I visited the GooglePlex last week in Mountain View. I was in San Francisco for an unrelated training and arranged for a tour and meetings with some of their Adwords people. Here are my impressions, in no particular order-
Google is in very good hands. Smart, committed people–and lots of them–are totally engaged in what they’re doing. I saw dogs and volleyball games and Frisbees, which were all very cool, by the way. But I overheard zero conversations that weren’t about business. Think a very focused beehive. I would not bet against these people.
Mobile is coming. I felt a bit like Benjamin in The Graduate when Mr. McGuire offered his famous career advice, “Plastics, Benjamin, plastics is the future.” Except my Mr. McGuire was 30-something. You don’t need me telling you Google thinks mobile is coming to know mobile is coming. But maybe it will be a tipping point for you. Mobile is coming. It’s been “here” in Asia and much of the EU for a while.
If you ever wondered if great people are the basic ingredient for creating a great anything, Google’s dedication to finding great people will convince you. You’ve likely read somewhere how hard it is to get hired by Google. I read in Fortune Magazine that if you interview with Google be prepared to explain any Bs you received in school (I would have “alot a splaining to do!”). Victor, my host, had spent most of his morning interviewing job candidates. Not for his team, but because he’s a team leader, part of his job is to bring in good people. Expect four interview visits to Google and interviews with several different people during each visit before you’re told yes or no by Google.
The food is exceptional and EVERYWHERE!! “Snack stations” appear about every 200 yards in the buildings. Picture 12-foot square spaces, mini convenience stores, with a large refrigerated case (glass doors) with every snack, cheese, juice, drink, etc. And a complete selection of nutrition bars. And a dozen big glass containers of granola and cereal. And a beautiful coffee and tea station.
And then the cafeterias. We had lunch in their main one. Best comment of the day: me, the sushi is very good; Victor, oh, the sushi is much better in my building.
And speaking of buildings, this was a moment I won’t forget. I turned into a large office park, dutifully obeying my GPS, to find Google. I see a large building with a big Google sign in front, but not the address I’m looking for. Next building, Google sign. The next, another Google sign. You drive by, I don’t know, 15 or 20 BIG buildings and they are all Google. That was weird.
Thanks to Victor Herrero, team leader for Adwords Global Support, for his time and tour.