Google is known for its uncommon startup-like culture. Although it’s a massive corporation, people who have worked there say some divisions feel like their own startups within Google.
But there was one particular aspect of Google’s workflow and culture that Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan didn’t expect.
Sivaramakrishnan, the founder and CEO of advertising tech company Drawbridge, worked at Google for six months after AdMob was acquired in 2010 for $US750 million.
“So what was surprising to me when I went to Google was that even though Google has advertising tech in its DNA, the ability for many of the engineers and product people at Google to think outside the box in a much broader fashion was kind of limited,” Sivaramakrishnan told Business Insider.
It’s not that employees weren’t encouraged to be creative — it’s just that there was a mentality of getting things done “the Google way,” according to Sivaramakrishnan.
“It was one way, which is the Google way, and that one perspective, which is their perspective and is very driven by search online, was the guiding principle,” she said. “Looking around and getting the broader perspective was something that I saw a lot of people struggle with there.”
Things are a lot different when you’re working for a startup — or running one, as Sivaramakrishnan now does. Even at AdMob, though, employees were trained to think about the end-to-end process of what the company does.
“[It’s] not just my module that I’m responsible for and everything else is outside of the scope of what I do.” she said. “You’re encouraged to think about the end-to-end, because by the very role you have in the company, you wear multiple hats. So it gives you much a broader vision.”