Friday, May 25, 2007

Google Culture

I, Cringely . The Pulpit . The Final Days of Google | PBS

Google quite properly will pursue 10 projects per year and five of those will fail both because they are expected to and also because they were never worth pursuing in the first place. This leaves 390 orphaned projects of which 35 are absolutely stunning but unrecognized and 355 are pretty darned good. What happens to THOSE ideas?

They fester.

Google has designed a working environment that provides almost everything their technical people need except a guaranteed sense of satisfaction. By design each worker is no more than 100 feet from a bathroom or food and drink (at Google the food is always free). This creates an environment where people tend not to go home, which Microsoft discovered and leveraged decades ago. But nobody works every minute they are AT work, which means the Google Geeks are constantly talking with each other, team building, bonding, and goofing off. And for 20 percent of that goofing-off time I'll guarantee you that many of these people are discussing their pet projects, 99.75 percent of which have been REJECTED by the company.

While it is possible that a few Google Geeks may talk about how lucky they were to have been saved from their own bad idea, most of them will take exactly the opposite approach, seeing the company as misguided.

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