Tuesday, August 24, 2004

More on the Google playboys

Playboy has published an interesting additional excerpt from the earlier interview with Google founders Larry and Sergey. The quotes from Larry Page on Google's management are worth reading.

Larry explains he'd rather have "too few than too many" managers because management layers can alienate people at the bottom and reduce productivity. But he acknowledges that people, "especially junior people", may not get the attention they need. The lack of management apparently works because many management tasks, such as employee reviews, project reports, and project planning, are automated and distributed. Google has "hundreds" of "small projects going on all the time", increasing innovation, reducing complexity, and reducing risk.

The problem with junior people not getting attention can be handled by setting up mentoring relationships. My understanding is that Google already does this, but perhaps not enough. Automating project planning is an excellent, allowing everyone to contribute ideas for new projects and promoting innovation. Interesting that Amazon also runs their projects small and quick.

[Thanks, Searchblog]


jordan said...

I recently interviewed a candidate who was coming off of an internship with Google. He described the mentor relationship that he had there. It sounded like a formalized and fairly successful mentorship program.

Greg Linden said...

I've heard more mixed things, mainly that it depends on your mentor, but my information is a bit old. They may have improved things in the last several months. Good to hear.