Friday, September 11, 2009

Insight into the Google Machine

Cringely has a remarkable (and short) profile of how the Googleplex works. Ideas that clearly wouldn't work for most companies/markets but are fascinating to consider. A few highlights:

  • "Peer review at the heart of everything" (up to 20% of an employee's time)
  • "Most decisions seem to be reached through a combination of peer review-driven concensus and literal popularity polls"
  • "Process is s-l-o-w but the code is clean"
  • "Google developers outnumber testers by 50-to-1"
  • "Typical Google manager has 50-60 direct reports and has time for nothing but meeting after meeting"
  • "Developers bid for what they want to do with their time. If there’s a big job to be done people commit to parts of it. And the parts nobody commits to do? They don’t get done."
  • "There is no marketing input. Effectively, there is no marketing."
  • "Google isn’t a software company at all. It’s an advertising company."

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