June 5, 2006
Google Toy Factory
Forbes asks a disturbing question: who's running Google after all? If you're thinking the answer is Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, you might be wrong.
"As charming as he is, Schmidt runs Google about as much as much as the Dalai Lama runs the world's spiritual life. [...] Peek inside the Googleplex, and what you'll see looks more like swarm behavior than a military drill. In many families, everyone has to pitch in and do some grungy work to keep the household running. But at Google, every engineer acts like the favorite child."
"The Internet, Schmidt has said, turns power relationships upside down. That's true inside the ultimate Internet company --Google-- as well as out on the raw and woolly Web. As long as the masses are running Google, innovation will flourish. When management forcefully steps in, the pace of change will slow."
Google hires a lot of talented engineers and many have great ideas. That's why Google lets them use 20% of their time (that's a day every week) for their ideas. When you're talented and have a toy factory like Google, nothing seems impossible. And nothing should be impossible.
Google gives them resources to put their ideas into practice, to build their favorite toy. Adults shouldn't interfere too much in the process, they should guide it from afar.