produx.todayMarcel Heinze

My Personal Highlights of How Google Works

How Google Works

This post is composed out of my personal highlights of How Google Works written by Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google, and Jonathan Rosenberg ‒ distilled by Blinkist.

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

Good products now trump fancy marketing strategies. This crucial insight has been Google’s guiding principle since its very beginnings. 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. They rule the six must-have skills of the Conceptual Age.

To prepare for unexpected challenges, create a strategic foundation that leaves room for change.

A foundation is an outline of guiding principles not a step-by-step guide for running your business. If you’re leading smart creatives, it’s your job to enforce a lively discussion, not a decision. The decision-making process becomes as important as the decision itself because if employees don’t support the decision, they simply won’t follow it.

Information is a valuable currency. This might explain why so many managers maintain a Scrooge-like mentality when it comes to sharing what they know. But that’s simply not an option for those who oversee smart creatives.

As a consequence of pro-openness policies, team members at Google now feel comfortable starting their own conversations with colleagues. One employee, for example, wrote a “user manual” about himself, with advice about how to work with him most effectively.

You can’t artificially enforce innovation, but you can create a climate that encourages it.

Set high goals that challenge your employees. As a rule of thumb, try “10xing” every goal you initially set. For example, Quartz watches are 10 times more precise than even the most accurate mechanical watches and cost 1/10 as much.

And finally, if you really want to have an innovative company, allow your smart creatives to do what you hired them for: be smart and creative.

This post is composed out of my personal highlights of How Google Works written by Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google, and Jonathan Rosenberg ‒ distilled by Blinkist.

Blinkist takes outstanding nonfiction books and distills their key insights into made-for-mobile book summaries that you can read in just 15 minutes. Learn something new every day – on your smartphone, tablet or PC.


About the book

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.

Eric Schmidt is the former CEO of Google, and Jonathan Rosenberg was Google’s Head of Products.


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Marcel Heinze
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