Tag: google

My notes on this report by Google Transparency Project  There are many reasons to be cautious about the educational ambitions of tech firms. If these firms seem likely to be the dominant actors of the global economy over the coming decades, how will shape the influence they exercise over education. To offer the most concrete […]

The notion of the ‘revolving door’ is something I’ve spent much time pondering when campaigning against the arms trade. I’ve talked to Andrew Feinstein, former South African MP and long-standing critic of the arms trade, for two podcasts which explored this issue. Here’s the most recent one I recorded. This is how Campaign Against the […]

From Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, by Douglas Rushkoff, loc 72-86: A few weeks later, there was nothing to smile about. Protesters in Oakland were now throwing rocks at Google’s buses and broke a window, terrifying employees. Sure, I was as concerned about the company’s practices as anyone, and frustrated by the way Silicon […]

A fascinating article on the LSE’s Media Policy Blog about the global ambitions of contemporary technology giants and the corporate structures which facilitate them: The folks who run these companies understand this. For if there is one thing that characterises the leaders of Google and Facebook it is their determination to take the long, strategic […]

From Battle of the Titans loc 1846: Anyone who has ever worked for Schmidt will tell you that he is one of the toughest, most competitive executives walking. Ask Rubin what it was like to be on the receiving end of a few “Don’t fuck it up” lectures from Schmidt. “Not fun,” Rubin says. But […]

From Battle of the Titans, loc 113-127. This dynamic seems likely to intensify with time: A lot of what we buy via Apple’s iTunes store—apps, music, movies, TV shows, books, etc.—doesn’t work easily on Android devices or at all, and vice versa. And both companies know that the more money each of us spends on […]

Very interesting snippet at the end of How Google Works, loc 3859: It’s called “cloud computing” because the old programs to draw network schematics surrounded the icons for servers with a circle. A cluster of servers in a network diagram had several overlapping circles, which resembled a cloud.

One of Google’s most famous perks is the ‘20% rule’, in which staff are allowed a portion of time to work on their own projects. However as Eric Schmidt and his co-author explain in How Google Works, this isn’t a matter of time as such. From loc 3210: This is the power of 20 percent […]

I read this description of Schmidt in How Google Works and it immediately prompted the question of how this behaviour percolates down the food chain. How does a Google exec who fails this test then act in relation to their own subordinates? Loc 2524: John Seely Brown, the former director of Xerox’s Palo Alto Research […]

As you may know, executive coaching is an increasingly common phenomenon, particularly in some sectors like tech. This is how Eric Schmidt and his co-author describe the necessity of it in How Google Works loc 2440: Whenever you watch a world-class athlete perform, you can be sure that there is a great coach behind her success. […]

How Google Works is a fascinating book co-authored by Eric Schmidt in which he details, unsurprisingly, how Google works. In the section I just read, he describes how Google sets out to ensure that they only hire A’s, as detailed in loc 1413: A workforce of great people not only does great work, it attracts […]

The business press has always had a tendency to focus on the perks offered to staff in tech firms. I don’t think they’re manifestations of enlightened, almost non-hierarchical leadership, as some would suggest. But I don’t think they’re trivial either. But don’t take my word for it – here’s Eric Schmidt (and Jonathan Rosenberg) discussing […]

There’s an interesting section of In The Plex which details quite how much Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer hated Google. From pg 282-283: Just how intensely Microsoft’s CEO, Steve Ballmer, despised his competitor to the south became clear in depositions that would be filed in the Lee lawsuit. The year before, in November 2004, a top Microsoft […]

From In The Plex pg 185: Sergey Brin even put a label on his cofounder’s frustration at the tendency of developers to load more and more features into programs, making them run way too slowly. Page’s Law , according to Brin, was the observation that every eighteen months, software becomes twice as slow. Google was […]