Thursday, June 24, 2010

Google Culture: Is it for all startups?

There is a perception, given how successful Google has become, that all kinds of policies the company adopts – like 20% time for employees “own projects”, free gourmet food, etc., etc. – is something that all start-ups should adopt. As we listened to the following podcast from an early employee at Google, we made notes on what start-ups should definitely ape. – The Venture Intelligence Team

Marissa Mayer; Vice President, Search Products & User Experience (Bio)

Source: Stanford’s Entrepreneurship Corner

The Full Podcast (mp3) - 48 Minutes, 21.9 MB

(Use Right Click > Save As to download to your desktop)

Highlights of the talk (links point to corresponding video snippets):

  • No one at Google can get away by presenting an Executive Summary which cannot be backed with data. Everyone down from the founders will insist on drilling down to the data
  • This academic culture at Google – “Stanford with Stock Options” – has helped minimize internal politics. Since decisions are taken based on facts and figures, it’s difficult to point fingers and say this project got approved because of favoritism, etc.
  • Provide complete information to employees and they will then prioritize their jobs
    • Until a few months before it went public, Google used to share revenue nos with all employees
    • 50% of the products launched in the second half of 2005, came from “20% time” projects

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