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How Google Works Paperback – 12 Mar 2015
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A blink view of what it is to work at one of the world's most successful companies. For that voyeuristic reason alone, it is worth reading (Independent)
Schmidt and Rosenberg put much of their emphasis on people - how to hire, train, motivate, organise, reward the talent needed to run a company like Google (Financial Times)
Plenty of tips on managing 'smart creatives' (City AM)
An informative and creatively multilayered Google guidebook (Kirkus)
This very popular read see the pair give an entertaining run-down of what working at Google teaches you, and how technology has changed the power balance between firm and consumer . . . food for thought (City AM)
From the Inside Flap
Both Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg came to Google as seasoned Silicon Valley business executives, but over the course of a decade they came to see the wisdom in Coach John Wooden's observation that 'it's what you learn after you know it all that counts'. As they helped grow Google from a young start-up to a global icon, they relearned everything they knew about management. How Google Works is the sum of those experiences distilled into a fun, easy-to-read primer on corporate culture, strategy, talent, decision-making, communication, innovation, 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 from companies to consumers. The companies that will thrive in this ever-changing landscape will be the ones that create superior products and attract a new breed of multifaceted employees whom the authors dub 'smart creatives'. The management maxims ('Consensus requires dissension', 'Exile knaves but fight for divas', 'Think 10X, not 10%') are illustrated with previously unreported anecdotes from Google's corporate history.
'Back in 2010, Eric and I created an internal class for Google managers,' says Rosenberg. 'The class slides all read '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 it empowers employees to succeed.'
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Oh, and the very weak American humour becomes quite grating after a while - for me at least!
For me, 'In the Plex' by Stephen Levy and 'Work Rules' by Laszlo Bock are better reads with better insight. Although its a bit more dated now, I'd particularly recommend 'In the Plex'
If you're curious about what it is (or was) like inside Google, worth a read.