Goktug Yilmaz's Reviews > How Google Works

How Google Works by Eric Schmidt
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1) The Smart Creative:
They are not limited in their access to the company’s information and computing power. They are not averse to taking risks, nor are they punished or held back in any way when those risky initiatives fail… They don’t keep quiet when they disagree with something. They get bored easily and shift jobs a lot. They are multidimensional, usually combining technical depth with business savvy and creative flair. In other words, they are not knowledge workers, at least not in the traditional sense. They are a new kind of animal, a type we call a “smart creative,” and they are the key to achieving success in the Internet Century.

2) How the Internet Changed Business:
Internet made it easy for us to select better options.

3) Project Prioritization:

For years, Google’s primary tool for managing the company’s resources was a spreadsheet with a ranked list of the company’s top 100 projects, which was available for anyone to see and debated in semi-quarterly meetings… Most projects were prioritized on a scale of 1 to 5, but there was also room on the list for projects categorized as “new / far out” and "skunkworks".

4) Knaves vs Divas

Knaves are not to be confused with divas. Knavish behavior is a product of low integrity; diva-ish behavior is one of high exceptionalism. Knaves prioritize the individual over the team; divas think they are better than the team, but want success equally for both. Knaves need to be dealt with as quickly as possible. But as long as their contributions match their outlandish egos, divas should be tolerated and even protected.

5) Open Floor Plan

Offices should be designed to maximize energy and interactions, not for isolation and status. Smart creatives thrive on interacting with each other. The mixture you get when you cram them together is combustible, so a top priority must be to keep them crowded.

6) Don’t obsess over competitors

If you focus on your competition, you will never deliver anything truly innovative. While you and your competitors are busy fighting over fractions of a market-share point, someone else who doesn’t care will come in and build a new platform that completely changes the game.

7) Favor Generalists over specialists

Favoring specialization over intelligence is exactly wrong, especially in high tech. The world is changing so fast across every industry and endeavor that it’s a given the role for which you’re hiring is going to change. Yesterday’s widget will be obsolete tomorrow, and hiring a specialist in such a dynamic environment can backfire. … A smart generalist doesn’t have bias, so is free to survey the wide range of solutions and gravitate to the best one.

8) Turning Down a Billion Dollar Founder

Once, Salar Kamangar was impressed with one of our young marketing associates and wanted to transfer said young man into the APM program. Unfortunately, the APM program only accepted candidates with degrees in computer science, which this associate didn’t have. Although Salar argued that the young associate was a self-taught programmer and had a “history of working closely with engineers and shipping things,” several influential execs, including Jonathan, steadfastly refused to expand the aperture, and denied the transfer. The young marketing associate, Kevin Systrom, eventually left Google. He cofounded a company called Instagram, which he later sold to Facebook for a billion dollars.

9) Statistics are the new Plastics

Hal Varian notes that it is always a good idea for individuals to build expertise in areas that complement things that are getting cheap, and data, along with computing power to crunch it, is definitely getting cheap.

Everyone knows how to go with their gut. Only the best will know how to go with their gut + data.
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Reading Progress

June 24, 2015 – Shelved
June 24, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
September 30, 2015 – Started Reading
October 1, 2015 – Finished Reading

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