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How Google Works by Eric Schmidt

How Google Works (2014)

by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg

Other authors: Alan Eagle, Larry Page (Foreword)

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Better than a book written by corporate committee should be. A lot of LinkedIn-style business bollocks, obviously, but also some interesting insights into Google's culture and ways of working. Easy to read. ( )
  sometimeunderwater | Apr 28, 2018 |
For more reviews and bookish posts please visit: http://www.ManOfLaBook.com

How Google Works by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg is a non-fiction book about the business practices of this famous company. Mr. Schmidt was the Executive Chairman of Google from 2001 to 2017 and Alphabet Inc. from 2015 to 2017, Mr. Rosenberg is the former Senior Vice President of Products at Google and current advisor to Alphabet Inc. CEO Larry Page.

At this point in time Google is so successful the name has become a verb, something few companies achieved. In How Google Works by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg the two authors write about shooting for the stars, not necessarily the over the next obstacle, or in practical terms, the next quarter’s earnings.

The one thing I always admired about Google is how the company invests in smart people who do smart things based on real world physics and future thinking. The smart folks at Google know what’s possible, come up with a bad/good/great idea and have the resources to simply go at it. Some of these ideas stick, and some don’t.

The authors use the term “smart creatives”, for those people who work for them. The issue they quickly discovered is that “smart creatives” required a different management system than many other companies. The book gives us examples of Google’s hiring process, culture, strategy and decision making.
All in the name of encouraging innovation.

I enjoyed reading this book, but there is lot – a lot – of hyperbole in it. I found some of the insights valuable, but it seemed that the authors were looking to fill up some space here and there.

Overall I thought this was a really interesting read. I can certainly see how some companies can take some lessons and apply them to their own, but each company’s culture is different and people due their best jobs in different styles and time. I do understand though that techies need to socialize and talk with like-minded people, and that’s much of what the authors talk about. ( )
  ZoharLaor | Apr 21, 2018 |
An interesting look into the Google world and the business practices that the company uses and how they have brought success. ( )
  Jane-Phillips | Oct 25, 2017 |
To Google or not to Google: "How Google Works" by Eric Schmidt and Alan Eagle

Published September 23rd 2014

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 with a stance of awe. I always get the sense they think there’s their way of doing things (insert here a Technology Company of your choosing) and then there’s the way of the rest of us… I quite agree with their take on the fact that one has to be super ambitious to get anywhere. I also see things the “Google way” when it comes to the importance of having a moonshot thinking, ie, we have to aim for the stars not to the hill next door. Most of the companies I know tend to assume that things are impossible, rather than starting from real-world physics and figuring out what’s actually possible. That’s the reason Google (and other American Technology companies) puts so much energy into hiring independent thinkers. If one hires the right people and have big dreams, one usually gets there. And even one fails, one will probably learn something important along the way.

You can read the rest of my review on my blog. ( )
  antao | Dec 10, 2016 |
Google relies on smart creatives for its success. Getting the best out of these individuals requires a distinctive management system. In this book, Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg give specific examples of how Google hires, builds culture, develops strategy, makes decisions, and encourages innovation. An interesting look inside a company that has grown without losing its nimbleness. ( )
  porch_reader | Oct 2, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eric Schmidtprimary authorall editionscalculated
Rosenberg, Jonathanmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Eagle, Alansecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Page, LarryForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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"Jack Welch's Straight from the Gut was once the essential primer for managers, but today's leaders need a new playbook. In HOW GOOGLE WORKS, Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg distill their decades of working in the high-tech industry into a practical and fun-to-read guide for those who want to succeed in an ever-changing business landscape. The book offers how-to advice on strategy, corporate culture, talent, decision-making, innovation, communication and dealing with disruption. The authors explain how the confluence of three seismic changes--the internet, mobile, and cloud computing--has shifted the balance of power between consumer and corporation. The companies that thrive will be the ones that create superior products and attract a new breed of multi-faceted employees whom the authors dub "smart creatives." The management maxims are illustrated with previously unreported anecdotes from Google's corporate history. "Back in 2010, Eric and I created an internal class for Google managers focusing on the lessons the management team learned the hard way," says Rosenberg. "The class slides all said 'Google confidential' until an employee suggested we uphold the spirit of openness and share them with the world. This book codifies the recipe for our secret sauce: how Google innovates and how Google empowers employees to succeed.""--… (more)

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