Le Web: Marissa Mayer or Google Take Two

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Marissa Mayer at LeWeb

So, what does Marissa Mayer have to offer us this year? After all, we had Schmidt yesterday… Well, a few things.

  • Checkins + Deals will launch next week
  • Latitude is still under development – 10m active users

She thinks there’s lots of activity in local still. It’s natural that there will be winners and locals. What will make for success? Transactions? Data ownership? That’s where Google has put the emphasis, because they think that they can innovate with. Location is useful on phones in particular. Maps follows voice and texts as the major use for a phone. As of June, maps has more usage on phones than on desktop.

Why go for indoor maps? Plenty of places that are large, indoor and confusing: shopping malls, airports, etc. It’s not just the maps, it’s locating people within the spaces. No GPS inside, so they use WiFi signals to locate you. A survey tool takes measurements of WiFi strength every few feet within the building…

Google+ is vital to her team – local feeds social feeds local. Chances are if you’re going somewhere, you’re going there with someone or to meet someone. Social and mobile working together offer real ways of working together. They’ve learned a lot from Wave and Buzz. Wave was a great concept, but was over-promised and too hard to understand. Buzz taught them a lesson about privacy.

There’s a clear company line emerging about Android – it’s ahead of iOS, Google services are better on Android. They’re clearly wedded to it as the future of the product.

Becoming Microsoft or becoming Yahoo? Which is the bigger fear? asks MG Seigler.

“Every company is it’s own thing.”

“That’s not one of them.”

“I’m not going to pick one of them.”


What does it take to be a great product manager? asks Chris Heuer. Finding the right people – those who can look at technology, see what is possible, and create a great product. By the time they come to her, they’ve passed the technical hurdles, so she wants to see what excites them. She wants people with enthusiasm, not those who are “too cool for school”. They need to build products that delight things, and you need to understand what delights you first to do that.

AndroidGoogleleweblocationlocation servicesmarissa mayermobileproduct design

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.