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Scaling Google

When Eric Schmidt joined Google, they were at 150 employees. In some periods (2004–2005), he had tripled their employees; this is classic Blitzscaling.

The approach: It’s easy to double every year — you can imagine adding a person to each team, adding a country, adding a product line, etc.

It’s hard to quadruple. It’s difficult to even imagine what quadrupling looks like within an organization.

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263 reads

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How to hire the right people

How to hire the right people

There is a way to systematically hire people better than anyone else. Bob Taylor (founder of ARPANET) said to “sell the dream.”

Here is his approach:

  • He called people
  • Described what he wanted
  • They either got it and got incredibly excited or t...

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186 reads

ERIC SCHMIDT

I have also noticed the greatest products are typically designed for the benefit of the people who are building them.

In Uber’s case, the original product was a private car sharing for a small set of people. Google was built for S...

ERIC SCHMIDT

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204 reads

Hiring rules at Google in the early days

Hiring rules at Google in the early days

  • Stay away from "friends of friends". The constant problem was somebody was a good employee, had someone they had worked with, who was very loyal, but not from a great university, and did not have a high GPA.
  • Stay away from "glue people.” These glue ...

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195 reads

The startup phase

The startup phase

  • During the early days, most startups are full of energy with no process. They use their sheer force and energy to figure stuff out.
  • Being at Google in the early days was like being in graduate school. There were so many interesting projects going on, but no deadline...

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276 reads

When not to scale

When not to scale

An example of when not to scale was Google Wave. It was launched to great fanfare and a base of passionate users. The difficult part is you can’t tell if something is successful until 6 months after the initial wave of excitement.

Great products have this big fanfare, b...

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217 reads

Failure of architecture

Failure of architecture

One major complaint is the teams who are doing the work with the products you see are far larger than they should be.

This is a failure of architecture — when you have this many programmers programming, it means they don’t have the right libraries, aka the problem hasn...

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203 reads

Advice for entrepreneurs

  • The right founders. The founders have to be smart and good but more importantly the project they are working on needs to be their life's work.
  • You need to have some luck.
  • Be careful about how much margin you have. The ideal business is to have a business like Microsoft — a mo...

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191 reads

ERIC SCHMIDT

No product scales before it works.

ERIC SCHMIDT

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247 reads

ERIC SCHMIDT

I don’t agree that you should narrow your focus, you get the best outcome when you get the broadest appeal. (...) I’d be careful to conclude to just do a small thing. All success stems from doing one thing very well — then moving broader.

ERIC SCHMIDT

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395 reads

"20% time"

The idea is you could ask your employees to work on the company for 80% of their time, and the other 20% of the time they could work on whatever they want.

If they are passionate about something, they could work on it as their 20% project. At Google, m...

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286 reads

Believing you have a product that works before it works

  • This is an error especially made by non-technical people. They listen to the technical people who say it works and start to scale the organization before the product is working.
  • It’s best to think of this process as a very long and tight funnel. It t...

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191 reads

ERIC SCHMIDT

2 people can go off and change the world. Every successful project I have worked on within Google over the past 40 years has started off with 2 people working on an idea together.

ERIC SCHMIDT

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232 reads

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