For me, air travel brings two unique advantages — one is sleeping (with the flight mode on *wink*), and the other is finally getting some quality time to read.
For short flights, sleeping doesn’t really work. So, I always carry a book or two with me, just to be on the safer side.
During one of my trips, I forgot to bring a book and noticed “How Google Works” by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg at the airport. I thought to myself, “Perfect timing! Why not give it a read?”.
I am a big fan of Google services. Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s journey have always inspired me of how Google outgrew from a small garage to a tech giant with hundreds of products used by billions of people across the globe.
As a young tech CEO, I would learn about how things work inside a successful company like Google. So, it barely took me a few seconds to decide that I am gonna read this book.
Ex-CEO Eric Schmidt and former SVP of Products Jonathan Rosenberg are seasoned executives from Silicon Valley.
Eric joined Google in 2001 and took the company to the public in 2004. Eric, along with the founders transformed the company from a tech startup to a trillion dollar-valued technology powerhouse
The book reads like a story and wonderfully covers the philosophy behind what goes inside the tech hub and how it works. It has stories about how they strategize, what goes on the human resource management table, what inspires their decision making, how do they plan for the future and so on.
The authors have also shared a lot of stories on how Google learned and evolved over the years, and how smart creatives have been the reason behind the company’s success. The chapters are breezily written and will definitely delight your mood.
The book is divided into six themes and each theme has its own chapter, viz:
- Culture — Believe Your Own Slogans
- Strategy — Your Plan Is Wrong
- Talent — Hiring Is the Most Important Thing You Do
- Decisions — The True Meeting for Consensus
- Communications — Be A Damn Good Router
- Innovation — Create The Primordial Ooze
The authors talk about some of the core principles that the founders have set for the company, how they came up with those principles and how those principles have helped them to be successful.
Not every principle applies to every company but it will give you a context behind their approach and managerial insights. Google operates on a whole different scale than most of the companies in the world. Therefore, be careful about what you adopt from this book.
About The Book
It is a 260-page book with a foreword by Larry Page. The book contains 8 chapters and was originally published in 2014 (the only edition published so far). The book is available in hardcover ($17.29), paperback ($13.94), ebook ($12.99) and audio ($19.94) formats.
Who Is It For
I highly recommend this book to entrepreneurs and executives in the tech world; and people who would like to work for Google. I am not sure how much Google has changed since Eric left, but I feel the foundation might still be the same.
My Overall Rating: 4.5/5
An entertaining tour of how Google innovates and operates as a company. I really enjoyed reading it.