How Google Works

How Google Works

by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg


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Seasoned Google executives Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg provide an insider's guide to Google, from its business history and disruptive corporate strategy to developing a new managment philosophy and creating a corporate culture where innovation and creativity thrive.

Seasoned Google executives Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg provide an insider's guide to Google, from its business history and disruptive corporate strategy to developing a new managment philosophy and creating a corporate culture where innovation and creativity thrive.

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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781455582327
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 03/21/2017
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 209,422
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Eric Schmidt served as Google's CEO from 2001 to 2011 and transformed it into a global technology leader. He is now Google's executive chairman.

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.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

How Alphabet Works xi

Introduction-Lessons Learned from the Front Row 1

"Just go talk to the engineers" 4

The Finland plan 8

When astonishing isn't 10

Speed 12

The "smart creative" 16

A fun project for the two of us 20

Pyramids unbuilt 24

Culture-Believe Your Own Slogans 27

Keep them crowded 34

Work, eat, and live together 37

Your parents were wrong-messiness is a virtue 38

Don't listen to the HiPPOs 40

The rule of seven 42

Every tub (not) on its own bottom 44

Do all reorgs in a day 45

The Bezos two-pizza rule 46

Organize the company around the people whose impact is the highest 47

Exile knaves but right for divas 48

Overworked in a good way 51

Establish a culture of Yes 53

Fun, not Fun 54

You must wear something 61

Ah'cha'rye 63

Don't be evil 64

Strategy-Your Plan Is Wrong 67

Bet on technical insights, not market research 69

A period of combinatorial innovation 74

Don't look for faster horses 77

Optimize for growth 78

Coase and the nature of the firm 81

Specialize 83

Default to open, not closed 85

Default to open, except when… 88

Don't follow competition 90

Eric's Notes for a Strategy Meeting 92

Talent-Hiring Is the Most Important Thing You Do 95

The herd effect 99

Passionate people don't use the word 100

Hire learning animals 102

The LAX test 105

Insight that can't be taught 107

Expand the aperture 108

Everyone knows someone great 112

Interviewing is the most important skill 113

Schedule interviews for thirty minutes 118

Have an opinion 119

Friends don't let friends hire (or promote) friends 121

Urgency of the role isn't sufficiently important to compromise quality in hiring 125

Disproportionate rewards 125

Trade the M&Ms, keep the raisins 127

If you love them, let them go (but only after taking these steps) 129

Firing sucks 131

Google's Hiring Dos and Don'ts 132

Career-Choose the F-16 133

Treat your career like you are surfing

Always listen for those who get technology

Plan your career

Statistics is the new plastics


Know your elevator pitch

Go abroad

Combine passion with contribution

Decisions-The True Meaning of Consensus 143

Decide with data 151

Beware the bobblehead yes 153

Know when to ring the bell 156

Make fewer decisions 158

Meet every day 160

"You're both right" 162

Every meeting needs an owner 163

Horseback law 165

Spend 80 percent of your time on 80 percent of your revenue 168

Have a succession plan 168

The World's Best Athletes Need Coaches, and You Don't? 170

Communications-Be a Damn Good Router 173

Default to open 175

Know the details 178

It must be safe to tell the truth 180

Start the conversation 182

Repetition doesn't spoil the prayer 184

How was London? 187

Review yourself 189

Email wisdom 189

Have a playbook 192

Relationships, not hierarchy 198

Innovation-Create the Primordial Ooze 201

What is innovation? 205

Understand your context 207

The CEO needs to be the CIO 208

Focus on the user… 212

Think big 216

Set (almost) unattainable goals 220

70/20/10 222

20 percent rime 225

Jonathan's Favorite 20 Percent Project 230

Ideas come from anywhere 231

Ship and iterate 233

Fail well 237

It's not about money 240

Conclusion-Imagine the Unimaginable 243

From Downton Abbey to 244

Who succeeds and who fails in a world of platforms? 245

The emergence of the social web (and a start-up called Facebook) 247

Ask the hardest questions 249

The role of government 254

Big problems are information problems 255

The future's so bright… 258

The next smart creative 260

Acknowledgments 263

Glossary 271

Index 275

A Note About the Authors 285

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