is an agile developer because they can make updates in real time and thrive on open-ended outcomes.


blur Group — Why have a few brilliant minds when you can tap into the creative talents of thousands? blur Group crowdsources creativity and the talents of their hand-selected online community. The company is a liaison between client and freelancer — curating the project development process to ensure quality. blur Group’s many communities are prime examples of agile development — as their lean operations enable more flexibility and room to stretch.

Law of Devolution — What is profitable today might not be profitable tomorrow. The Law of Devolution tells us that we should be perpetually progressive and forward thinking to compete another day. Google will build a compelling product today — without any profitability strategy — so tomorrow it can be monetized. For instance, Google’s new operating system, Chrome OS, could incorporate the search giant’s AdSense.


  • Google crowdsources innovation. Much like Dell’s Ideastorm, the search giant calls on the creative talents of its community to submit and vote on new, innovative ideas. To date, there are 9,945 product ideas for Google Mobile and a total of 408,417 votes.
  • Over the past decade, Google has developed over 40 unique products, including Gmail to Blogger to Wave.

Take Aways

  • While market research can be valuable, it is crucial to take action. Move beyond strategy to focus on innovation, product experimentation and testing.
  • How can you energize your company? Which areas should you be focusing on to accelerate progress?
  • Foster a creative work environment. Tap into everyone’s creativity by hosting workshops with a range of employees — from account executives to accountants to creatives.


  • The crowdsourcing model for innovation will be repeated by more corporations in 2010 — such as Apple and car manufacturers like Ford.
  • Online tech will increase in value as changes and product development can be accelerated through crowdsourcing. For instance, technology makes crowdsourcing much more efficient and accessible. The most recognizable example is Wikipedia. Prior to the crowdsourced encyclopedia, information was limited to page-space. Tech has enabled such information to be expanded upon in ways never possible prior to the web.
  • Open-source platforms, such as FireFox, will become more pervasive in online apps.

Who’s On Trend

  • Google
  • blur Group
  • NetFlix

Read all of the 2010 trends here. (PDF)

Read all of the 2010 trends here.