How Google Works
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How Google Works



Today we all live and work in the Internet Century, where technology is roiling the business landscape, and the pace of change is only accelerating. ...

Today we all live and work in the Internet Century, where technology is roiling the business landscape, and the pace of change is only accelerating.

In their new book How Google Works, Google Executive Chairman and ex-CEO Eric Schmidt and former SVP of Products Jonathan Rosenberg share the lessons they learned over the course of a decade running Google.

Covering topics including corporate culture, strategy, talent, decision-making, communication, innovation, and dealing with disruption, the authors illustrate management maxims with numerous insider anecdotes from Google’s history.

In an era when everything is speeding up, the best way for businesses to succeed is to attract smart-creative people and give them an environment where they can thrive at scale. How Google Works is a new book that explains how to do just that.

This is a visual preview of How Google Works. You can pick up a copy of the book at



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How Google Works Presentation Transcript

  • 1. How Google Works By Eric Schmidt & Jonathan Rosenberg with Alan Eagle | #howGoogleworks
  • 2. When Jonathan and Eric arrived at Google, we thought we knew all there was to know about running successful businesses.
  • 3. But we quickly learned that almost everything we thought we knew about managing businesses was dead wrong.
  • 4. And we’d need to figure out the new business rules that make a company successful in the Internet Century. Here’s what we learned.
  • 5. We started by asking one of Eric’s favorite questions: What’s different now?
  • 6. What’s different now?
  • 7. What has changed? Which assumptions do people make that are no longer true? Why does everything feel like it is speeding up?
  • 8. Here’s our answer:
  • 9. Technology is transforming virtually every business sector. All the world’s information and media is online. Mobile devices mean anyone can reach anyone, anywhere, anytime. Cloud computing puts a supercomputer in your pocket.
  • 10. As a result, barriers to entry that have stood for decades are melting away. Every incumbent business is vulnerable to competition and disruption. UBER
  • 11. This transformation is happening at an unprecedented pace, and it’s accelerating. It’s like Moore’s Law has run amock.
  • 12. Power has shifted from companies to consumers, and expectations have never been higher. Companies can’t get away with having crummy products, at least not for long. For example, bad product reviews trump clever marketing. Today, great products win.
  • 13. Meanwhile, within companies the power has shifted as well. Individuals and small teams can have a massive impact. They can create new ideas, experiment, fail, and try again, and get their successes to a global market.
  • 14. The people that can have the biggest impact of all are the ones we call: Smart Creatives.
  • 15. These are the product folks who combine technical knowledge, business expertise, and creativity. When you put today’s technology tools in their hands and give them lots of freedom they can do amazing things, amazingly fast.
  • 16. The problem is, most companies today are run to minimize risk, not maximize freedom and speed. Information and data is hoarded, not shared. Their design is a vestige of an era when failure was expensive, and deliberation was a virtue. Decision-making power lies in the hands of the few.
  • 17. In other words, most companies are slow by design!
  • 18. This doesn’t work in the Internet Century.
  • 19. What does work?
  • 20. Building a successful Internet century venture.
  • 21. We learned that the only way for businesses to consistently succeed today is to attract smart creative employees and create an environment where they can thrive at scale.
  • 22. How do you do that?
  • 23. First you have to attract your smart creative. They aren’t easily fooled.
  • 24. This starts with culture. Smart creatives need to care about the place they work.
  • 25. So plan your culture early. Think about (and document) the things you care about as a group, the way you work and make decisions.
  • 26. Then live according to your own slogans.
  • 27. It’s best to work in small teams, keep them crowded, and foster serendipitous connections.
  • 28. Organize the company around the people whose impact is the greatest.
  • 29. Next comes strategy. Most new ventures start with a business plan. Things are changing so fast, though, that any thorough, MBA-style business plan is guaranteed to be wrong in some important way.
  • 30. Some creatives know this, and will be scared that a formal business plan will hamper their freedom.
  • 31. (When Jonathan arrived at Google, one of his first work products was such a plan. Larry Page said the plan was “stupid”.) That plan is stupid.
  • 32. Don’t base your venture on a plan. Instead base it on a strategic foundation. You can have a plan, but know that it will change, probably a lot. The plan is fluid, the foundation stable.
  • 33. A good foundation has three main pillars: Create superior products based on unique technical insights. Optimize for growth, not revenue. Know the competition, but don’t follow it.
  • 34. HIRING!! JOBS. Now let’s get those smart creatives into the company. Never forget that hiring is the most important thing you do.
  • 35. Lots of people say this, but then they delegate hiring to recruiters. Everyone – EVERYONE! – should invest time in hiring.
  • 36. Now that you have attracted and hired a team of smart creatives, you need to give them an environment where they can thrive at scale.
  • 37. And that starts with your approach to making decisions. Decision-making done right lets smart creatives know that they can make a difference. Done wrong, it kills their spirit.
  • 38. Most forward-thinking companies tout their consensus-driven approach. But they fail to understand what consensus means. Glad we all agree. ... nay it is.
  • 39. It’s not about everyone agreeing, it’s about everyone being heard and then rallying around the best answer.
  • 40. Communication is as important as decision making, and like decision-making it is something that most leaders think they are good at. They are mostly wrong.
  • 41. When it comes to open communications, default to open. Maximize the velocity and volume of information flow.
  • 42. Do these things right, and you have a chance to reach business nirvana... innovation!
  • 43. But remember, the CEO needs to be the CIO (chief Innovation Officer). Innovation can’t be owned or ordained, it needs to be allowed. You can’t tell innovative people to be innovative, but you can let them.
  • 44. Set unattainable goals, and then fail well.
  • 45. Listen to the lab coats not the suits, and get the lab coats to produce prototypes, not slideware.
  • 46. Ideas come from anywhere.
  • 47. These steps aren’t just for entrepreneurs, and they just aren’t for high-tech business. Opportunity is everywhere. Smart creatives are everywhere. Ambitious people who want to build a team of the latter to pursue the former are everywhere.
  • 48. All you need is a BIG idea.
  • 49. Ask yourself, what could be true in 5 years?
  • 50. Try to imagine the unimaginable, because unimaginable things are happening a lot.
  • 51. Then make a bet on that future. Remember big bets can sometimes be easier to achieve than small ones...
  • 52. since they attract the best people.
  • 53. Are you ready to get started?
  • 54. | #howGoogleworks New York Times Best Seller