Let’s not kid ourselves: You either work in a factory or a lab.

The lab pushes for new things, for breakthrough ideas. A lab is set up for failure, using failures as fact finding missions to understand what’s working or not. The lab is not exploitative, it’s just working on the next thing that can change the world. A lab worker knows that working on a project might not produce tangible results. They crave to be curious and to find out new things.

On the other side of the spectrum, the factory workers loves reliability and being productive. No surprises, processes everywhere, repeating tasks from yesterday, just cheaper and much more faster. Facebook used to be a lab, now it’s a factory. Just like Yahoo, AOL or the majority of publishers.

Google, just like big media agencies, tries to be both. They try to lower costs while exploring insights that could change everything.

It’s hard to do both simultaneously. The moment you focus on performance and failure avoidance, you turned your back on innovation. And became a factory.