Cover image for The Google Way

Book description

Shortly after World War I, Ford and GM created the large modern corporation, with its financial and statistical controls, mass production, and assembly lines. In the 1980s, Toyota stood out for combining quality with continuous refinement. Today, Google is reinventing business yet again-the way we work, how organizations are controlled, and how employees are managed.

Management consultant Bernard Girard has been analyzing Google since its founding in 1998, and now in The Google Way, he explores Google's innovations in depth-many of which are far removed from the best practices taught at the top business schools.

As you read, you'll see how much of Google's success is due to its focus on users and automation. You'll also learn how eCommerce has profoundly changed the relationship between businesses and their customers, for the first time giving customers an important role to play in a major corporation's growth. Finally, Girard speculates about the limits of Google's business model and discusses the challenges it will face as it continues to grow.

Google's culture is one of innovation. Why not make that spirit of innovation your own?

Table of Contents

  1. The Google Way
    1. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    2. Introduction: A Management Breakthrough
    3. I. An Unorthodox Corporate Saga
      1. 1. REBELS WITH A CAUSE
        1. Direct Heirs of Artificial Intelligence
        2. The Invention of Page Ranking
        3. An Environment for Innovation
        4. Job Mobility and the Exchange of Ideas
        5. A Short Leash
        6. Winning Independence
        7. What About the Rest of Us?
      2. 2. THE GOOGLE ECONOMIC MODEL
        1. Google Is Free, But …
        2. Two-Sided Markets
        3. The Cost-per-Click Advertising Model
        4. The Power of Minimalist Ads
          1. Ads That Inform Rather Than Persuade
          2. Automating Ads Reduces Overhead, Not Confidence
        5. Competitive Bidding
        6. No Content, No Portal
        7. How to Keep Channel Surfers
        8. The Double Long Tail
    4. II. A Formula 1 Engine
      1. 3. THREE ICONOCLASTS AT THE TOP
        1. A Triumvirate That Works ( Against All Odds )
        2. How Can Google's Triumvirate Continue to Succeed?
      2. 4. RECRUITING THE BEST
        1. Why the Very Best?
        2. A Recruitment Factory
        3. Evaluating Technical Expertise
      3. 5. THE 20 PERCENT RULE
      4. 6. COWORKERS ARE THE BEST JUDGES
        1. The Power of Reputation
        2. A Tool for Quality Control
      5. 7. AN INNOVATION MACHINE
        1. Don't Formalize Research
        2. Innovation Is Everybody's Business
        3. Look for Ideas Where They Are
        4. Acquire
        5. Release Early and Often (or, How to Involve Users in the Development Process)
        6. An Innovation Machine That Pays Off
      6. 8. LIKE A SWISS ARMY KNIFE
        1. Earlier Product Strategies
        2. Consider Microsoft
        3. The Google Swiss Army Knife
        4. Is Google Lacking Direction?
        5. The Online Swiss Army Knife: An Internet Operating System
      7. 9. FOR THE LOVE OF MATH AND MEASUREMENT
        1. Real-Time Data Analysis
        2. Numbers Are Key
        3. Mathematics and Management
      8. 10. KEEP THE TEAMS SMALL
        1. Fight the Bureaucracy
        2. Small Teams Facilitate Innovation
        3. Small Teams Are Efficient
        4. It's Not Just the Size
      9. 11. COORDINATION THROUGH TECHNOLOGY
        1. The Technology of Shared Information
        2. Moma: Abundant Information
        3. Blogs at Work
        4. A New Role for Management
      10. 12. THE SECRET IS IN THE FACTORY
        1. A Limitation Becomes an Asset
        2. Redundancy
        3. Powerful Production Equipment
        4. Use Existing Infrastructure
    5. III. Put Users First; the Rest Will Follow
      1. 13. AUTOMATING SALES AND USER RELATIONSHIPS
        1. Eliminating Conflicts Between Sales and Marketing Departments
        2. Understanding User Behaviors
        3. But Where Did My Sales Rep Go?
      2. 14. Putting Users in Charge
        1. Online Communities: A New Force
        2. Communities Serving the Company
          1. The Rogers Diffusion Model
          2. The Bass Diffusion Model
          3. Enhancements to the Product Adoption Models
        3. Watching Every Minute
        4. A Genuine Influence
        5. Reputation as a Motivating Force
        6. The New Stakeholders
    6. IV. Challenges and Risks
      1. 15. IS GOOGLE'S GROWTH SUSTAINABLE?
        1. The Growth of Search
        2. The Online Advertising Market
        3. New Competitors with Different Economic Models
        4. Click Fraud and Spam
        5. Confidence and Privacy Concerns
        6. Will Copyright Concerns Slow Google's Growth?
        7. Cultural Globalization and Resistance
        8. Corporate Data: A Comeback for Microsoft?
        9. Net Neutrality
        10. Management: Overcoming Complexity
      2. 16. CAN GOOGLE EVADE CONFORMITY?
        1. The Danger of Free
        2. Organized Chaos and Bureaucratic Temptation
        3. When the Innovation Machine Sputters
        4. Products That Work Are Sticky
        5. Human Resources: The Other Side of the Coin
      3. 17. A Look Ahead
        1. Less Innovation Results in Less Competition
        2. The Impact on the Advertising Market
        3. The Rise of eCommerce
        4. Traffic Is Not Revenue
        5. Recessions: A Time to Reorganize
        6. Recessions: An Opportunity to Streamline
        7. Management: A Recession-Proof Model?
        8. Google Post-Recession: Stronger but More Cautious
      4. A. A MODEL FOR ALL MANAGERS?
    7. COLOPHON