The Google Example
I just finished reading The Google Story, by David A. Vise. I can’t say it’s a great book. Some parts are terribly boring, stuffed with uninteresting facts and examples. But there were chapters that made me long for my next visit to the toilet. Here is the list of things that caught my attention:
- Larry and Sergey built their product first and raised money later. It’s so much easier to sell your idea if you can back it up with a real and functioning implementation.
- The two founders didn’t start with their eyes on the money. In fact, they had no idea how to monetize their search engine in the beginning. Instead they were focusing on providing the best search experience they could. The focus on usefulness is what laid the foundation to their success. People noticed, trust was built.
- A Google employee (a Googler) are free to spend one fifth of his time at work on a private project of his own pick. One day each week, free to spend on anything that interest you. You’re not just free to do it; you are supposed to do it. It’s your job.
To me that sounds just like employee heaven, but the employee is not the only winner. Some of these private projects grow and end up in valuable products for the company. Just look at the wide range of services that Google provides, many of them started out as private projects.
- Google takes care of it’s employees. Free healthy food and day care for my children would make my life so much easier. That’s another win – win deal between you and your company.
If I ever get to build my own start-up, I will use Google as my template.