Your Creativity vs the Corporate Life Cycle – Part 4

An inside look at Google – an unusual Stage Three company

In my previous articles I mentioned Stage Three companies and how they tend to stifle creative people. There are exceptions to every generality and I failed to mention the companies which put a forced draft under employee creativity and use various strategies to keep employees producing at top speed for long hours.

Google is one of the companies where creativity is not only encouraged, it is skillfully exploited. You will have to read further to see if this is something you could easily experience.

This data comes from an interview of someone who worked for both Microsoft and Google:

Google is a great place for someone just out of school. Google provides nearly everything these people need from clothes (new T-shirts are placed in bins for people to grab *twice* a week!) to food – three, free, all-you-can-eat meals a day. 

Plus on-site health care, dental care, laundry service, gym, etc. 

By the way, newly-hired professional employee starting salaries will be between $100k-$200k.

(Imagine going from college to this environment! It even provides laundry service!)

Google believes that developers are, with few exceptions, interchangeable parts. 

This philosophy shows through in their office arrangements which in Mountain View are all over the map.  There are glass-walled offices, there are open-space areas, there are cubicles, there are people who’s desks are literally in hallways because there’s no room anywhere else. 

There are even buildings that experiment with no pre-defined workspaces or workstations – people just take one of the available machines and desks when they get to work.

The overall management structure is very flat:

1. A hundred or more individual contributors report to

          2. a middle manager who reports to

          3. a division v.p. who reports to

          4. the management team (Larry, Sergie, etc.)

If you want to know more, read the entire interview.

I have worked in companies like this and it was a real rush. I wrote about these apparently ideal jobs which consume your life and may cost you your marriage. Yes, you get incredible experience and make lots of money, but eventually you need to get a life before your children grow up without you.

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