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Google Finance, Govt, Policy and Business Issues Forum

This 32 message thread spans 2 pages: 32 ( [1] 2 > >     
Life In The GooglePlex
This is just sick...
celgins




msg:1232733
 7:43 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

This is just sick! If Google's business can be run like this, shouldn't all of our places of work be run like this? :)

[time.com...]

 

dmorison




msg:1232734
 7:49 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Own up - who else had a darn hard look at that whiteboard... :D

JollyK




msg:1232735
 7:49 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

This is one of the main reasons I would get my PhD.

Just to work at Google.

JK

Brett_Tabke




msg:1232736
 8:22 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

DOGS ALLOWED
Googlers are permitted to bring their dogs (but not cats) to the workplace.

Cat bigots!

JollyK




msg:1232737
 9:08 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Own up - who else had a darn hard look at that whiteboard... :D

Own up, heck: I screen-capped that bad boy!

:-)

K

celgins




msg:1232738
 9:33 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

You know...I was thinking there may be a dog kennel on the grounds, but from that photo - it appears that the pup is in a plastic cage behind an employee's desk!

Can't be easy - reading Google Adsense publishers email gripes and listening to barking dogs at the same time! :)

LifeinAsia




msg:1232739
 9:41 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

reading Google Adsense publishers email gripes and listening to barking dogs at the same time!

Both quickly turn into background noise.

JollyK




msg:1232740
 9:45 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Both quickly turn into background noise.

That explains the support email I got which stated, simply, "Woof."

Suddenly, it's all so clear.

JK

jdMorgan




msg:1232741
 9:55 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

If typical G standards apply, the dogs must complete studies to Masters or Doctoral level at a recognized Institution of Higher Canine Behavioural Learning. In addition to remaining thoughtfully and respectfully quiet during working hours, they must respond unerringly to the commands, "Come", "Sit", "Heel", "Lie down", "Roll over", "Fetch", "Parse", "De-duplicate", "Canonicalize", and "Rank".

If that dog needs a new home, I'd take him -- Cute and probably knows a few things about the algorithm. Are canine NDAs binding?

I hope they can maintain their atmosphere of "fun" in the face of being a publically-held company. It sure looks better than working in today's typical corporate world, where privacy is nil, individualism is suppressed, and if you don't walk around looking grim, they think you're unintelligent or insufficiently serious about work - Paah!

Jim

celgins




msg:1232742
 10:58 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Now Jd... look at that dog. Does he appear to have a plethora of doggie-commands being thrown at him? :) That pup is ridin' high in the GooglePlex.

He's got toys in his cage, an owner who is obviously an employed Googleler, and a cold, wet snout for good measure!

My goal now - is to figure out why G isn't allowing cats in the house. My co-workers believe it has to do with a kitty's jumping ability, but I agree with Brett: maybe they're just "cat bigots"!

jdMorgan




msg:1232743
 11:33 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Several years ago, a cat named "Florida" got onto a keyboard in the algo dev lab, and the resulting 'tweaks' knocked half of our members out of the index... No more keyboard-accessing critters allowed.

It's probably a behaviourally-based policy: Dogs will hang around with their owners, while cats just don't care and will do their own thing without regard to their humans. Also, dogs would be less likely to climb up into the difficult-to-access areas of the building, or onto keyboards.

Jim

NoLimits




msg:1232744
 6:24 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think that Google is spending their money foolishly.

It doesn't matter how much money you have if you spend it on amazingly foolish things.

It's one thing to give your employees some freedom, and a creative work envirnment. It's another thing to throw hundreds of millions of dollars to the wind just because you can't spend it fast enough.

It's moronic to be so loose with their money at the plex when they cater to the stock holders on every other front of business.

Nobody at the plex is going to be happy when Google isn't a hot commodity anymore and they have to "trim the fat".

I have not, and will not - invest in Google. It is a direct result of the ways I see them spending their money.

LifeinAsia




msg:1232745
 6:47 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

It doesn't matter how much money you have if you spend it on amazingly foolish things.

Spending money to keep employees happy and productive is not foolish in my book.

Anybode know the following for Google?
1) employee turnover rate
2) employee acquisition cost

If/when those numbers become available, do an ROI comparison with other companies. If the ROI is a lot lower for Google, THEN you can rant all you want.

crak_bot




msg:1232746
 10:21 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I always love seeing things like this.

I worked in IT during the "good 'ol days" of the late nineties when there seemed to be 500 jobs for every one applicant.

I remember firms that had arcade rooms where everyone would spend hours playing video games. The boss would let you drink beer on Friday. ect..ect.. Everyone thought the good times would never stop.

Well, it always stops. When I worked at Motorola during that same period there were all sorts of perks. There were lines of Limos picking up people all day to go here and there. I kid you not, there were always at least 20 limos lined up by the main entrance. They wasted all kinds of money and when the cell phone business went flat, all those perks vanished.

If your company offers such things, by all means take advantage as much as possible, just don't think they will last forever.

coopster




msg:1232747
 12:57 am on Mar 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Corporate culture. It draws, it retains, and ultimately it changes. As long as the culture fits the employee stays. Every change in corporate ownership, board of directors, and culture creates possible volatility. Just ask any stockholder in a company ... well, ask any stockholder/investor that's been around at least.

walkman




msg:1232748
 4:34 pm on Mar 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> It's one thing to give your employees some freedom, and a creative work envirnment. It's another thing to throw hundreds of millions of dollars to the wind just because you can't spend it fast enough

the reason they're doing it, its because it is working (a lot of money is being made). If it wasn't they would change the rules, trust me. I think they have at least two classe of employees: one that thinks and comes up with ideas, and the "slaves" who do the coding and the mundane stuff.

pontifex




msg:1232749
 12:52 am on Mar 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

> I think that Google is spending their money foolishly.

well, trial and error. "the next big thing" is out there and they try to find it by luck!

if i would be founder of such a mega-hit and have my BILLIONS on the savings account, I honestly would loose it, too!

that approach is not too dumb. Most of all, it is quite new in that scale. My only fear is: all those employees, no matter of the titles, were not smart enough to start the "next big thing" on their own.

To make something big, IMHO, you need endurance and the will to dedicate 24x7 to it. Then still you got a pretty good chance to NOT succeed!

Kudos to all the self-employed webmasters, who make a living and are NOT on the plex: YOU might start the next hype!

In deep believe,
P!

jtara




msg:1232750
 3:14 am on Mar 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Some random thoughts:

- The second photo (the woman in a balcony-level cubicle) looks like Toys-R-Us Headquarters, not Google...

- I guess the Bombo stools in 10-Forwar.. er, that lounging area with the pool tables, are the Aeron's of the 00's... If you want some stylish stools for your home bar, just wait for the surplus sales after the next crash.

- Cats and keyboards can be a problem. However, I'm sure they could get a good price on a bulk purchase of one of the cat-proofing keyboard lockout programs.

Personally, I'd rather have a very short or no commute than any of these ammenities. I realize that's not practical when you have to have a lot of people in one place on a large campus.

NoLimits




msg:1232751
 8:46 pm on Mar 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

I would like to see figures in regards to how much Google spends on these little perks - and then a survey of how many of their employees actually care.

My guess would be that the "big wigs" could care less about the trivial crap the G-Plex provides... as they can probably buy their own. It's not the "important" employees that Google is retaining by providing these luxuries IMO.

It's plain and simply showing off... and B&S have been doing a lot of that ever since the beginning of their success.

I would make a friendly bet with anyone that the vast majority of the folks in the plex would give up all of the unnecessary luxuries at the plex for a slightly better salary... I would.

walkman




msg:1232752
 3:56 am on Mar 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> I would like to see figures in regards to how much Google spends on these little perks

how about: I wonder how much google makes because of these perks. Think about, people don't need to leave to see a doctor, dentist, eat, or anything. That means that they can stay at Gplex longer and presumably work more.

BillyS




msg:1232753
 11:51 pm on Mar 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>. Think about, people don't need to leave to see a doctor, dentist, eat, or anything.

I get my hair cut on Saturdays...

I often wonder what all those people are actually working on. It also makes me nervous to see them playing when BD has been such a disaster. Maybe Matt's the only one holding down the ship.

Miop




msg:1232754
 1:30 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

No wonder they can't relate to real people losing jobs, shedloads of money and businesses due to 'tweaks' in their algo.
They are science grads, not business people.

Dayo_UK




msg:1232755
 1:33 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>>>Cat bigots!

Indeed - remember that Cat Filter that hit the algo around Bourbon time.

Rumour has it that Matt Cutts is paying close attention to this issue.

Reno




msg:1232756
 3:28 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

They are science grads, not business people.

That one short statement sums it up. As I've said in many of my posts here, to the overwhelming majority of business site owners, this is not theoretical SEO fun & games -- this is real life with real incomes on the line. It is never good for any business to have a disconnect between its actions and the people it serves -- I sincerely hope Google has not reached that point.

...........................

BigDave




msg:1232757
 8:14 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

It looks like every successful engineering department that I have ever worked at. In other words, the ones run by engineers instead of business people.

Perks absolutely make a difference to retention and productivity, I've seen it over and over. Having good free food or drinks on site keeps the employees on site. The same goes for gyms, dry cleaners, hair salon, etc. On-site massage is even making it into public sector jobs.

At one company I worked at, they were going through some cost cutting, and they were going to get rid of the free soda, juice and coffee. I went to the president of the company and suggested that he take a ride with me the 2 miles to the 7-Eleven to see how long it took and to calcualte how much it would cost the company if each employee took a break twice a day to go buy drinks. They kept the free soda.

I honestly did not see anything in those pictures that was all that extravagant when you consider the payroll, net worth, and the earnings/employee.

You also have to remember that Google is not a "public company" in the normal sense. Those people in the photographs are the ones that own the real stock. All that those of us in the "public" can own is basically non-voting tracking stocks. Only insiders can own voting stock.

G_Smitty




msg:1232758
 8:40 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

I would make a friendly bet with anyone that the vast majority of the folks in the plex would give up all of the unnecessary luxuries at the plex for a slightly better salary... I would.

Most of the employees are probably major stock holders and spend most of their time at the Plex. Its their home, their company, their livelihood and the envy of all non Google employees. If you followed Google since the beginning you would know that they have always cared about the employees. The employees made Google and will lead Google into future.

It seems to me that the employees are only enjoying the perks normally reserved for the upper echelon.

Why would they give up an environment they have problaby asked for and created?

I would take a salary cut to work in and environment like that?

[edited by: G_Smitty at 8:43 pm (utc) on Mar. 24, 2006]

Reno




msg:1232759
 8:41 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

It looks like every successful engineering department that I have ever worked at. In other words, the ones run by engineers instead of business people.

It makes complete sense that successful engineering companies are run by engineers. But I'd be a little surprised if you were to say that those same engineers did not take into consideration how their designs would impact their clients. I'm definitely not saying that Google has completely failed to take into consideration the impact of their algo changes, but I am saying that (on the surface at least) it does not appear to be much of a priority as it specifically relates to the ecommerce business sector. Hope I'm wrong.

......................................

BigDave




msg:1232760
 8:52 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google knows who their clients are, and they take their needs very seriously.

They just understand where their value to their different categories of clients really are. I'm not so sure that you understand it.

Google's value is in the number of eyes looking at their products. That is what their clients buy.

Throwing away that valuable commodity by bowing down to the demands of webmasters is not in the interests of their clients, even if their clients are those same webmasters.

Why is it that whenever there are a few upset webmasters, they need to highjack ever thread to #*$! about the same thing, over and over and over ...

Reno




msg:1232761
 10:11 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

You're right BigDave, my argument has become repetitive. Have had too much time on my hands. But winter is over and spring is here so it's time to think about other things. It will be what it will be....

...........................................................

Miop




msg:1232762
 10:55 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

< Google knows who their clients are, and they take their needs very seriously.

They just understand where their value to their different categories of clients really are. I'm not so sure that you understand it.

Google's value is in the number of eyes looking at their products. That is what their clients buy.

Throwing away that valuable commodity by bowing down to the demands of webmasters is not in the interests of their clients, even if their clients are those same webmasters.

Why is it that whenever there are a few upset webmasters, they need to highjack ever thread to #*$! about the same thing, over and over and over ... >

Actually the point I was making was a different one, (but ok maybe a bit the same!)

I don't care about the perks - I've had enough geek bf's to know that gadgets are essential to the refreshment of the intellectual (and even Victorians knew to give their factory workers beer and a day at the seaside). :)

But seriously, I am curious to know what level of business management people is employed by Google. The couple of companies I know who were very successful with their innovative computing related products were companies which employed very clever programmers, but also employed or were run by very clever business managers. The business managers were essential for organising the programmers and making sure they reached their deadlines, for if it had been up to the programmers themselves, they would have been locked away in little humming rooms for years, because the product would never have been 'finished'. It could always be improved with emerging hardware or software technology, and so it would never be 'perfect'.

So far, although G is certainly never short of clever and innovative ideas, the business management skills appear to me to be somewhat lacking, and it's all looking a bit of a jumble at the moment. As I said elsewhere, I don't think either webmasters or searchers are driving G anymore (if they ever were) - the pressure is now on G to make money for investors.
They will be expected to perform.

This is relevant to the thread topic (as well as to us grumbly webmasters:) - Google are again accused of insularity and 'unwillingness to engage external people in its world' in a recent survey by Jupiter Research, and it is suggested that this aspect of their operation may hinder their expansion. Maybe they are simply too top-heavy in scientists? :)

This 32 message thread spans 2 pages: 32 ( [1] 2 > >
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