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How Google Works by Jonathan Rosenberg
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How Google Works (original 2014; edition 2014)

by Jonathan Rosenberg

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6171333,565 (3.68)4
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 |
Showing 13 of 13
Nice book on Google working. ( )
  Pabitra | Dec 2, 2021 |
This programmer isn't that thrilled to be called a "smart creative". Reads like a hiring brochure, mostly. Published in 2014, very dated now.
  themulhern | Aug 13, 2021 |
During my time in the Air Force, I was indoctrinated in the General Creech model of Total Quality Management. I have used a number of those principles to this day, but one principle stood out more than the others... benchmark the leaders. As I look around much is in turmoil and much does not work to the level it should, yet, there is a company that continuously improves and takes advantage of their failures with improvement in other areas, and that company is Google. I have always been curious about what was behind the Google curtain. When I learned that Google Executive Chairman and ex-CEO Eric Schmidt and former Senior Vice President of Products Jonathan Rosenberg wrote How Google Works*, I knew I had to read it. I was not disappointed. If you are looking to shake up how your organization runs, there are countless lessons in this book. A number of them I plan to implement in my new job. Read more ( )
1 vote skrabut | Sep 2, 2020 |
The first book I read for 2015 is a business book. A very well written business book about Google, but a business book nonetheless, written by two men who have worked at Google for many years and are in upper management. This book would've been a very interesting read in my Management class last semester, as it has very helpful and applicable tips. The chapters about decision making and innovation were the chapters stuck out for me. Obviously, since this book is written by people who currently work at Google, it has a very pro-Google slant, but it is still an enjoyable book, something I never expected to write about a business book. ( )
  rkcraig88 | Jul 15, 2019 |
There are really good points made and advice that should be heeded. But it is a bit of a chore to turn up the good bits. The thing that slowed down the book for me was all the people who were referenced. I understand and respect the authors for giving credit where credit is due but it does detract from the story. There are a couple summaries floating around for this book. I think in six months or so when I want to review those good leadership points that I'll try one of those instead of re-reading this. I know that sounds harsh and I don't mean for it to. This book is worth reading... once. ( )
  Jerry.Yoakum | Oct 3, 2018 |
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 |
Filled with hyperbole rather than valuable insights. ( )
  marcusosterberg | May 27, 2016 |
Mostly about how Google works (obviously!!!) and tips on running a company. was a good read but couldn't complete finish the book (read about 75-80%). ( )
  _RSK | Jan 26, 2016 |
This is a really interesting book. But, boy, there must not be any introverts at Google. I'm not sure I agree with all of their thinking as far as it always being better for the company to have an employee who does their best thinking in the company of others, and also hangs out with others mostly in their spare time. There have been so many creative high achievers over the years who work best alone. If you are trying to build a culture that incorporates the best people, surely that would include some of those more self-contained individuals also. I'm not sure that I necessarily buy it that a person who likes quiet to work, or who tends to get tasks done himself rather than reaching out to others, is necessarily an un-innovative control freak. It's still a fascinating look into their culture, though. ( )
  AnnieHidalgo | Nov 20, 2014 |
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