Google's Golden Rules for Effective Technical Teams


Hey! It's Google Day at Technometria. Not really, but this was still interesting. Google's Eric Schmidt and UC Berkeley's Hal Varian list ten "golden rules" that Google tries to follow:

  1. Hire by committee.
  2. Cater to their every need.
  3. Pack them in.
  4. Make coordination easy.
  5. Eat your own dog food.
  6. Encourage creativity.
  7. Strive to reach consensus.
  8. Don't be evil.
  9. Data drive decisions.
  10. Communicate effectively.

The goal is to be a good place for knowledge workers. They start by talking about Drucker:

At google, we think business guru Peter Drucker well understood how to manage the new breed of "knowledge workers." After all, Drucker invented the term in 1959. He says knowledge workers believe they are paid to be effective, not to work 9 to 5, and that smart businesses will "strip away everything that gets in their knowledge workers' way." Those that succeed will attract the best performers, securing "the single biggest factor for competitive advantage in the next 25 years."
From Google: Ten Golden Rules - Issues 2006 - MSNBC.com
Referenced Wed Dec 07 2005 21:07:13 GMT-0700 (MST)

There's more detail in the article, of course, but I thought what they said afterwards about problems they face was more interesting. In the paragraphs that followed the golden rules, they talked about these:

  • "Techno arrogance" that kills team work
  • The not-invented-here syndrome
  • Maturation of the company
  • Ensuring communication methods keep pace with increasing scale

All in all, some pretty good points about keeping a technical team effective.