Drunk with Data, Economist at Google is on a Roll

Google also conducted 5,000 search experiments last year, which led to 400 search improvements (and the same again for ads experiments). Such insistent experimentation is an academic means to a capitalist end. Or, as Varian puts it: “Google is like a university, but with money.” It’s a cheering thought – and possibly why, in a recent talk at the 150th anniversary of MIT, Varian was notably more optimistic than his peers.“Economics is really on a roll in Silicon Valley,” he says. “The good news is that standard techniques from economics work very well on big problems. It’s a little discouraging working as an academic economist because the problems that you work on are so hard. They’re much, much easier in industry.”

via Lunch With Hal | Think Quarterly.

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