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Overview

Shortly after World War I, Ford and GM created the large modern corporation, with its financial and statistical controls, mass production, and assembly lines. In the 1980s, Toyota stood out for combining quality with continuous refinement. Today, Google is reinventing business yet again-the way we work, how organizations are controlled, and how employees are managed.

Management consultant Bernard Girard has been analyzing Google since its founding in 1998, and now in The Google Way, he explores Google's innovations in depth-many of which are far removed from the best practices taught at the top business schools.

As you read, you'll see how much of Google's success is due to its focus on users and automation. You'll also learn how eCommerce has profoundly changed the relationship between businesses and their customers, for the first time giving customers an important role to play in a major corporation's growth. Finally, Girard speculates about the limits of Google's business model and discusses the challenges it will face as it continues to grow.

Google's culture is one of innovation. Why not make that spirit of innovation your own?

Subscriber Reviews

Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 rating Based on 2 Ratings

"Rediscover the so familiar company with this book" - by alexey on 06-NOV-2009
Reviewer Rating: 1 star rating2 star rating3 star rating4 star rating5 star rating
Google is the most intriguing company ever. This book sheds light on the reasons behind its unprecedented success and describes lessons that we can learn from it.

Even though I use Google on a daily basis and think that I know this company, my perception of it changed a lot after reading the book. For example, some time ago Google released a product that had a glitch. I got disappointed and switched to a similar competitors offering. In the meantime Google's product developed into something very useful while the competitor's stayed where it was. If I had read this book earlier I would have made a better decision.

According to the author of the book there are several forces that steer Google as a company: the triumvirate of executives and user
community. Each of these parts has its share in Google's success.

The founders challenged many traditional methods of managing a company. To start with, a governing triumvirate is very uncommon. The biggest advantage is that they compensate each other when making decisions. Another difference is how Google went public - the founders used then uncommon Dutch auction model to distribute initial set of shares. The author analyzes the advantages and disadvantages of Google management style.

Over the past, many companies have accumulated devoted user bases. This was achieved in different ways such as more traditional - offering a discount or less traditional elitism. The author of the book analyzes the reasons why so many people admire Google:

- Using Google is free. However, many people asked to charge a nominal price in exchange of support.
- Google releases beta versions of its products. It relies on large user community to report bugs and generate improvement ideas.
- As a company whose revenue is based on online ads, Google has simplified the process of placing an ad. The process is totally automatic - the people bid for certain keywords which are associated with their ads.

Google has improved the way in which customers interact with it. Another important component is innovative environment within the company. Google is different from traditional companies in the following ways. Its HR department has highly variable size. Google fights bureaucracy by keeping the team size small. Instead of asking managers to evaluate the employees, peer reviews are used in Google. Fellow developers evaluate the projects written during the 20% free-time rule and select the most promising. The ability to work on what you like allows experienced developers to advance in the career ladder without being forced into becoming a manager.

In addition to the interesting content, the book has unique style of presenting it. Blogs are cited very often. Using this book I discovered many new interesting blogs.

This book is a bridge to understanding processes going on in the Internet industry. It will help improve your own company or evaluate other Internet companies.

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