Marissa Mayer Shares Google's Three Biggest Mistakes

12:05 PM PST 11/04/2010 by Philiana Ng

VIDEO: She discusses the failure of Google Wave, the Deja News shutdown and the Gmail launch date.

Marissa Mayer, vp of geographic and local services at Google and its 20th employee, shared with Digg Dialogg what she thought were her company's biggest mistakes.

(Watch the full interview segment below.)

When asked about Google Wave -- the "live, shared space on the web where people can discuss and work together" -- which Mayer had expressed excitement for during her first visit to Digg Dialogg, she said, "I think that Wave has been an interesting project. I still think that technologically, and from a product standpoint, it does many interesting things."

"But one of the big things we do at Google is we try and launch early and iterate and learn from both our successes and our failures," Mayer said. "Here, this is really about what can we learn from Wave and we've learned a lot."

She did offer the possibility that some aspects of Wave, which allowed users to embed the application onto blogs, could be "deployed in other contexts."

"There are definitely things we would've done differently," Mayer says later.

She also mentioned the Deja News shutdown was another company mistake. (Google had acquired the usenet discussion service in early 2001.)

"Perhaps shutting down Deja News at 11 a.m. on a Monday morning and not really having any way to post to or browse newsgroups was perhaps a mistake," she said.

The third error Google made was launching Gmail on April Fools' Day in 2004, which Mayer said "was widely misinterpreted" by the rest of the world.

Mayer also discussed hosting a fundraiser for President Obama at her home, roughly 10 houses away from the garage where Hewlett-Packard began in Palo Alto, Calif.

Among other topics touched on were Google TV, customized ads for the Google TV and the gadget she can't live without (Verizon's EV-DO card).

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