Patrick Copeland



Patrick Copeland is passionate about delivering innovation and building and improving world-class products. As Senior Engineering Director, he leads Google Decision Platforms. His team builds platforms and infrastructure for Google’s Advertising business.

Patrick has over 16 years of experience in software engineering. Previous to Decision Platforms at Google, Patrick was responsible for creating a group of 1,000 engineers in 25 countries. His team developed innovative engineering tools, systems, and processes that provide a competitive advantage for Google. His goal is to accelerate Google and save time that can be used for innovation. During his 11 years at Microsoft he led engineering teams that created operating systems, databases, business applications, and cloud based systems.



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Entrepreneurs spend millions of dollars and waste time building products people don't want. Companies also get stuck in "analysis paralysis" or falling in love with bad ideas. Even with the best of intentions and conditions, preventable failures like these have been going on since the dawn of time. What if there was a better way to create a new product and avoid this nightmare? What can we learn from patterns of great entrepreneurs and inventors?

Copeland will introduce the concept of "pretotyping." The idea is to test the initial appeal and actual usage of a potential new product by simulating its core experience with the smallest possible investment of time and money. Less formally, pretotyping is a way to build confidence in a product idea quickly and inexpensively by creating extremely simplified versions that validate the premise: "If we build it, they will use it." The main objective of pretotyping is to answer questions about the product's appeal and usage: "Would people be interested in it?", "Would they buy it if we build it?", "Will they use it as expected?", "Will they continue to use it?"

This talk describes how you can implement these ideas right now. Copeland will use examples from his experience at Google and will talk about how core beliefs, culture, organization, and infrastructure can be used to successfully encourage and enable innovation. This talk will help you whether you are an innovator in a big company or "two engineers in a garage". Find your path to innovation and set out to change your world—one step at a time.

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