How Google Works by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg

I couldn’t pass up a chance for a peek into How Google Works.How Google Works

This book would be useful for HR folks as it delves heavily into their very rigirous hiring practice, their general staff code (my word not theirs) and how they encourage Googlers to develop such amazing projects.

Some of the ‘code’ you’ve probably heard of – such as their famed 20% time (where you can work on what you like), their dress code (you must wear something) and their interesting interview questions (can you teach me something complicated that I don’t know?).

Others were a surprise to me, for example they don’t pay people for successfful 20% time projects and decisions on promotions are not made by managers, but via committee.

As you might imagine there’s not a huge amount on specifically on marketing. The wider lessons though are still incredibly relevant:

  • Focus on the product (or in my words, build marketing into the product). AND
  • “Focus on the user … and the money will follow.”

Here’s some more wisdom from How Google Works

(headings = mine, quotes = directly from the book)

1. On what causes burnout
“Marissa Mayer, who became one of Silicon Valley’s most famous working mothers not long after she took over as Yahoo’s CEO in 2012, says that burnout isn’t caused by working too hard, but by resentment at having to give up what really matters to you…”

2. Make your new job a stretch
“By the way, if your conclusion is that you are ready for your ideal job today, then you aren’t thinking big enough. Start over and make that ideal job a stretch, not a gimme.”

3. Get a coach
“Whenever you watch a world-class athlete perform, you can be sure that there is a great coach behind her success. It’s not that the coach is better at playing the sport than the player, in fact that is almost never the case.”

4. Always be learning
Henry Ford said that “anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”

5. Use this golden rule of management
“One of Eric’s most basic rules is sort of a golden rule for management: Make sure you would work for yourself.”

6. Choose your focus carefully
“If you focus on your competition, you will never deliver anything truly innovative.”

If you don’t want to read the whole book then have a flick through this summary slideshare from Eric and Jonathon

Happy reading,

C x

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