This week is Google week at the Economist. The very funny front cover (above), the main leader (pay walled) and a three-page feature. The point they’re making is that markets don’t know what to make of a company that says it’s not there to make money – especially if it’s the most powerful force in the most revolutionary medium since the printing press.
They also point out that high-minded morals may sound great now but how will they sound if Google ever has to deal with the down times which have recently affected – for example – Yahoo!. And they tell some interesting stories about what it is actually like to work at the GooglePlex; the vision for Google’s cloud-style computing architecture, that the very famous 20% rule never really happens and that by hiring a company full of hyper-geniuses, Google has some difficult HR issues:
…everybody there is a rocket scientist, so everybody everybody is also insecure…. and the back-stabbing and politics are reminiscent of an average university’s English department.
Fascinating stuff of course, as it was when the rest of us were talking about it several months ago (:-)).
Obviously managing the finest minds in the world (there’s now almost 14,000 Google staff) is going to be tricky. Eric Schmidt is pretty clear on that: “tech companies that are dominant have trouble from within, not from competitors.”
But nevertheless Google has the crown jewels. Many of the finest minds in the world, an amazing scalable computer architecture, the brand and the audience. Demise seems a long way off yet.