Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Google Secret to Success?

I had a drink Saturday night with a Google software engineer (and his lovely wife).

I asked him what was the one thing that stood out about Google that he hadn't noticed at other companies.

He said, "Everyone at Google is smart. You can pretty much be sure that, if you need help from someone at Google on a project, they know what they are doing." He said that wasn't the case at another Silicon Valley firm he worked for, some knew what they were doing, some didn't.

I don't think he was attempting to be arrogant when he answered this way. I think it was a genuine observation on his part.

What a relief it must be to work in an environment when you pretty much know everyone is sharp.

1 comment:

  1. In the mid-1970s, I had a miracle occur: I got to do consulting work for the then AMF-Harley-Davidson. The reason for this Diamond On My Resume was the EPA attempting to overstep its bounds and declare an NPRM - Notice of Proposed Rule Making - on the ever dreaded problem of Motorcycle Noise.

    Predictably, the Feds, after establishing the problem by fear mongering ("The EPA regrets that the Spokeswoman overstepped her authority in her announcement...") had no idea how to Rationally, Reasonably, Scientifically even frame the questions. Harley's response even included a section requesting an establishment of a basic common language to describe the various situations examined.

    And through it all, the Harley engineers, artists - and even vice presidents - knew what they wanted to do, what their market was and how to get there. For example, I got to see the Belt Drive Prototype which is still in use today.

    When you see a company run by competent people, it is as obvious as it is enjoyable.