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How Google Works

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  20,383 ratings  ·  1,219 reviews
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
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 21st 2017 by Grand Central Publishing (first published September 1st 2014)
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4.05  · 
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 ·  20,383 ratings  ·  1,219 reviews

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David Zukowski
Sep 27, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Manuel Antão
Oct 19, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

To Google or not to Google: "How Google Works" by Eric Schmidt and Alan Eagle

I had my first run in with Google in 2005 as a customer and maybe, because of that, I’ve read this book in a different light. Over the years I’ve found the Technology Giants experience sometimes incredibly frustrating (I won’t name any names in case you’re wondering). People who work with Technology on a day-to-day basis tend to look up to the Software giants
Otis Chandler
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,
How Google Works is an examination of one of Silicon Valley’s tech giants: the company culture, processes and philosophies. I’m a long time user and fan of Google and was curious to check this book out. It was alluring but not groundbreaking.

I particularly enjoyed the chapter on Talent. There were some interesting points and I enjoyed reading the complex questions interviewers should consider asking instead of the all too common, standard scripted ones we’ve all been subjected to at one point o
Arun Divakar
Jan 22, 2015 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 Rosenbe ...more
Ramalingam Ramakrishnan
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
Oct 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 t ...more
Rob Di
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Surya Kumar
Nov 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 shoul ...more
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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% ti ...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
Vikram Kalkura
Dec 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ali Sattari
May 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
It was a good and amusing read with some geeky humor interspersed along with raw wisdom.

But like many other books (mostly motivational and self help ones) reader should beware of the survivorship bias! This is how Google works, described as clearly and directly as possible, but this is not necessarily how Google turned into a billion(?) dollar company. Many other dead companies have had few or most of such traits but didn't succeed!

So, my advise: apply with care! :)
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
An essential read for everyone who uses Google ;) No really. I think there's something quite special in a book where ex-CEO of the company has written it. In general, a big part of this book is an overlook to how Google did business and what kind of people and products did they have. Still, there are many interesting little facts that I found appealing.
Oct 24, 2014 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.
Greg Seguin
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Adding this to my new-to-tech required reading list.

Plenty of actionable insights for running effective meetings, getting to decisions, product excellence, managing smart creatives, and resource allocation.
Mayur Moorthy
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The title of his book is a little misleading. Google being a tech firm known primarily for its search engine, one would expect a book titled 'How Google works' to delve into details of how their search engine works. But this is far from it. It's a management book, on how Google functions as an org. It's written like a rather lengthy article, and each chapter focuses on one aspect of the company, and the company's thoughts on that aspect. Eg. Strategy, hiring, innovation are all chapters.

William March
Mar 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Rawan AlFuraih
Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 23, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jurgen Appelo
Great view on the culture and practices of an inspiring company.
Ravindu Thimantha Gamage
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I started reading this book expecting it to be boring and full of technicalities but I couldn't be more wrong. This book is a simple overview of the work culture and the whats', whys' and hows' at Google. If you want something that's complex and in-depth, this is not the book for you. The book touches on the surface but it doesn't dive deeper than that. It's getting four, not five stars because of that vagueness. Even me, a person who would've been turned off by a lot of in-depth details, would' ...more
Moshe Mikanovsky
I always wondered how Google, growing so rapidly, could maintained its innovation and got some answers here. It's about culture, and freedom, and hiring the right people, and morals, and listening, and making tough decisions. Eye opening and inspiring.
May 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not sure how to rate this tbh... Like wasn't bad, was easy to get through and v insightful (for what I was looking for, not sure about business advice as I'm not planning to own a business lol) but I just don't like the guy. In all honesty, I bought this on my kindle thinking it was a book about the technical aspect of how google works and the data collection. I didn't realise it was written by the CEO, classic me. However! It was insightful to see how the founders/ ceos think and how they come ...more
Dec 07, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 essentiall ...more
Pradeep Nair
Apr 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!

Jonna Higgins-Freese
This was a fun read -- fast paced and upbeat, though it made me realize that (a) I am just not as smart as these people are and (b) almost everything I've seen in my work life is the opposite of what is described here.

p. 10: "There were no financial projections or discussions of revenue streams . . . no market research . .. no channel strategy . . . no product roadmap . . . . we left that out for the simple reason that we didn't know how we were going to do it."

Always present data, the denser th
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 to 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.
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