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The Lived Reality of Work in Tech Firms

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 […]

The global ambitions of tech giants

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 […]

The Platform Wars

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 […]

the sociology of executive coaching

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 […]

The meritocratic elitism of Google 

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 […]

the sociology of corporate perks

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 […]

The Ontology of Corporate Grievance

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 […]

we are all equal before Google

This snippet from an interview with the new Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, intrigued me: Pichai has said that he’s attracted to computing because of its ability to do cheaply things that are useful to everyone, irrespective of class or background. “The thing which attracted me to Google and to the internet […]