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How Google Works

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4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  10,551 Ratings  ·  719 Reviews
Both Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg came to Google as seasoned Silicon Valley business executives, but over the course of a decade they came to see the wisdom in Coach John Wooden's observation that 'it's what you learn after you know it all that counts'. As they helped grow Google from a young start-up to a global icon, they relearned everything they knew about ...more
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published September 23rd 2014 by John Murray (first published 2014)
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David Zukowski
Aug 30, 2015 David Zukowski rated it did not like it
Data-loving, diva-accepting, knave-hating smart creatives out to save the world and rescue us from the evil incumbents. Ready to hear that again and again? Good, because if there's one message the authors of "How Google Works" actually adhere to, it's that "repetition doesn't spoil the prayer" (even when it does).

For all the talk of pithy, to-the-point meetings, messages, and culture, this book sure is long. A 3-year, 260 page effort that could (and should) have been condensed into a book half i
...more
Otis Chandler
Oct 01, 2015 Otis Chandler rated it liked it
Shelves: leadership
A decent book about Google from it's former CEO and head of product. I am only giving it 3 stars because a lot of it was too vague to be useful or stuff I already knew. However every 5 or 10 pages there was a nugget, or reminder of something I knew but that was good to think about. Also good to see a lot of this all written down in one place. So worthwhile overall, though it did take me a while to plow through.

Eric spent a lot of time talking about product excellence. In todays crowded market,
...more
Arun Divakar
Jan 23, 2015 Arun Divakar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
There is no one across the globe who does not use this site…Wait ! Strike that out ! Let me rephrase this as : The search engine of Google and its associated products and services are used by a wide variety of people across the globe barring mainland China. The topic of Google in China is now a major case study and not one which this review can hope encompass. The focus is here is on this small yet extremely impressive book about some of the inner workings of Google as viewed by Jonathan ...more
Ramalingam Ramakrishnan
Sep 28, 2014 Ramalingam Ramakrishnan rated it it was amazing
Don't waste your time, Go now, read this book twice - first time will be Aha! and the second time you will be underlining and thinking / assimilating. Give a copy to each of your direct reports irrespective of your industry, if they don't do so like-wise, fire them - there is no need to work with them!

If you are not convinced still, here are 5 reasons.
1. When the CEO of the Best Company to work for (Fortune 2013, 2014) writes about the Google Way of doing things, there must be something profound
...more
Andrea
Jun 08, 2016 Andrea rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. I think there are a lot of great takeaways from how Google runs their business. Some of my favorites had to do with interviewing candidates. The way they interview candidates stuck out to me because hiring the right people is absolutely key to having a successful business. Don't settle for a "B" candidate when you should be striving for the "A". I also liked what they had to say about making decisions. You don't get real buy in until all the choices have been discussed and ...more
Shaw
Nov 09, 2014 Shaw rated it it was amazing
There is enough here to keep management teams in all departments busy for a long time. There is also a lot of flattering stories about how great Google is. Get past that and there is a lot of gold.
Surya Kumar
Dec 17, 2014 Surya Kumar rated it really liked it
This book is neat and insightful in every aspect that tells how you should keep & manage your employees / products and make them grow creative. "2 Pizza team" is a great idea ripped from Amazon - Focusing to keep people in very small team and keep them work together discussing the culture and plans. "Smart Creative" - Transferring the new technology from products to the consumer and this makes your employee to bring more innovative products. Google just make it keeping the money aside."Grow ...more
Santhosh
Nov 25, 2014 Santhosh rated it really liked it
This book shows how google takes its employee's satisfaction to top the chart by its unbeatable work procedure. Google's concept of work has to a lot to its productivity. When there is something, Google believes in talking to the developer directly rather than making it complicated. The ASL concepts is one of the best method google focuses in keeping the employee engaged. Building a team with number of people who can be fed with just 2 packs of pizza's is something which every organisation ...more
Rob Di
Oct 27, 2014 Rob Di rated it it was ok
Overall disappointed with the book. Here's a summary... We're Google...We're awesome. You are not worthy of us.

It seems the best lesson you can take with this is:

1) Start a company with 2 brilliant co-founders who get along well with others
2) Be in a ridiculously growing industry

The book it reminded me most of was the fawning The McKinsey Way

Another thing that annoyed me was the use of the third person by the authors (or ghost author). There was no I/us in the book, which is not what I expected
...more
Saranya
Dec 11, 2014 Saranya rated it it was amazing
Before reading the book, I have always been fascinated about the fact how google works and this book answers all. Was astonished to hear the basic prototype and the working model of Google glass was done within 90 mins. This shows how the smart creatives work. And another important take away is Hippo's aren't always right, and as an employee you should be able to rise your voice on your suggestion. And in Google Hippo's believe in the fact that their employees are right, so as we do here! 20% ...more
John Ege
I've been a pretty big fan of Eric Schmidt for a while and have watched a lot of his talks - so in spite of this being familiar, this was still an excellent read.

I particularly enjoyed/learned from the parts where he talked about rating performance, organizing around goals and how those goals are data/number based. Probably the most concise explanation of 20% Time that I've read or listened to (even from previous talks he's given). Even portions that contradicted my own biases (home v. office, w
...more
Vikram Kalkura
Dec 15, 2014 Vikram Kalkura rated it really liked it
A must read book for everyone in an organisation and a great book for the HR bunch. I started reading this book with no interest but now I am in awe cos the kind of culture that Google exhibits is wonderful.
Hire the best people. Give them extraordinary pay if they possess extraordinary talent. Pay should not be based on experience but should be based on talent.
Everyone should be involved in recruiting not just the HR. Never put a B in yo hiring people and soon you will have only Bs Cs and Ds
...more
Amanda
Nov 18, 2014 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book had some good points and tips in it, but I got lost in a lot of the business stories that I couldn't really connect with.
William March
Mar 26, 2016 William March rated it it was amazing
This book is a must read for anybody who wants to better understand how to manage a business in the age of information or anybody who is just curious about the culture within Google that led them to become one of the most innovative companies of modern times. It contains insight on how to hire the best and the brightest, described by those at Google as "smart creatives", and how to build a culture under which those smart creatives are allowed to thrive. You feel as if you're learning along with ...more
Peter
Nov 02, 2014 Peter rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pradeep Nair
Apr 27, 2015 Pradeep Nair rated it it was amazing
Just in case you think this book is all about geeky software jargon on how Google works, it's not.

The book by Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman, and Jonathan Rosenberg, the adviser to CEO Larry Page, is a gripping, well-structured, description of the core principles that underline the work ethics of the company. The authors were CEO and senior vice president during Google's formative years.

Don't expect an objective assessment of Google as a company, because the authors are still employees!

T
...more
Tung
Jan 17, 2016 Tung rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Disclaimer 1: I dislike business books. I only read them when I am forced to or when I receive them as gifts. If you're a fan of business books, skip this review. Disclaimer 2: I distrust Google as a company; I think their corporate slogan of "Don't be evil" is disingenuous and that some of Google's actions go against their own mantra. And I reject any notion I am a hypocrite because I use gmail and Chrome – one can enjoy a product and not buy into the corporate kool-aid. This book is ...more
Marika
May 06, 2015 Marika rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed learning how the-company-of-my-dreams works internally. It's truly a culture worth emulating, and after reading this book, I've picked up a few tips and tricks that I can implement in my own team. It's a fun read, although I listened it on audiobook and probably skipped a few parts.

What I loved:
1. Eric sharing his insights about fostering innovation and what makes a great team
2. The idea about Google eventually being one-upped by other companies and that's okay with them.
3. Kee
...more
Rawan AlFuraih
Mar 14, 2015 Rawan AlFuraih rated it it was amazing
Shelves: on-my-shelve
I have always been a fan of Google and its products. Being able to see how the world best company works was extremely intersting and beneficial. I thought it would only be about Google itself, but the book is practical and gives direct solutions. The products stories they mentioned made the book inspiring and enjoyable. I would rarely read books that none of my friends read and reviewed, but it was listed as one of 2014 best books. If you are starting a company, this book should be the first in ...more
บอมบุง พ่อยอดคะน้าอ่อน
The inspiring story of ‘how google work’. This book doesn’t contain the code or algorithm or reveal how the ‘technology things’ work but guide you throughout the company mechanism. From hiring to firing, Google suggests that some ‘conservative MBA ideas’ aren’t good enough in this internet century. However, this new management style may not applicable to some industries like assurances services which need more ‘professional schemes’ than ‘innovative thinking’.
Malleswari
Dec 04, 2014 Malleswari rated it it was amazing
Great book. Got learned many points about how employees and employers should be. The best part I like in this is, in order to develop best products, our focus should be on technical insights of the products rather than profits. If product has more functionalities and user friendly, profits obviously follows it. While I came across the part, CULTURE of the company, I thought of our culture, the answer was "CULTURE OF LEARNING" which lets people improve themselves in all possible ways.
Nikki Shaver
Apr 24, 2015 Nikki Shaver rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2015
Some good insights here that are applicable across different industries, but overall it was a little too long for what it was and by midway through I was a little sick of the self-congratulatory tone. Nevertheless, lots of good takeaways.
Joseph Raffetto
Jun 13, 2016 Joseph Raffetto rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
This book captures an extraordinary business culture. Every orthodoxy is questioned, as Google explores how they can do everything better as well as attract and keep the smartest and most innovative employees.
Ritika
Aug 13, 2015 Ritika rated it really liked it
I never thought that a book related to business and management could interest me so much. I ended up reading it cover to cover.
There is so much to learn from this book!
Ian Wood
Oct 11, 2014 Ian Wood rated it it was amazing
This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's reviews on the blog typically feature two or three images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.

Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three-
...more
Jurgen Appelo
Oct 17, 2014 Jurgen Appelo rated it it was amazing
Great view on the culture and practices of an inspiring company.
Abdulaziz Al-Mannai
Nov 02, 2015 Abdulaziz Al-Mannai rated it really liked it
Great comprehensive book, with great tips.
Andrey Garcia
Nov 29, 2016 Andrey Garcia rated it really liked it
Great book, basically it’s about how to speed up your product development process without sacrificing quality and always thinking about the user first, even before the client. I really enjoyed all the true stories about how Google created successful products and how they learned from their failures as well.

Eric Schmidt shares his thoughts about why you don’t have to be the first to be the best, the search engines started 5 years before Google and now it’s one of the most popular search engines o
...more
Omar Fernández
Nov 29, 2016 Omar Fernández rated it really liked it
This book was a very good read on management techniques used at Google. I work at BloomReach, a technology company in Silicon Valley, and have seen many of the same practices work well here. Our co-founder and CTO came from Google, so it's not an accident that many of the practices are familiar to me.

Here are the key concepts I got out of the book. Most of these are not exclusive to tech, but rather to any growing company. To properly scale a company, you must be able to get rid of traditional
...more
Gene Babon
Jun 23, 2015 Gene Babon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership
It has always been a mystery to me how Google makes money hand over fist. This book provides insights from two of the senior executives who have had a seat at the table for more than a decade.

So, how does Google mint money? The short answer is AdWords, Google's advertising platform. The in-depth answer is explained in chapters organized around the following core competencies that all organizations possess, but that Google seems to execute particularly well:

Culture, Strategy, Talent, Decisions, C
...more
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“If you focus on your competition, you will never deliver anything truly innovative.” 12 likes
“Over time I’ve learned, surprisingly, that it’s tremendously hard to get teams to be super ambitious. It turns out most people haven’t been educated in this kind of moonshot thinking. They tend to assume that things are impossible, rather than starting from real-world physics and figuring out what’s actually possible. It’s why we’ve put so much energy into hiring independent thinkers at Google, and setting big goals. Because if you hire the right people and have big enough dreams, you’ll usually get there. And even if you fail, you’ll probably learn something important. It’s also true that many companies get comfortable doing what they have always done, with a few incremental changes. This kind of incrementalism leads to irrelevance over time, especially in technology, because change tends to be revolutionary not evolutionary. So you need to force yourself to place big bets on the future.” 10 likes
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