NAVER ALPHA / 2018
Building a company-wide initiative for a new experimental platform
Founded NAVER Alpha program / NAVER.
In January 2017, I pitched the idea for what became Alpha to NAVER's leadership team. Since then, I've been championing the effort to launch and expand the new experimental platform across the company.
Alpha is an outlet for experimental ideas across the company. We created the alpha platform for two purposes. First is to validate new ideas early with real users, learn from the failures and successes, and scale the ideas and values that worked. Second is to build towards a culture that is more creative, and less afraid to be daring in enabling new possibilities.
The motif for branding came from within the software development cycle. Prior to the full product release is the beta phase. And prior to the beta phase is the alpha phase. The services and products released first through NAVER Alpha may be very different from what NAVER does today or may feel a bit too experimental. These idea will iterate, grow, and take refined forms through based on feedback from the users.
EXPERIMENTS & STORIES
alpha.naver.com serves as a place to share ongoing experimental projects and internal stories about the experimental culture in the company.
In 2018, we experimented with an internal submissions program called Alpha Spurt. Goal of the program was to encourage more active bottom-up thinking and new product proposals. The program didn’t focus only on the product design & experience, but thinking through the market fit for the ideas.
The ideas submitted were reviewed by a review board, composed of selected product leaders across the company, in the first round. Projects that made to the second round pitched full presentations to the CEO and a number of selected executives of NAVER. Projects that made it to the third round were given time to think through the productization details and connecting the ideas to business.