Google Goes Globe-Trotting


An awesome story about people in their early twenties hired by Google to run some of their most critical teams:

Earlier attempts to hire veterans from firms like Microsoft had awful results. “Google is so different that it was almost impossible to reprogram them into this culture,” says CEO Eric Schmidt. The difficulties led Google VP Mayer (employee No. 20) to wonder whether experience was way overrated. The earliest Google employees were distinguished by an abundance of brain cells as opposed to a fat résumé or a stint at McKinsey. Why not replicate the phenomenon?

APM No. 1, hired July 2002, was newly minted Stanford grad Brian Rakowski. “You’re going to be responsible for Gmail,” Mayer told him, explaining that he was to launch a product designed for tens of millions of users. “I was 22 years old, and shocked that they were going to let someone that young and inexperienced do that job,” says Rakowski, who is still working at Google. He succeeded by a combination of technical acumen (necessary so the engineers, Google’s true royalty, wouldn’t write him off as a bozo) and the good sense to lead with wit and enthusiasm.


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