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How Google Works

An insider's guide to one of the biggest companies in the world

By Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg
  • Read in 13 minutes
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  • Contains 8 key ideas
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How Google Works by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg

How Google Works shares business insights from one of the most successful technology start-ups in history. Written by the former top executives at the company, the book lays out, step by step, Google’s path to success; a roadmap that your company can follow, too.

Key idea 1 of 8

Great products developed by phenomenal employees are crucial for business success.

Over the past few decades, sweeping technological advancements have totally changed our lives and our world. Today, we can store limitless amounts of information online and effortlessly connect to the internet through practically any mobile device.

In the business world, these innovations have shifted everyone’s attention to product development. This has happened in two ways.

First, the internet has pushed consumers to demand better products by giving them more information and more choice. If customers don’t like your app, for example, they can simply download another.

In this new consumer market, winning and retaining customers is all about having the best possible product.

Second, technological advances have changed the business world by enabling companies to develop products quickly and cheaply. Even a small team of engineers, for instance, can develop a new product in mere months and then release it to millions of people online for free.

Because of these developments, good products now trump fancy marketing strategies. And this crucial insight has been Google’s guiding principle since its very beginnings.

Google’s founders from the start concentrated solely on developing the greatest search engine possible, confident that if they succeeded, money would follow. (And it did!)

Google’s search engine algorithm is an example of the kind of game-changing product that can only be created by skilled employees called smart creatives.

Smart creatives combine conventional business savvy and technical expertise with a creative sensibility. They are competitive, ambitious and curious – the kind of people who will pull all-nighters to solve a thorny problem or even ignore your direct orders just to prove a point.

Smart creatives are the very essence of Google, and in fact, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are exemplary specimens of this sort of worker.

They’ve approached hiring simply by bringing in the very best engineers and giving them as much freedom as possible to develop amazing products.

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