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How Google Works Paperback – 12 Mar 2015

4.7 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray (12 Mar. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444792490
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444792492
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

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)

Book Description

How to hire, manage, motivate, strategize and grow a business in today's disruptive world from Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman, and Jonathan Rosenberg, advisor to Google CEO Larry Page.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this book a struggle to read. It starts of badly with a boring introduction. It then goes on to describe the Google culture such as packing the software engineers closely together to help them communicate. I know from years of experience that most employees hate being packed together in an open plan office, as they get disturbed by all the colleagues talking. Managers, on the other hand love open plan offices - they are cheap and the they think that all the noise means the employees are being creative. The book has some insights. I liked the one about asking "what would I learn about you from looking at your internet browsing history?". That's a good one to ask interviewees. Lots of obvious stuff such as "hire smart people" - well, duh.... I would never have thought of that. I never really got the impression that Schmidt and Rosenberg really wrote this book. Maybe they just gave notes to a ghost writer and put their name on the cover to improve sales. There is a third author, a Google employee called Alan Eagle - maybe he did a lot of the writing. Anyway, you won't learn any secrets from reading this book. I was skimming the pages fast towards the end.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this book both inspiring and irritating in roughly equal measure - hence the 3 star rating. Inspiring: because of the ideas and approach to cultivating talent in Google. Sound commonsense and clever thinking in equal measure. Irritating: because of the overtly (to my sensibilities) sycophatic style. Yes, we all know Google has been an amazingly successful company. Some of the reasons (and you can choose to emulate them if you wish) are identified inside - but honestly - the author referring to himself as "Captain Eric"? Pass the sick bag please.
If you're curious about what it is (or was) like inside Google, worth a read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Even though there are good insights in the book, generally speaking explanations stay at the surface. Banalities such as "hire smart people" are all over this book. The 213 footnotes (in 260 pages!) give a very unpleasant reading experience; you always have to jump to the end of the page and then go back to the main text. Surprising given the fact that one of the key messages of the book is "focus on the user".
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this to be a fascinating insight into how Google is run and some of the challenges that are faced. Well worth reading if you have any desire to be a leader, in business or any other field, as it gives tips on how to attract the best people and put them to the best use.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent read. It's not step by step guide on how to emulate their success, nor does it pretend to be. What it is, is a good overview of their company culture with lots of thinking points for those who want to attract driven employees and those who want to be known as driven employees
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is written by Eric Schmidt the executive chairman of Google, it goes in to detail about how to manage staff, encourage innovation and generally do business the Google way.

I will try and sum up what I think are the most important parts.

The Google approach is focus on the user, create great products first then figure out a way to make money from it later. To do this requires they hire as many talented engineers as possible and give them the freedom to do their job. Failure is fine, in fact it is sometimes inevitable but try and learn from it. Google is trying to bring a university type environment of research and development to the business world.

Google believes in the internet age a product's quality is much more important than before, people are more well informed and lots of advertising, control of distribution channels etc don't have the same effect as they used to.
"As Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, says: "In the old world, you devoted 30 percent of your time to building a great service and 70 percent of your time to shouting about it. In the new world, that inverts." The second reason product excellence is so critical is that the cost of experimentation and failure has dropped significantly. You see this most dramatically in high-tech industries, where a small team of engineers, developers, and designers can create fabulous products and distribute them online globally for free.

It's ridiculously easy to imagine and create a new product, try it out with a limited set of consumers, measure precisely what works and what doesn't, iterate the product, and try again. Or throw it out and start over, that much smarter for the experience.

But experimentation costs are lower for manufactured goods as well.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's a bit saccharine. I think the Lawyers went through it before it was printed.
It could have been better.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
item received with many thanks
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