A dig at Working for Google

Working at Google is the dream of so many many tehcies. Google is seen by many as the company to work for. All of you know what Google offers to someone working with them. All the food, fat pay checks, excellent work atmosphere and so on and on. If you want more details have a look at the coverage by CNN on the 100 best companies to work for. Not surprisingly Google was number one. Check out the links at the end of the post for more juice.

Enough of the rosy picture, plain common sense and a little understanding of human behavior makes me ask one question. How can it be all so rosy? Something must be going on which is not rosy as pictured. I am not wrong in asking that. Think of it, we all get to hear the highest salary offered in a IIM's or IIT's, does any one talk about the lowest? Not a soul.

Google is not different. It might be one of the best companies, but not without criticism. Check out this post by Peter Abilla . In here he talks of his experience of interviewing at Google and why he chose not to join them. The post that triggered this article is "Life at Google: The Microsoft perspective". It's an interesting piece supposedly based on experiences of a Microsoft->Google->Microsoft developer. On how to make other places as attractive as Google, the post says the following:

"Make the food in the café free. If an employee eats an average of $15 of food per day (the actual average at Google which is closer to $10) it would cost Microsoft $3,750 per year per employee to offer 3 meals a day. Instead of increasing starting salaries, switch to free food. Give everyone else half the merit increases we would have gotten AND ANNOUNCE THE FREE FOOD AT THE SAME TIME. For that quoted $10 average Google provides free soda, free organic drinks (odwalla, naked juice), breakfast, lunch, and dinner (most people only eat lunch), free sport drinks (vitamin water, etc.), and free snacks (trail mixes, nuts, chips, candy, gum, cereal, granola bars)."

We are not done yet, Google is losing the folks who started out with it in it's infancy, but who are now financially dependent (courtesy the Stock Options) to venture out on their own, or join other hot (Facebook !!) start ups. This link has more on the risk that Google faces.

One more reason that I got to hear, is about internal competition and how taxing it can get. Though I don't agree with this, since I believe that competition is good in all forms. I do have to relent that this is an issue which cannot be ruled out. The following link gives a good insights.

On a personal note, I met a person higher up in the Google hierarchy. I must tell you that these people are paranoid when is comes to confidentiality(I am not taking the name for that sake). Though she did not tell anything that was not available publicly, she kept reminding us on the need for confidentiality.

Does that mean all other companies are messiahs? It is not so. From my experience at two "big big" organisations, I feel the problems mentioned above are common across all biggies at the macro level (though the dynamics change at the micro level). Check this interesting post on hazards of working for big companies.

What do you have to say? What do you feel about the Google Work Place? What about your current company? Do you see something common? Let me know!

[rElated pOsts]
3.0 Cents Down

Inside Goolge
Perks at Google
Working in GooglePlex

Life at Intel: A response to Life at Google: The Microsoft perspective
Life ar Google vs Microsoft: What about the rest of us?


பொடிப்பொண்ணு said...

An eyeopener , I should say!!!


( what is css, I think it's related to style of page, but where's the error, pls let me know or send me email at nithyas1@yahoo.co.in.. thanks)

Technofun said...

Hey nice post....

i guess it is natural process that each growing organization goes through...

Once u become big it is difficult to maintain that start up culture that made u a best place to work....

nice to read how to keep people motivated at work...

Happy blogging

Unknown said...


As company grows,it is but natural that it has to sacrifice some of the culture from the past.

However, if you understand systems thinking, which says that in a system all individual entities lose their individuality and start behaving like the system.

If this is the case why do companies lose the spirit with which they started over time?
Any views?