Google Venture Stories June 30, 2014

Google Venture’s mechanical secret to efficient meetings in a digital world

Anyone who has worked for any company with more than, well, one person has experienced those interminable meetings filled with people who like the sound of their own voice much more than they like getting to the point.

Bloomberg reports that Google’s venture capital division, Google Ventures, has a simple solution: a mechanical timer that sits on the table to enforce 20-30 minute time limits on discussion items.

“It makes time visible and tangible,” says design partner Jake Knapp, “so it changes the way people think about time passing.” As a result, he says, long-winded participants are cut off, and the more reserved are encouraged to pipe up before it’s too late.

Knapp says he first saw the $25 Time Timer in his son’s classroom.

I figured what worked for small children would probably work well for CEOs, too.

I’m amused by a Google team using a mechanical device: don’t they know there’s an app for that?

Google Venture Stories August 23, 2013

Report: Google Ventures invests $250M in Uber private car service

According to a report from AllThingsD, Google’s investment arm, Google Ventures, just invested around $250 million into Uber, the private car delivery service that lets users order vehicles through mobile apps. The investment comes as Uber raises $360 million at a valuation of around $3.5B:

Though pricey, the latest scramble to be in the Uber funding round was apparently very competitive. Sources said Google won the investment because of direct intervention by CEO Larry Page, who met with Uber CEO Travis Kalanick.

While it would be a bit stretch to guess what plans Google might have for Uber down the road, there are a few Google services in development that could benefit. Some have speculated that Uber could help power a future driverless car service from Google, but perhaps more realistic for the short term would be deliveries. Since last year Google has been testing a same-day delivery service in and around San Francisco, and it reportedly planned to use driverless cars to do so.

Google Venture Stories May 6, 2013

After just over a year and a half since leaving TechCrunch full-time and launching CrunchFund as a partner, prominent tech columnist and investor MG Siegler announced today that he is joining the muscle investment group that is Google Venture as a general partner.

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