“How Google Works,” the book written by Google’s chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt and former SVP of products Jonathan Rosenberg, is full of interesting nuggets about the company.
Harvard Business Review picked out one particularly compelling anecdote that sums up the culture at Google.
A little more than 10 years ago, in 2002, Google CEO Larry Page posted a rather embarrassing memo in the kitchen at Google’s offices.
He printed out results from the company’s AdWords engine and in large letters wrote “THESE ADS SUCK” at the top of the page.
This might be considered a cruel gesture at most companies, but Google employees didn’t sulk or pout; they jumped on the problem.
The move shows that Page was confident in his employees, as Harvard Business Review notes.
Rather than yelling at the AdWords team, requesting a meeting, or firing someone, Page opted to post the results publicly, knowing that someone would immediately take care of the problem.
Scenarios like this illustrate the startup-like culture at Google, which is uncommon for a company of its size.
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