Corporate Origins: Does The Most Valuable Innovation Still Happen Behind Closed Doors?

By • Jun 23rd, 2009 • Category: 26th Story, Big Ideas, Technology, Testing, Web/Tech

The Google Garage rented by Larry Page and Sergey BrinThis week’s episode of This American Life, “Origin Story,” reveals surprising tidbits about how various institutions began. It also profiles one of the original Mad Men, Julian Koenig, who came up with Volkswagen’s iconic ‘think small’ campaign. We’ve all heard of the famous Hewlett-Packard garage, but I didn’t realize that Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin moved into a garage two years after they started what would become Google. Of course it’s now a corporate landmark and tourist attraction. Clearly, the garage is the sine qua non of any tech company (the image of two geeks tinkering in a dimly lit space is a million times more alluring than… two well connected guys hatching a business plan at cocktail party) but the show got me thinking: Is Twitter the new garage? The space where copywriters and techies test out ideas and prototypes. Or, does the most valuable innovation still happen behind a closed garage door?

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  • Helen Klein Ross aka Ad Broad

    Is twitter the new garage? Love this quote, Julia. Yes! Look where thinking in >140 characters got Julian Koenig :)

  • Julia Cheiffetz

    @helen: just checked out your blog: It is AWESOME.