Motorola done right
Punit Soni

Multiple interesting points raised here -:

  • If the culture of Motorola != Google and yet the same people are now functioning (supposedly well) within Google, then this requires a detailed case study on its own. This might be one of the biggest lessons for M&A where perhaps instead of attempting merging of cultures or even discreetly imposing one, it is important for one entity to openly take a big brother role. Whether that requires forcing change or just taking a passive role would be worth knowing more about.
  • Another point is whether cultural integration is really important (as most studies say) or if cultural alignment is sufficient — perhaps it is only important for the rate/quality of output to match across two teams (organizations). Wonder if it is possible that the integration touchpoints function like APIs and the actual culture to build them is like a black box to which people are agnostic
  • The challenge of high vertical integration vs horizontal integration is more interesting because this is a fairly unique position in which Google is in (this is different from Microsoft primarily because of the more rapid iterations in mobile hardware & software as well as a formidable challenger to the OS itself in mobiles). A separate hardware team NOT highly integrated into Google might be the only option to treat OEMs well. Software will need to be ahead of Hardware cycle by a couple of iterations and then provided to all OEMs including Google’s division together. The other option (which seems to have been adopted) is to have a reference design Mobile model aimed at the high end which can then feed back into the basic Android loop for other OEMs in their next iterations. Either ways, if the software and hardware teams can internalize how to be ahead a couple of cycles from Android devices, the org structure problem might be resolved