Book Review: How Google Works

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Georges Lteif
Georges Lteif
Software Engineer

Last Updated on January 17, 2023.
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— min read

Synopsis

“How Google Works” is a book by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg, both former executives at Google. It provides an inside look at the inner workings of one of the world’s most successful and innovative companies.


Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.
How Google Works — Eric Schmitt, Jonathan Rosenberg

The authors draw on their own experiences at Google and interviews with current and former employees to provide a comprehensive and insightful look into the company’s culture, strategy, and approach to innovation.

One of the book’s main themes is the importance of innovation and experimentation at Google. The authors argue that Google’s success is largely due to its willingness to take risks and try new things, even if they may not always succeed. They also emphasize the importance of data and analytics in driving decision-making at the company and discuss how Google uses data to inform its product development and marketing strategies.


The best managers figure out how to get great outcomes by setting the appropriate context, rather than by trying to control every aspect of the process.
How Google Works — Eric Schmitt, Jonathan Rosenberg

Another key theme of the book is the importance of culture and values in creating a successful company. The authors discuss how Google’s unique culture, which values creativity, collaboration, and transparency, has helped to foster an environment where innovation can thrive. They also discuss the role of leadership in creating and maintaining a strong corporate culture and provide insights into how Google’s leaders have helped to shape the company’s culture over the years.

The book also provides an in-depth look at the various business units at Google, including search, advertising, and YouTube, and how they have evolved. The authors discuss the challenges and opportunities each of these units has faced and how Google has adapted to changing market conditions and consumer needs.

Overall, “How Google Works” is a valuable and insightful read for anyone interested in understanding the inner workings of one of the world’s most successful and innovative companies. The book provides a wealth of information and insights into the strategies, culture, and approaches that have helped to make Google one of the most successful and influential companies today. The book is a must-read for anyone looking to learn more about the technology giant and its impact on the world.


A company’s culture and a company’s brand are really just two sides of the same coin.
How Google Works — Eric Schmitt, Jonathan Rosenberg

However, it’s important to note that the book was published in 2014, so it doesn’t consider Google’s latest development and change. The book also has a strong perspective from the authors, who were executives at Google, and therefore the book may have a bias towards the company’s perspective.

In conclusion, “How Google Works” is a compelling and informative read that offers valuable insights into the inner workings of one of the world’s most successful and innovative companies. The book’s focus on innovation, data, and culture makes it a valuable resource for anyone interested in understanding the strategies and approaches that have helped to make Google one of the world’s most successful and influential companies today.


7 More Quotes from the Book


In a world where the pace of change is rapidly increasing, the most important skill that a leader can possess is the ability to learn quickly.

Innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem.

The best leaders are ones most committed to the growth and development of the people around them.

The most successful companies are the ones that are able to create an environment where the best ideas can flourish.

Innovation is a team sport, and the most successful teams are the ones that have a wide range of perspectives and backgrounds.

Culture is not something that can be copied or even bought. It must be created and nurtured over time.

Innovation is not just about creating new products, it’s about creating new ways of doing things.
How Google Works — Eric Schmitt, Jonathan Rosenberg

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