Nearly everything the company does…is aimed at reducing the cost and expanding the scope of Internet use" (Carr 2008, p.2). Because of its business model, Google thrives on innovation, so it can encourage its employees to take more risks in their work and act more independently: "Google faces far less risk in product development than the usual business does. It routinely introduces half-finished products & #8230;even if the offerings fail to win a big share of the market they will still tend to produce attractive returns by generating advertising revenue and producing valuable data on customer behavior. For most companies, a failed launch of a new product is very costly. For Google, in general, it's not. Failure is cheap" (Carr 2008, p.2).
This stress on innovation and its ability to minimize financial damage from failure because of its advertisement-driven model allows one of the most substantial advantages of taking a job at Google: "The company's engineers are given 20% of their time to pursue their own ideas instead of company assignments (Lohr 2005). It also has had the revenue to acquire a variety of Internet services, including YouTube, the Weblog publisher Blogger, the virtual globe Google Earth and the talent to spot such trends and to manage them in a diffuse model of managerial control (Carr 2007, p.5). The enthusiasm for the ability to innovate and strike out on one's own also shows that employees are driven more by personal profits and promotions -- more even than company mission statements and team-building exercises that deemphasize individuality. Google encourages employees to be driven by personal creativity and the delight in creating a product that is uniquely their own. This is what makes its approach so seismically challenging to conventional business wisdom.
Yet this individualism is also tempered by an intense love for the overall company atmosphere. Many of the perks of Google are so innovative not simply because they make employees want to join the company and stay, but because they make the company a part of every facet of the individual's life -- from birth (including the first meal the family eats after leaving the delivery room) to dry-cleaning. Employees do research much as they would as a student, only with far more profits for their labors, and their loyalty to the company parallels that of many alumni for their undergraduate institution.
Researching Google yields the surprising finding that few people have anything bad to say about working there. Competitors grouse that Google steals all of the top graduating talent before they have a chance to woo them, and that its money gives it an unfair advantage. There is also concern from constitutional scholars and media pundits about how much Google dominates the Internet in terms of its creative control. However, from employees, working for the company is described in terms of sheer joy. Google has felt some of the effects of the recession -- but the paltry 200 employees it has had to downsize are microscopic compared to other technology giants, and these employees will not necessarily be unemployed, as they will all be given priority to find another position at Google" (Helft 2009, p.1). Google, the family -- thus far, despite the current economic crisis, lives on.
Carr, Nicholas G. (2008, January 1). The Google enigma. E-News: Developments in Strategy and Business. Journal published by the global commercial consulting firm Booz & Company.
Retrieved April 7, 2009 at http://www.strategy-business.com/press/enewsarticle/enews013108
Helft, Miguel. (2007, March 10). Google's buses help its workers beat the rush.
The New York Times. Retrieved April 7, 2009 at htp://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/10/technology/10google.html?scp=10&sq=google working&st=cse
Helft, Miguel. (2007, May 28). In fierce competition, Google finds novel ways to feed hiring machine. The New York Times. Retrieved April 7, 2009 at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/28/technology/28recruit.html?scp=7&sq=Google%20fun&st=cse
Helft, Miguel. (2009, March 26). Google plans to lay off 200 workers. The New York Times.
Retrieved April 7, 2009 at http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/26/google-plans-to-lay-off-200-workers/?scp=19&sq=google&st=cse
Lohr, Steve. (2005, December 5). At Google cube culture has new rules. The New York Times.
Retrieved April 7, 2009 at http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/05/technology/05google.html