I am currently a Product Management Director for two areas in Google Cloud - G Suite for Education, including Google Classroom, which launched in 2014 - and new collaborative products, including Jamboard, which was announced in Oct, 2016 and launched in May, 2017. I started both those teams and the related products from scratch in 2013. I work at the Google office in NYC with other amazing product managers, designers and engineers who build and support these products.
I started my role at Google in 2005, when a company I co-founded as CEO (2web Technologies) was acquired by Google. I became the lead product manager responsible for the development of the Google Docs and Drive suite from its inception, when we were just a team of 4 in NYC - starting with Google Sheets, and then Google Docs, Google Drive, Slides, Forms, Apps Script, Sites, Drawings, Fonts and other related products. I continued in that role through the first 8 years of growth. In 2013, I moved on to my current role, managing Google Apps for Education - launching Google Classroom and Expeditions in 2014 - and also managing the development and launch of a new product called Jamboard, which launched in Oct, 2016. More details on these are below.
Jamboard: This hardware and software product is a collaborative whiteboard which removes the barriers to team creativity and rethinks the concept of productivity in meetings. Announced in October, 2016, Jamboard gives teams an open canvas which feels as natural as a whiteboard, but can be shared and saved with the full power of the web and the same collaborative power used in Google Docs. Team members can draw and add visual assets and text - including the use of tablet and phone apps for realtime participation by in-room or remote participants.
I initiated the Jamboard product as the lead Product Director in 2013 as a combined hardware and software effort to enhance the value of GSuite for businesses.
G Suite for Education
GSuite For Education: I built and managed a new Google For Education products team starting in 2013. We initiated and launched Google Classroom - an assignment workflow app for teachers and students - and Google Expeditions - a Virtual Reality teaching tool which allows teachers to take students on virtual explorations as a group using Google Cardboard VR. Google Classroom simplifies class communication and assignment workflow and is used actively by 30 million teachers and students (as of 2017) globally, and can be used for free by teachers and students who use G Suite for education, or in other learning contexts with a Google account. Expeditions can also be accessed by anyone for free with over 800 virtual tours available (as of 2017) to anyone with a mobile phone or tablet (iOS or Android).
I continue to manage those and other education-related apps, including Google Forms. My role focuses on the use of those apps - and of all core G Suite products, like GMail, Docs, Drive, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Calendar, etc - in K-12 and Higher Education context, globally.
The NY Times profiled our success in the US K12 Classroom in this article, entitled "How Google Took Over the Classroom".
Besides the somewhat sensationalized subtitle and an out of context quote by me, the article did offer a sense of the value of Google tools in education and our approach to development which focuses on listening to the needs of the educators as a priority.
Photo Credit: Nick Cote, New York Times
Before all that - Google Drive, Google Sheets, Google Docs, etc...
From 2005 through early 2013, I was lead product manager for all the collaborative apps in the Google Docs and Drive suite. That journey started when the company I co-founded in 2003 and led as CEO - 2Web Technologies - was bought by Google in 2005 to begin the development of Google Sheets. That was the first App in the Google Docs suite to launch on June 6th, 2006 by a small team of me and 4 engineers in the Google NYC office. In March of that year we bought another company (Writely) to begin the simultaneous integration of a word processing app - Docs - and in October, 2006, we brought the two together to publicly launch Google Docs & Spreadsheets.
We continued to grow the team and develop additional apps - Google Slides, Forms, Drawings, Apps Script, Google Fonts - and me and my original co-founder, Fuzzy Khosrowshahi, led the team from the product and engineering perspective, respectively. Fuzzy is the genius, self-taught engineer behind our original XL2Web product that was originally aimed at financial services customers and later impressed Google so much that they acquired our company. Another amazing engineer from our original team, Micah Lemonik - another genius, is also still at Google working with us, leading a team of engineers on some of our most complex challenges. He deserves credit for most of the original collaborative magic in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc. which continues to be used today.
Our latest product is the Jamboard Collaborative whiteboard, which is the newest addition to G Suite and includes a 55" hardware device which uses advanced touch technology as well as collaborative whiteboard apps for iOS and Android devices. It has changed the way I collaborate in meetings no matter where I am.