We Are Not Google!

You don’t say? I thought I just left my dog at home today, overlooked the pool tables, and donated the rest of my salary to charity. Regardless, the clarification may have been necessary for me as a Millennial and fan of all things Google. However necessary, it should not be an excuse from a Boomer to a Millennial regarding a companies lack of desire to accept change.

Since earlier this year when Fortune named Google the Best Company to Work For in America, Google has been brought up many times in the workplace outside of the context of just search and their suite of Web tools. Now their name is being thrown around the workplace by different generations as a form of reference.

Around the same time my Boomer colleague mentioned that our company was not Google, I had a Millennial coworker attempt to negotiate a perk popularized by Google referred to as “twenty percent” time. This is the practice in which Google encourages all of it’s engineers to spend one day a week on projects that interest them regardless of their project team. This has proven to be quite the successful practice for Google which estimates that half of new product launches originated from the 20% time. Alas, as my Boomer friend mentioned, we are not Google and consequently my Millennial friend’s request was denied.

As Google continues it’s path of domination and it’s influence over members of the Google Generation (just made that up, not offical), I believe we will see more and more pressure from Millennials to make the workplace more Google like and give the power to the lowly worker bees to push change and be creative and not just be cogs in the corporate machine.

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5 Responses to We Are Not Google!

  1. Robbie says:

    F1RS7! Since when did you blog?

    Anyway, last paragraph… right on (at least for the companys that become successful). Most developers are developers becuase they are good at problem solving. Problem solving is not adding 2 + 2 with a set of existing rules, it is defining your own rules to achieve something new. Creativity is a neglected trait in most of the corporate world, but if it is nurtured then great things can be accomplished.

  2. I like the idea of open workspaces, easy collaboration, and the freedom to spend some portion of your time for “the greater good”. Let’s face it, not all programmers are highly motivated. Quite a lot of them are very lazy; myself included. 🙂 Getting to work on something you’re interested in will let your motivation soar.

    I can see a lot of great things coming out of your companies .25% time or whatever they could put aside. Most people fail to mention that Google’s 20% time must be approved by a manager and that it has certain restrictions, as we’d all expect from any corporation. So your company could do the same and let developers spend a certain period of time working on something outside of their core project but that still benefits the company in an approved way. Wouldn’t you be interested in creating a small tool that some group could use to ease their workload? Just sounds like an interesting experiment if nothing else.

    But above and beyond the 20% time, I’m way more interested in the environment Google creates for their engineers. I’m all about large open spaces where free thought and expressions can take place. I too think whiteboards should be _everywhere_ and that we should be managed in a way to allow our creativity to blossom. But hey, what do developers know about creating a productive work environment for developers? 🙂

  3. Paul says:

    I wonder if the Fortune list you referenced is limited to public companies. I’ve noticed in a couple of other replies to mulitiple threads those extolling the great benys at Google. For a point of reference, you guys should check out SAS. Many of the things Google is trumpeted for having, actually have existed at SAS for many decades. They don’t get as much pub b/c they’re private.

  4. Hi every one, here every person is sharing these kinds of know-how, thus it’s fastidious to read this web site, and I used to visit this web site everyday.

  5. Denise says:

    Aw, this was an exceptioonally nice post. Taking the time and actual effort to crteate a very good article… but what can I say… I
    procrasttinate a whole lot and don’t seem to gget nearly anything done.

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