By BoLOBOOLNE payday loans

Three weeks inside Google

Sorry for going dark for a little while there.  As expected, starting a new job while taking a full load of classes at school has been challenging.  Also unsurprisingly, the Google job is very engaging.  I’ll describe a bit of what it’s like on the inside and also how this affects the kinds of things I write about here.

I spent my first week in Mountain View at the Googleplex.  My entering class of "Nooglers" were subjected to inane videos and boring HR discussions.  But a couple hours into it we powered up our laptops and within 15 minutes I’d found the internal wiki and started reading project plans for every internal initiative I found interesting and a bunch that I didn’t.  I devoured the information and didn’t unplug myself until wee hours of the morning.

I’ve been spending a lot of time over the last few years analyzing the industry and thinking about what opportunities exist for creating value by solving people’s problems on the net.  Many of those I’ve captured hereNow I look at the world differently in terms of what problems are still left to be solved because I can see that Google is in the process of solving many of the problems I’d identified.  It’s a little difficult for me to remember what I thought before knowing Google’s plans.  A myriad of half-written blog posts help remind me.  I had been planning on finishing many of them but now I don’t feel so comfortable doing so.  For example, writing about security holes inside Gmail is fun target practice from the outside, but questionably ethical from the inside even though I’d identified it before joining.  The same applies to unexploited business opportunities.

I’ve been asked a lot about the best and strangest things encountered during my week in Mountain View.  The best thing was hands-down the food.  It’s amazing.  Almost every building has their own restaurant with a theme.  My building had a tapas-inspired restaurant featuring many small plates and often fabulous seafood.  The best hamachi sushi I’ve ever had was served there on a real shiso leaf with some light sauce I can only describe through the ecstasy I felt from it.  They served black cod, which I love love love.  (I’ve got a great recipe I need to post to addgarlic.)  Pumpkin bread pudding.  Fresh figs everywhere.  Chilled beet soup.  Even simple things like a ham and cheese sandwiches on fresh bread with arugula were fabulous.  Other cafes have themes like organic hippy foods, dishes prepared with a maximum of 5 ingredients, or everything grown within 150 miles.  It’s all amazing.  As a result I found myself drawn to campus in a predictably Pavlovian manner.

One thing I’ve said for a while that this trip reinforced was the idea that you can’t pay your corporate cafeteria’s chef too much money.  You can get a chef for $50k/yr or $150k/yr.  That extra $100k/yr will do so much more for employee satisfaction than pretty much any other way to spend the money.  Sure you’ll end up spending some more on ingredients or subsidies.  (Or else the chef will leave.)  But it’s worth it.  A couple years ago Real hired a new Chef, Ariel IIRC for their cafeteria and the food got so much better I started bragging to my friends about it.  A little while later a number of things happened at about the same time — Real’s stock dropped, Ariel moved on and life at Real wasn’t as much fun any more.  I won’t try to extract the causality relationships between those events here.

The oddest thing I saw was definitely the automatic toilets.  They’ve got butt-warmers, front and back washing sprays, dryers and more things that I never figured out.  I wonder if they weigh you and keep a high-score list for largest excretion.

Now I’ve got the fire-house turned on full bore and am trying to add value for my team from a position of relative ignorance and keep up with everything going on around me while finishing up a full load of business classes.  But I wanted to take a few minutes to share what’s been going on with you my dear readers.

  1. channing says:

    …and we're so glad you did – ! We loves your posts, dear Leo.

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