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How Google Works

The rules for success in the Internet Century

A new book by Eric Schmidt & Jonathan Rosenberg, with Alan Eagle

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How Google Works

The rules for success in the Internet Century

A new book by Eric Schmidt & Jonathan Rosenberg, with Alan Eagle

HOW GOOGLE WORKS is an entertaining, page-turning primer containing lessons that Google Executive Chairman and ex-CEO Eric Schmidt and former SVP of Products Jonathan Rosenberg learned as they helped build the company.

 

In their new book, 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 with numerous insider anecdotes from Google’s history.

 

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 is a new book that explains how to do just that.

 
"An informative and creatively multilayered Google guidebook from the businessman's perspective."Kirkus
"An energized and exciting primer on creating a company and workforce prepared to meet an inspiring future."Publisher's Weekly
"Chairman Eric Schmidt and exec advisor Jonathan Rosenberg pull back the curtain to reveal how the company created its unique culture of workplace innovation"Fortune

The Authors

 

Eric SchmidtEric Schmidt

Eric 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.

 

Jonathan RosenbergJonathan Rosenberg

Jonathan 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.

 

Alan EagleAlan Eagle

Alan Eagle has been a Director of Executive Communications at Google since joining the company in 2007. In that role, he led speechwriting and other communication activities for several Google executives, including Eric and Jonathan.

What's happening now

Jonathan Rosenberg
21 Nov 2014


The best thing any company can do for itself is to hire smart people. But it’s also important to think about the composition of your company as a whole. Hiring too homogeneous a group can leave you open to blind spots, with important issues overlooked and valuable opportunities left unidentified. The best defense against this? Hire people from diverse backgrounds and make sure their voices are heard.

We work hard to do this at Google, but know that we aren’t where we want to be, particularly when it comes to women and minorities. It’s a problem you see throughout the working world, and one that’s particularly acute in the tech industry. There’s no shortage of smart, creative people of all different backgrounds out there with big ideas and the ability to become great technologists, and we’d like to help them on their path. That’s why I’m pleased to share that we’re donating all profits from How Google Works to organizations focused on improving access to computer science education for girls and minority youth including +Black Girls Code, +Girls Who Code, and Code 2040.


More thoughts on hiring at: www.HowGoogleWorks.net

#HowGoogleWorks #google #hiring #diversity



Eric Schmidt originally shared:

I’m pleased to share that we’re donating all profits from How Google Works to organizations focused on improving access to computer science education for girls and young minorities, including +Black Girls CODE  , +Girls Who Code  , and +CODE2040  .

The best thing any company can do for itself is hire smart people. But it’s also important to think about the composition of your company as a whole. Hiring too homogeneous a group can leave you open to blind spots, with important issues overlooked and valuable opportunities left unidentified. The best defense against this? Hire people from diverse backgrounds and make sure their voices are heard.

We work hard to do this at Google, but know that we aren’t where we want to be, particularly when it comes to women and minorities. It’s a problem you see throughout the working world, and one that’s particularly acute in the tech industry. There’s no shortage of smart, creative people of all different backgrounds out there with big ideas and the ability to become great technologists, and we’d like to help them on their path.

More thoughts on hiring at: www.HowGoogleWorks.net

#HowGoogleWorks #google #hiring #diversity

VIEW ON GOOGLE+
+41 | 3 comments | 4 shares
@ericschmidt
21 Nov 2014
Best defense against business myopia? Diversity. Thrilled to donate all profits from #HowGoogleWorks to CS education for girls & minorities.

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90 favourites | 91 retweets
Jonathan Rosenberg
19 Nov 2014


The rapid pace of change and steady stream of innovation makes today an exciting time to be in business. But with so much going on, it can be difficult to know where to focus. 

Over the last couple years, my friend +Keval Desai  and I have gathered up a collection of research that we feel does a good job of highlighting important trends and offering interesting perspectives. It’s nothing fancy, but we do update it regularly and try to use a discerning eye when deciding what to include. We also emphasize content that is freely available on the web. If you’re interested in getting a window into what the two of us are thinking and reading, take a look here: http://goo.gl/3grLbw

Also feel free to suggest documents we should link to that you have found or let us know when new things come up.

More on the business landscape at: www.HowGoogleWorks.net

#HowGoogleWorks #business #trends #internet

VIEW ON GOOGLE+
+93 | 4 comments | 32 shares
Jonathan Rosenberg
18 Nov 2014


Barriers to entry and the cost of experimentation have never been lower, and new technologies are being created more quickly than people can figure out what to do with them. It’s the perfect environment to start a new venture. So if there’s an idea that’s been buzzing around your head, now’s the time to take that risk. The future really is yours to reinvent.

#HowGoogleWorks



Eric Schmidt originally shared:

Easy access to information? Check. Cheap, reliable ways to connect with people all over the world? Check. Simple tools to help you try, fail, and try again? Check. There’s never been a better time to be a smart creative. So what are you waiting for?

www.HowGoogleWorks.net

#HowGoogleWorks #google

VIEW ON GOOGLE+
+70 | 3 comments | 12 shares
@ericschmidt
15 Nov 2014
Crazy ideas inspire the best people. And with the best people on them, they aren’t so crazy anymore. #HowGoogleWorks http://t.co/SamkT2OoeW

VIEW ON TWITTER
195 favourites | 230 retweets
Jonathan Rosenberg
15 Nov 2014


As Astro Teller, the head of Google X, likes to remind people, if you want to build a car that gets 10% better mileage, you just need to tweak the current design. But if you want to build a car that gets 10x better mileage, you need to start over and dream up something new. You may not actually end up with a car that gets 500 miles to a gallon, but let’s say you get part of the way there. By re-imagining how a car could run, you’ll have accomplished something far more significant than you would have had you focused on the incremental goal.

Read on for more on why big goals lead to better solutions than practical ones: http://www.fastcompany.com/3037573/why-your-realistic-goals-are-holding-you-back

www.HowGoogleWorks.net

#HowGoogleWorks #google #10x #googlex

VIEW ON GOOGLE+
+119 | 13 comments | 70 shares
@ericschmidt
14 Nov 2014
Write the job description for your ideal job in 5 years. Ask what you’re missing to get there. Voila! A career plan. #HowGoogleWorks

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456 favourites | 451 retweets
Jonathan Rosenberg
13 Nov 2014


One of the fun parts of the How Google Works book tour has been the opportunity to talk to younger people about their careers.

Something I always recommend doing is to write the job description for your ideal job in five years. Include all the pertinent details – role, responsibilities, location, salary – everything you would need to know to apply. Then fast forward five years and imagine you’re in that job. What does your resume look like? Write it out so that you have a sense of what you’ll need to do to get to where you want to be.

And if you already feel prepared for the job with the skills and experiences you have today, then you probably aren’t thinking big enough about what you could achieve!

More career advice in the book at: www.HowGoogleWorks.net

#HowGoogleWorks #google #career #advice

VIEW ON GOOGLE+
+60 | 3 comments | 56 shares
Jonathan Rosenberg
12 Nov 2014


If you’ve had a chance to read How Google Works, what did you find insightful, and where do you wish we’d spent more time? Any points that you flat out disagree with? It’s meant to be a conversation starter, so I’m interested to hear what you think!

#HowGoogleWorks



Eric Schmidt originally shared:

We’ve heard great things about How Google Works, but received our share of criticism, as well. In the spirit of welcoming that criticism, here’s our +New York Times book review. If you’ve read the book, I’m interested in your take. What did we get right, and where did we go wrong? Feedback is a gift, so please, be candid!

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/09/books/review/how-google-works-by-eric-schmidt-and-jonathan-rosenberg.html?_r=0

#HowGoogleWorks #google #reviewyourself

VIEW ON GOOGLE+
+30 | 4 comments | 2 shares
Jonathan Rosenberg
12 Nov 2014


Pretty much every company has a slogan or mission statement. But what makes for a good one? It’s not about length, catchy wording or even originality. The key is authenticity. Powerful mission statements aren’t just posted around the office, they’re actually referenced when big decisions are being made.

At Google, one of our most important is “Focus on the user.” When faced with ambiguous data and conflicting opinions, the deciding factor is always what’s in the user’s best interest (vs. that of the advertiser, partner, or even Google). It serves as a clear guiding light for all employees to ensure that their actions align with Google’s core values, diffusing authority throughout the company.

So take a look at your company’s mission and slogan. Do they embody the principles you actually practice when making decisions? Would they help someone faced with a tough call figure out the right thing to do? If not, it’s probably time to rethink them.

More on defining company culture here: http://www.slideshare.net/ericschmidt/how-google-works-final-1

#HowGoogleWorks #google #business #mission

VIEW ON GOOGLE+
+63 | 6 comments | 17 shares
@ericschmidt
07 Nov 2014
In our book, we say to listen to (and encourage) critics. That should include critics of our book! http://t.co/e7QCthDLOM #HowGoogleWorks

VIEW ON TWITTER
44 favourites | 36 retweets
@ericschmidt
07 Nov 2014
RT @jjrosenberg: Every great athlete has a coach, every business person should have one too! #HowGoogleWorks http://t.co/o7o64dzShG http://…

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0 favourites | 85 retweets
Jonathan Rosenberg
07 Nov 2014


Want to get a sense of what How Google Works is all about, but only have a few minutes to spare? Here’s a fun overview video from +thedrawshop
#howgoogleworks.net



Eric Schmidt originally shared:

It took +Jonathan Rosenberg  and me a decade of experimentation and reflection to come up with the rules we captured in How Google Works. With this video, you can learn the key points in about three minutes. I guess things really are speeding up in the Internet Century!

Kudos to +TheDrawShop  for this fun video recap of #HowGoogleWorks.

http://youtu.be/x_o1u4LE15M

#google #business #management

VIEW ON GOOGLE+
+56 | 1 comments | 12 shares
Jonathan Rosenberg
07 Nov 2014


What’s one thing that every business person has in common? We could all use a coach. 

A misconception I often run into is that coaching is for those who are struggling, that if you’re doing well, you don’t need help. But if you look at sports, every successful athlete is backed by a talented coach. There, a good coach is a badge of honor, not a sign of weakness. Why? Because no matter how good you are, there’s a limit to how well you can identify your own weak spots. A coach’s job is to observe you in action, catch the things you’re missing, and offer constructive feedback to help you improve.

When we first joined Google, +Eric Schmidt  and I were lucky enough to work with one of the best coaches out there, Bill Campbell. I credit him with helping us re-learn how to manage a successful business, and for shifting my perspective on how useful a coach can be. Even if you feel like you’re already at your best, find yourself a coach who can make you better!

More at: http://www.slideshare.net/ericschmidt/how-google-works-final-1

#HowGoogleWorks #google #coaching #business

VIEW ON GOOGLE+
+95 | 9 comments | 58 shares
@ericschmidt
06 Nov 2014
10 years of business advice in 3 minutes? Things really are speeding up in the Internet Century! #HowGoogleWorks http://t.co/VLvqK6DIpA

VIEW ON TWITTER
159 favourites | 168 retweets
Jonathan Rosenberg
04 Nov 2014


Hiring is a lot like voting – you have a limited set of information and a limited period of time to make a decision about someone who is doing their best to impress you. And just like voting, it’s important to have an opinion.

At Google we grade candidates on a scale of 1 - 4, but always ask interviewers to make a hire/no-hire call when submitting their feedback. Even the language we use to represent the ratings is intentionally emotional. For example, a rating of four doesn’t mean “I think we should hire this person,” it means “This person is perfect for this role. If you don’t hire them, expect to hear from me.” The idea is that if you’ve reviewed someone’s credentials and talked to them for 30 minutes, you owe it to them to have a strong opinion. If you don’t, it’s time to think up new interview questions to help you get there.

So the next time you’re prepping for an interview, imagine you’re getting ready to walk into the ballot box instead. If you knew you’d be forced to make a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ call, what questions would you need to ask in order to make up your mind?

Also, don't forget to vote!!!

www.HowGoogleWorks.net

#HowGoogleWorks #hiring #interviewing #vote #electionday

VIEW ON GOOGLE+
+73 | 6 comments | 7 shares
Jonathan Rosenberg
01 Nov 2014


The Google X team has a great Venn diagram that they use to think about ideas to pursue. First, does it address a big challenge that hundreds of millions of people face? Second, is their solution radically different from what’s out there?

Sometimes it’s easy for entrepreneurs to jump straight to the second question without addressing the first, building something novel for novelty’s sake (if you’ve ever read a SkyMall catalog, you know what I mean). 

There’s nothing wrong with coming up with new gadgets, but to build something revolutionary, gut checking whether the demand is there is an important first step.

#HowGoogleWorks



Eric Schmidt originally shared:

You hear a lot about how important it is to have 'a big idea' in order to innovate. But having a big idea doesn’t mean you also need to invent a brand new space or product category. Markets that are already growing quickly and full of competition may just need a different angle or unique expertise. Why can this work better? Empty markets are often empty for a reason – there just isn’t enough demand to sustain a growing venture.

If you look at many of Google’s successes (think Search, Gmail, Chrome, etc.), you’ll see that they didn’t come from entering brand new spaces. Instead, we found crowded fields and applied unique technical insights, offering something that worked better than what was already out there.

More on innovation here: http://www.slideshare.net/ericschmidt/how-google-works-final-1

#HowGoogleWorks #google #innovation

VIEW ON GOOGLE+
+58 | 8 comments | 9 shares
Jonathan Rosenberg
30 Oct 2014


Good ideas aren’t restricted to the people with the most experience or seniority. In fact, some of the best ones come from unexpected places. The smartest thing a leader can do when it comes to idea generation is adopt as open a posture as possible. This means encouraging people across the company to speak up with suggestions and build demos of projects they think should be supported. It also means making it easy for people who use your product to send feedback and taking it seriously when you receive it.

Read on for more: http://www.slideshare.net/ericschmidt/how-google-works-final-1

#HowGoogleWorks #google #ideas #feedback

VIEW ON GOOGLE+
+136 | 20 comments | 127 shares
@ericschmidt
29 Oct 2014
Proximity to crazy ideas and the people who dream them up is probably the best perk we offer. #HowGoogleWorks

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131 favourites | 161 retweets
Jonathan Rosenberg
28 Oct 2014


One thing the media gets wrong about Google? Easy, the level of importance of all the perks.

Google’s perks are fun things to cover, but when we ask employees, we’ve found that they aren’t what ultimately keeps people at Google. The biggest motivator for Googlers is actually the opportunity to work on audacious projects. Self-driving cars, Google Fiber, Google Loon – these and so many others are the kind of things that spark people’s imaginations and get them excited about coming into work each day.

More on our culture, transparency, and what Hollywood has in common with Silicon Valley (spoiler alert: quite a bit), here: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-schmidt-rosenberg-google-20141023-story.html

One thing the media gets wrong about Google? Easy, the level of importance of the perks.

Google’s perks are fun to cover, but they aren’t what keeps people here. The biggest motivator for Googlers is actually the opportunity to work on audacious projects. Self-driving cars, Google Fiber, Google Loon – these are the kind of things that spark people’s imaginations and get them excited about coming into work each day.

More on our culture and what Hollywood shares with Silicon Valley here: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-schmidt-rosenberg-google-20141023-story.html

www.HowGoogleWorks.net
#howgoogleworks  

VIEW ON GOOGLE+
+102 | 11 comments | 17 shares
Jonathan Rosenberg
27 Oct 2014


There are nearly as many ways to organize a company as there are companies themselves. Should you divide things up by product area, with each one running as a separate business unit? How about by business function instead? Or maybe you’ll see stronger results if you cluster things regionally?

At Google, the best way we’ve found is to organize around the people who are making the greatest impact. Find the folks who are getting things done – making smart decisions and motivating the others around them – and keep piling responsibilities on their plate until they tell you to stop. When you have the right leaders in place, they’ll figure out the structure that works best for them and for the company.

Read on for more: http://www.slideshare.net/ericschmidt76/how-google-works-final-1

#HowGoogleWorks #google #business #management

VIEW ON GOOGLE+
+87 | 6 comments | 66 shares
Jonathan Rosenberg
24 Oct 2014


Dream up a new product or tool? Instead of wondering what it might be like, now you can design a prototype and use a 3D printer to quickly and cheaply bring it to life. Interested in how retirees feel about the idea? Run an online survey and find out. Need funding to make your dream a reality? Launch a Kickstarter campaign and rally your friends through social media. 

It’s never been easier to start something new, and smart individuals and companies know it. This means that some of the processes put in place to keep companies from making mistakes, like long approval chains and top down decision-making, are going to have to give.

My advice for every leader is to take a look at how your company works and find the places where you’re slowing yourself down. If you were forming the company today, how would you structure things to optimize for speed?

More thoughts on company structure: http://www.slideshare.net/ericschmidt76/how-google-works-final-1

#HowGoogleWorks #google #speed

VIEW ON GOOGLE+
+53 | 0 comments | 75 shares
Jonathan Rosenberg
23 Oct 2014


Innovation feeds off collisions. Whether it’s people, ideas, or perspectives, interesting things happen when different inputs come together. 

So how can you help make these collisions happen more often? Start by getting people out of their private offices and engaging with one another. 

At Google we opt for open floor plans and small teams of people clustered together in shared cubes to maximize interaction. Reserving some private space for heads-down thinking is important too, but the default mode should be designed to encourage communication and collaboration.

Read more about creating a productive office environment here: http://www.slideshare.net/ericschmidt76/how-google-works-final-1

#HowGoogleWorks #google #workplace #innovation #design #open

VIEW ON GOOGLE+
+66 | 3 comments | 42 shares
Jonathan Rosenberg
22 Oct 2014


Encouraging everyone to be actively involved in the hiring process is also a great way to keep the quality bar high. The best people tend to follow each other, so if you get a few of them, treat them well, and encourage them to hire others they respect, you’re likely to end up with a bunch.

Of course, this cuts both ways. Just like great people hire great people, mediocre people will hire others like them (or worse!), if given the chance. So while it’s tempting to hire someone who doesn’t meet the bar when you’re in a pinch, don’t do it. That one person can quickly turn into many more, and lower the quality of your workforce. 

#HowGoogleWorks



Eric Schmidt originally shared:

Psst. Calling all hiring managers. Want to know the secret to finding top talent? It’s actually not a secret at all: make hiring everyone’s job. Everyone has skin in the game when it comes to the company’s success, so everyone should be involved in bringing aboard the people who will make it successful.

So put your great people to work and get them actively recruiting and interviewing. After all, if each person at your company makes just one successful referral, you’ll have doubled your size.

More advice here: http://www.slideshare.net/ericschmidt76/how-google-works-final-1

#HowGoogleWorks #google #hiring

VIEW ON GOOGLE+
+34 | 1 comments | 6 shares
@ericschmidt
20 Oct 2014
OK everyone. One. Two. Three. Innovate! Didn’t work? Try a better way: http://t.co/FEOatKs1vT #HowGoogleWorks http://t.co/DZXDVsGRLN

VIEW ON TWITTER
333 favourites | 385 retweets
@ericschmidt
20 Oct 2014
If you build it, they may just hear you out. Give demos, not presos: http://t.co/FEOatKs1vT #HowGoogleWorks http://t.co/en3dyZSsQp

VIEW ON TWITTER
187 favourites | 245 retweets
Jonathan Rosenberg
20 Oct 2014


One of my favorite examples of everyday innovation is in our on-campus deli - Cafe GO. It’s a popular place, so to deal with the long lines that form, GO hands out order forms in advance. This lets people check off what they want while they wait, and then simply hand their order forms to the sandwich maker when they get to the front of the line. It gives you something to do while you wait and removes all ambiguity when you place your order, speeding up the process and reducing errors.

It’s a small thing, but what’s cool is that this wasn’t something mandated from the top down. It was just an idea a smart person came up with and knew they’d have the freedom to try. 

For more, check out: http://www.slideshare.net/ericschmidt76/how-google-works-final-1

#HowGoogleWorks



Eric Schmidt originally shared:

Unfortunately there is no app for innovation (although that would certainly be innovative). Until that’s developed, the best way we’ve found to foster it at Google is to create an environment where ideas can collide in new and interesting ways, and the good ones are given resources to grow.

One of the reasons that Google operates differently than other companies is that we haven’t tried to wall off innovation to one particular department or project. Everyone is encouraged to look for new ways of doing things, and successful pilots are quickly scaled.

More at: http://www.slideshare.net/ericschmidt76/how-google-works-final-1

#HowGoogleWorks #google #innovation

VIEW ON GOOGLE+
+35 | 5 comments | 6 shares
"The only way for businesses to consistently succeed is to attract the best smart creatives and create an environment where they can thrive at scale."
"Businesses should be built on a strong set of strategic principles, not an MBA-style plan that’s bound to fail."
"When considering candidates for a role, favor the ones with a track record of learning new things over the ones with a track record in that particular role."
"Think 10X, not 10%. Global scale is available to just about everyone. But too many people are stuck in the old, limited mindset."
"It’s very hard to completely fail when you think big, since you can always salvage something of value from a project with big goals."
 
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How Google Works - The rules for success in the Internet Century