Reading List: How Google Works

When Google Executive Chairman and ex-CEO Eric Schmidt joined the company, he wanted to hire Sheryl Sandberg, who is now Facebook’s chief operating officer. Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page weren’t in favor of the idea “because she wasn’t an engineer,” write the authors. Today, roughly half of all Google employees (aka Googlers) are engineers, some degreed and others not. Regardless of their education, all Googlers are “smart creatives,” the company’s label for employees who are “multidimensional, usually combining technical depth with business savvy and creative flair.”

In their absorbing tour through the land of Google, Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg, former senior vice president of products, describe how Google attracts smart creatives, builds great teams, develops consensus, supports communication and nurtures innovation. They entertain readers with amusing anecdotes and Google management-isms such as: “Consensus requires dissension,” “Exile knaves but fight for divas” and “Think 10X, not 10%.” The authors pledge that the insights and principles in the book “apply to anyone who is starting a new venture from scratch or from within an existing organization.”

How Google Works is fascinating and full of food for thought that just may realize the authors’ wish to inspire readers to create something new.

by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg, with Alan Eagle

September
Grand Central Publishing; $30

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