May 31, 2011

Google, 12 Years Ago (Or Billions of Dollars Earlier)

Before the Googleplex, before the billionaire creation, the mega-acquisitions and the 20,000th employee, Google was just a bunch of guys holding an all-hands meeting and eating cake.
The video below (fast forward liberally – it’s long) shows founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin leading a meeting of fewer than 60. 
They introduce a new employee and celebrate Sergey’s birthday.  There are presents (see 6:20 for Larry’s gift to Sergey) and silly string. Folks sit on the floor or large exercise balls.
Hard to believe that just over a decade later, Google has grown into one of the most recognized and respected companies in the world.
In this video, everyone seems part of a tight-knit group who want to work there, who are happy to be with this little tech company. 
Google’s main asset was always its people, without whom there would’ve been no innovation, no world domination.
No matter what organization you’re in, a culture that gives people creative freedom and a sense of ownership will enable more success. 
It’s true — just Google it.
Click image for video