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Bradley Horowitz: Lessons Scaling Billion-User Apps at Google

Posted Oct 20
# TransformX 2022
# Fireside Chat
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SPEAKERS
Bradley Horowitz
Bradley Horowitz
Bradley Horowitz
Vice President & Advisor @ Google

Bradley Horowitz is a Vice President and Advisor to Google, where over the past decade he has led many of Google’s consumer products including Google Photos, Google News, Gmail, Google Drive and Docs, Google Voice, and Calendar. He has also led Google for Startups (an effort to foster opportunity for entrepreneurs worldwide) and co-founded Area 120 (Google’s internal incubator.)

Before joining Google in February 2008, Horowitz was Yahoo's Vice President of Advanced Development where he drove the acquisitions of Flickr and MyBlogLog, launched the Brickhouse incubator, and developed new products like Yahoo! Pipes. Additionally, he was responsible for the company's initiative to open up its platform which included launching Hack Days, and overseeing the Yahoo Developer Network (YDN).

Previously, he was co-founder and CTO of Virage, where he oversaw the technical direction of the company from its founding through its IPO and eventual acquisition by Autonomy. Horowitz was a Ph.D. candidate at the MIT Media Lab, where he worked on several topics related to computer vision, graphics and image processing. Horowitz holds more than a dozen patents in these fields. Horowitz has served on the Visiting Committee of the MIT Media Lab, the boards of Singapore Telecom, Issuu, Lyst, NextSense the Effortless Mastery Institute, and Curious Learning.

Horowitz holds an MS in Media Science from MIT and a BS in Computer Science from the University of Michigan and is presently a Cornell Fellow. He and his wife Irene Au are avid angel investors (with over 100 investments), and advisors and supporters of the tech startup community.

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Bradley Horowitz is a Vice President and Advisor to Google, where over the past decade he has led many of Google’s consumer products including Google Photos, Google News, Gmail, Google Drive and Docs, Google Voice, and Calendar. He has also led Google for Startups (an effort to foster opportunity for entrepreneurs worldwide) and co-founded Area 120 (Google’s internal incubator.)

Before joining Google in February 2008, Horowitz was Yahoo's Vice President of Advanced Development where he drove the acquisitions of Flickr and MyBlogLog, launched the Brickhouse incubator, and developed new products like Yahoo! Pipes. Additionally, he was responsible for the company's initiative to open up its platform which included launching Hack Days, and overseeing the Yahoo Developer Network (YDN).

Previously, he was co-founder and CTO of Virage, where he oversaw the technical direction of the company from its founding through its IPO and eventual acquisition by Autonomy. Horowitz was a Ph.D. candidate at the MIT Media Lab, where he worked on several topics related to computer vision, graphics and image processing. Horowitz holds more than a dozen patents in these fields. Horowitz has served on the Visiting Committee of the MIT Media Lab, the boards of Singapore Telecom, Issuu, Lyst, NextSense the Effortless Mastery Institute, and Curious Learning.

Horowitz holds an MS in Media Science from MIT and a BS in Computer Science from the University of Michigan and is presently a Cornell Fellow. He and his wife Irene Au are avid angel investors (with over 100 investments), and advisors and supporters of the tech startup community.

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Alexandr Wang
Alexandr Wang
Alexandr Wang
CEO & Founder @ Scale AI

Alexandr Wang is the founder and CEO of Scale AI, the data platform accelerating the development of artificial intelligence. Alex founded Scale as a student at MIT at the age of 19 to help companies build long-term AI strategies with the right data and infrastructure. Under Alex's leadership, Scale has grown to a $7bn valuation serving hundreds of customers across industries from finance to e-commerce to U.S. government agencies.

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Alexandr Wang is the founder and CEO of Scale AI, the data platform accelerating the development of artificial intelligence. Alex founded Scale as a student at MIT at the age of 19 to help companies build long-term AI strategies with the right data and infrastructure. Under Alex's leadership, Scale has grown to a $7bn valuation serving hundreds of customers across industries from finance to e-commerce to U.S. government agencies.

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SUMMARY

Bradley Horowitz, industry veteran and Google product leader, speaks with Scale founder and CEO Alexandr Wang about the transformative experiences that have helped him in his current role as lead for products with billions of users, which over the past decade have included Gmail, Calendar, Google Docs, Hangouts, Google News, Blogger, Reader, and Google Photos. He discusses how he learned to build what users really need, and not what academics believe they need. He discusses the potential of AI-enable features and applications being explored further and the need to solve the simple problems before being able to convince customers to try more sophisticated features.

When it comes to billion-user systems like Gmail, he explains how he has helped tackle issues with data-driven product development, a good sense of triage, and relentless experimentation. He also covers the lessons he learned from Flickr, which he helped Yahoo acquire, and how it’s best to let computers and humans do what they each do best.

Before joining Google, Horowitz helped lead video-analysis startup Virage to an IPO and served as VP of advanced development at Yahoo. Bradley is also an angel investor in Slack, Upstart, Grab, Miro, Coda, Sana and over 100 other high-impact startups.

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