Cover image for Google : how Google works
Title:
Google : how Google works
Author:
Schmidt, Eric, 1955 April 27-
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Grand Central Publishing, 2014.
Physical Description:
xiv, 286 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Summary:
"Jack Welch's Straight from the Gut was once the essential primer for managers, but today's leaders need a new playbook. In HOW GOOGLE WORKS, Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg distill their decades of working in the high-tech industry into a practical and fun-to-read guide for those who want to succeed in an ever-changing business landscape. The book offers how-to advice on strategy, corporate culture, talent, decision-making, innovation, communication and dealing with disruption. The authors explain how the confluence of three seismic changes--the internet, mobile, and cloud computing--has shifted the balance of power between consumer and corporation. The companies that thrive will be the ones that create superior products and attract a new breed of multi-faceted employees whom the authors dub "smart creatives." The management maxims are illustrated with previously unreported anecdotes from Google's corporate history. "Back in 2010, Eric and I created an internal class for Google managers focusing on the lessons the management team learned the hard way, " says Rosenberg. "The class slides all said 'Google confidential' until an employee suggested we uphold the spirit of openness and share them with the world. This book codifies the recipe for our secret sauce: how Google innovates and how Google empowers employees to succeed.""--
General Note:
Includes index.
Language:
English
Contents:
Introduction : lessons learned from the front row -- Culture : believe your own slogans -- Strategy : your plan is wrong -- Talent : hiring is the most important thing you do -- Decisions : the true meaning of consensus -- Communications : be a damn good router -- Innovation : create the primordial ooze -- Conclusion : imagine the unimaginable.
ISBN:
9781455582341
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Google Executive Chairman and ex-CEO Eric Schmidt and former SVP of Products Jonathan Rosenberg came to Google over a decade ago as proven technology executives. At the time, the company was already well-known for doing things differently, reflecting the visionary--and frequently contrarian--principles of founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. If Eric and Jonathan were going to succeed, they realized they would have to relearn everything they thought they knew about management and business.

Today, Google is a global icon that regularly pushes the boundaries of innovation in a variety of fields. HOW GOOGLE WORKS is an entertaining, page-turning primer containing lessons that Eric and Jonathan learned as they helped build the company. The authors explain how technology has shifted the balance of power from companies to consumers, and that the only way to succeed in this ever-changing landscape is to create superior products and attract a new breed of multifaceted employees whom Eric and Jonathan dub "smart creatives." Covering topics including corporate culture, strategy, talent, decision-making, communication, innovation, and dealing with disruption, the authors illustrate management maxims ("Consensus requires dissension," "Exile knaves but fight for divas," "Think 10X, not 10%") with numerous insider anecdotes from Google's history, many of which are shared here for the first time.

In an era when everything is speeding up, the best way for businesses to succeed is to attract smart-creative people and give them an environment where they can thrive at scale. HOW GOOGLE WORKS explains how to do just that.


Author Notes

Jonathan Rosenberg joined Google in 2002 and managed the design and development of the company's consumer, advertiser, and partner products, including Search, Ads, Gmail, Android, Apps, and Chrome. He is currently an advisor to Google CEO Larry Page.

Eric Schmidt served as Google's CEO from 2001 to 2011. During that time he shepherded the company's growth from a Silicon Valley start-up to a global technology leader that today has over $55 billion in annual revenues and offices in more than 40 countries. Eric is now Google's executive chairman.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Turn off your phone, lock the door, and settle down for an entertaining and educational book about Google, the company everyone wonders about, written by insiders Schmidt, Google executive chairman; and Rosenberg, former Google employee and now consultant to co-founder Larry Page. From page one, the stories, whether about the early days at Google or the company's unusual, occasionally outrageous, but brilliant business practices, are irresistible. Readers will learn how to manage "smart creatives," develop a "culture of Yes," and craft a meaningful mission statement. This enthusiastic manifesto encourages readers - and leaders - to "habitually overcommunicate" and "set (almost) unattainable goals." Still, it might be interesting to learn how the rest of the company feels about the "20 percent time" program for individual projects that applies to engineers but apparently not to anyone else. There might be more underneath the rock than we're allowed to see. The inevitable comparison to Apple leaves Google positioned-of course-as taking the high road. The book's clearly propaganda, but that can be easily forgiven in the course of such an energized and exciting primer on creating a company and workforce prepared to meet an "inspiring" future. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Choice Review

For the public, a great company is defined by its products--witness Thomas Edison's lightbulb. Though such inventions are essential, practitioners and students of business recognize that they are only the first step for success. Creating an organization capable of continually innovating and bringing to market the next big thing is ultimately more pressing and daunting. If Google can be described as the information age's version of Edison's Menlo Park, this work ranks among the most credible and compelling organizational design and management books of our time. The authors, Schmidt (executive chairman, Google) and Rosenberg (former senior vice president of products, Google), who were brought in to provide "adult supervision" to firm founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page and their cadre of engineers, are in a unique position to offer valuable insights. The volume is a quick, high-value read filled with insights into how Google stays innovative and on top of a fast-moving industry. Key takeaways include understanding the importance of culture, accepting failure, and attracting and motivating "smart creatives." Unlike many business books that highlight the importance of such dimensions, Schmidt and Rosenberg's provides ample and compelling examples of how the company puts these ideas into practice. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers. --Steve Gove, Virginia Tech


Table of Contents

Forewordp. xiii
Introduction: Lessons Learned from the Front Rowp. 1
"Just go talk to the engineers"p. 4
the Finland planp. 8
When astonishing isn'tp. 10
Speedp. 12
"The "smart creative"p. 16
A fun project for the two of usp. 20
Pyramids unbuiltp. 24
Culture-Believe Your Own Slogansp. 27
Keep them crowdedp. 34
Work, eat, and live togetherp. 37
Your parents were wrong-messiness is a virtuep. 38
Don't listen to the HiPPOsp. 40
The rule of sevenp. 42
Every tub (not) on its own bottomp. 44
Do all reorgs in a dayp. 45
The Bezos two-pizza rulep. 46
Organize the company around the people whose impact is the highestp. 47
Exile knaves but fight for divasp. 48
Overworked in a good wayp. 51
Establish a culture of Yesp. 53
fun, not Funp. 54
You must wear somethingp. 61
Ah'cha'ryep. 63
Don't be evilp. 64
Strategy-Your Plan Is Wrongp. 67
Bet on technical insights, not market researchp. 69
A period of combinatorial innovationp. 74
Don't look for faster horsesp. 77
Optimize for growthp. 78
Coase and the nature of the firmp. 81
Specializep. 83
Default to open, not closed 85 Default to open, except whenA...p. 88
Don't follow competitionp. 90
Eric's Notes for a Strategy Meetingp. 92
Talent-Hiring Is the Most Important Thing You Dop. 95
The herd effectp. 99
Passionate people don't use the wordp. 100
Hire learning animalsp. 102
The LAX testp. 105
Insight that can't be taughtp. 107
Expand the aperturep. 108
Everyone knows someone greatp. 112
Interviewing is the most important skillp. 113
Schedule interviews for thirty minutesp. 118
Have an opinionp. 119
Friends don't let friends hire (or promote) friendsp. 121
Urgency of the role isn't sufficiently important to compromise quality in hiringp. 125
Disproportionate rewardsp. 125
Trade the M&Ms, keep the raisinsp. 127
If you love them, let them go (but only after taking these steps)p. 129
Bring sucksp. 131
Google's Hiring Dos and Don'tsp. 132
Career-Choose the F-16p. 133
Treat your career like you are surfing
Always listen for those who get technology
Plan your career
Statistics is the new plastics
Read
Know your elevator pitch
Go abroad
Combine passion with contribution
Decisions-The True Meaning of Consensusp. 143
Decide with datap. 151
Beware the bobblehead yesp. 153
Know when to ring the bellp. 156
Make fewer decisionsp. 158
Meet every dayp. 160
"You're both right"p. 162
Every meeting needs an ownerp. 163
Horseback lawp. 165
Spend 80 percent of your time on 80 percent of your revenuep. 168
Have a succession planp. 168
The World's Best Athletes Need Coaches, and You Don't?p. 170
Communications-Be a Damn Good Routerp. 173
Default to openp. 175
Know the detailsp. 178
It must be sale to tell the truthp. 180
Start the conversationp. 182
Repetition doesn't spoil the prayerp. 184
How was London?p. 187
Review yourselfp. 189
Email wisdomp. 189
Have a playbookp. 192
Relationships, not hierarchyp. 198
Innovation-Create the Primordial Oozep. 201
What is innovation?p. 205
Understand your contextp. 207
The CEO needs to be the CIOp. 208
Focus on the user...p. 212
Think bigp. 216
Set (almost) unattainable goalsp. 220
70/20/10p. 222
20 percent timep. 225
Jonathan's Favorite 20 Percent Projectp. 230
Ideas come from anywherep. 231
Ship and iteratep. 233
Fail wellp. 237
It's not about moneyp. 240
Conclusion-Imagine the Unimaginablep. 243
From Downton Abbey to Diapers.comp. 244
Who succeeds and who fails in a world of platforms?p. 245
The emergence of the social web (and a start-up called Facebook)p. 247
Ask the hardest questionsp. 249
The role of governmentp. 254
Big problems are information problemsp. 255
The future's so bright...p. 258
The next smart creativep. 260
Acknowledgmentsp. 263
Glossaryp. 271
Indexp. 275
A Note About the Authorsp. 285