Book: How Google Works

Author: Eric Schmidt & Jonathan Rosenberg

Rating: 3.5/5

How Google Works-Eric Schmidt & Jonathan Rosenberg

The book is a great sneak peek in to 21t century’s most respected company. A company that has changed the way we live our lives and way we interact with technology. The book is written by two insiders: Eric who was CEO & Jonathan who was SVP (products) at the time of writing the book. They take us through their own journey of change that they went through as they entered Google and how they learnt new ways of working with the Googlers. The Book also provides pointers to how the founders approached various decisions and how the company took decisions like moving out of China despite conventional business wisdom being against the move. The authors spend a lot of time on what makes Googlers different and what kind of people the company seeks as prospective employees. The book also deals in specific details on importance of culture, how hiring happens, how decision making takes place and how should communication happen.  E.g. while making decisions, teams at Google need to clear a filter of “whether it is evil to do it?” and if someone on the team thinks the action is evil, the decision can be stalled. The book contains a good dose of anecdotes and examples from the life inside Google which are extremely insightful.

Social/Historical context:

The book has a business context and brings forth lot of changes in the way 21st century businesses should be run. There are a lot of lessons that current and future business leaders as well professionals can take from the book such as how to conduct meetings, plan projects or how to reinforce culture in an organization. Although the learnings will have to be and should be tailored/altered for industry and company, they are pertinent as a whole.

Writing Style:

The book is written in first person and the narrative is casual. The text has been divided into naturally flowing chapters just like in a business text book. The writing style is easy to follow with lot of small/big stories from real life at Google. These dialogues and anecdotes make the book an easy read and reader soon finds him/herself in the word of Google.

My Thoughts:

The book is a tremendous book for someone who wants to learn more about Google as a workplace and not as a business. The book engaged me as a reader and also presented me with nuggets of knowledge which I can directly use in my professional life. 

Book Reviewed by Manish Kumar

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