You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.
Skip to content

Google headed for strife soon?

This story has been running on Slashdot which linked to a fortune article about Google and a little bit about Google and its pre-IPO state. Right now before it IPOs the founders seem to be very level headed people and try to “Do no Wrong”. Here’s some excerpts:

On Google’s website, under the heading “Ten things Google has found to be true,” No. 6 still reads, “You can make money without doing evil.” Not doing evil is a common concern around Google and loosely translates into avoiding anything that mars Google’s user experience, “even at the expense of revenue,” says Cindy McCaffrey, Google’s marketing chief and an early employee.


For the most part, it takes a degree from an Ivy League school, or MIT, Stanford, CalTech, or Carnegie Mellon?America’s top engineering schools?even to get invited to interview. Brin and Page still keep a hand in all the hiring, from executives to administrative assistants. And to them, work experience counts far less than where you went to school, how you did on your SATs, and your grade-point average.

But the fight to stay at the top will be brutal?a sobering thought for those waiting to buy in. After an IPO, Google will have mounds of cash, but money alone won’t hold off the likes of Microsoft. It’s easy to picture Microsoft using its Windows monopoly to lasso people into using its search?even if its search is slightly clunkier than Google’s. That scenario won’t happen, says Brin.

WHile I definitely find Google really cool and would really like to apply to work for them. The statements about their academic snobbery in the hiring process completely turn me off to even trying. As much as I understand academic credentials can mean something. They can also mean a lot less than you think sometimes. The other thing that is sobering is to hear about their talk pre-IPO. Since they are privately owned and Brin and Page get to have a large say in how the company goes right now they can steer the company. However, once you IPO and sell the company to the public stockholders most of them are going to be looking at the bottom line from quarter to quarter and demand results. While I find that attitude annoying and determinental to many companies long term benefits it is the way things are run. So I find Google about to head into a quandry if they IPO. The founders will probably get frustrated once they try to do something the stockholders don’t want to do (especially if it doesn’t make money for 2 quarters) and probably eventually just sell out their holdings and do what many other geeks that have made it big with an IPO. (Do stuff they find interesting without having to worry about money). But it’s their unique stands that make Google the way it is so without the founders to steer the company Google stands to lose a bit especially if many competitors jump in.

However this is all theoretical. I could be completely wrong. But I have a feeling if the Google founders don’t manage their IPO carefully and manage their stockholders strongly they’re in for a world of disappoint and pain and eventually bailing out and leaving a very neat idea rudderless.

Link to Story

Be Sociable, Share!