USA 2008: Google Visit

1. July 2008

In our recent research we were focusing on companies that have successfully implemented management innovation- one of these companies is google.

We were spending one day at the googleplex in Mountain View and had the chance to deep dive into the culture, leadership approach and human capital management…

Google’s founders have often stated that the company is not serious about anything but search. They built a company around the idea that work should be challenging and the challenge should be fun. To that end, Google’s culture is unlike any in corporate America (and the rest of the world), and it’s not because of the ubiquitous lava lamps and large rubber balls, or the fact that the company’s chef used to cook for the Grateful Dead. In the same way Google puts users first when it comes to our online service, Google Inc. puts employees first when it comes to daily life in our Googleplex headquarters. There is an emphasis on team achievements and pride in individual accomplishments that contribute to the company’s overall success. Ideas are traded, tested and put into practice with an alacrity that can be dizzying. Meetings that would take hours elsewhere are frequently little more than a conversation in line for lunch and few walls separate those who write the code from those who write the checks. This highly communicative environment fosters a productivity and camaraderie fueled by the realization that millions of people rely on Google results. Give the proper tools to a group of people who like to make a difference, and they will.

Ten things Google has found to be true

We are impressed and we see what an organization can reach if it fully supports the management innovation approach!

by Florian M. Stieger


USA 2008: meeting Ram

1. July 2008

Helmut introduced us to Ram Shriram, so we had the rare opportunity to meet Ram:

Ram Shriram started Sherpalo in January, 2000, with the goal of applying his wealth of operating and company building experience to promising early stage ventures. Ram is a founding board member of Google Inc., 247customer.com and Frontline Wireless. Ram also serves on the boards of Plaxo, Zazzle.com, PodShow and Prana Studios. Prior to founding Sherpalo, Ram served as an officer of Amazon.com working for Jeff Bezos, founder & CEO. Ram came to Amazon.com in August, 1998, when Amazon acquired Junglee, an online comparison shopping firm of which Ram was president. Before Junglee and Amazon, Ram was an early member of the Netscape executive team.

We had the chance to get deep insights about his views about business, about the way the silicon valley built its own DNA and what he regards as key success factors for entrepreneurs. He believes that successful companies are based on their ability to board the best people and keep them – besides the right products and smart organization. Only A-people will board other A-people – once you break this rule you are going to be stuck with B- or C-people – or even worse: D-people!

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by Florian M. Stieger