Book : The Google Story


Finally got my hands on the book. It costs around Rs600, and is only available in HardCover edition as of now in India. Fortunately, was able to get it in my office library. I think I will be buying the soft copy of it once that is out.

The book answers to me the question as to why some startups are sucessful and some are not. In my life I cannot think of any company that has has such a big impact on the globe as has Google. It has redefined the way people look at the web. In fact it has become the reason people go on the web.

The WWW started as a means to communicate between the geeks – who then passed it on to the masses. With it information was available to anyone who wanted it. However, mostly when someone wanted to find it – it was not available. That’s where google came in and that is the first lesson for any startup wannabes :

* To be a startup , you don’t have to make something totally radical. You need to fix a problem.

Check out Paul Graham’s take on Startups.

The second thing that came out was that you need to be passionate about your work. I think that this is the one big thing about making or breaking any company. Bill Gates was passionate about doing business and putting a “PC on every Desk”. Google is passionate about “searching the worlds information”. And working is always about putting in a lot of effort. From the book :
Inspiration still requires plenty of perspiration

Which brings me to the third point : Dream Big. Unless you dream big, you cannot do big. The Google founders thought they could download the entire web on their computers and started off with that – and they are still doing it. It does not matter if you were wrong somewhere – as long as you think big. If you think small, you hit the ceiling sometime or the other. You finish what you were setting out to do and stop… wondering – “what next ?”.

After finishing the book, i was thinking about why as Indians we have not done so well on the innovation front ? Why is it that we are the sweat shops of the world ( I have in my 7+ years mostly worked only on bug fixing projects) while we claim to be the best brains around ? And the answer is that we tend to ignore the 2nd point – Passion about work.

There is no dearth of people trying to strike out on their own. But they go wrong in two areas :
1. They don’t work on things that they are passionate about. I guess it has a lot to do with our society pressures. We are always lauded to go and do the ‘acceptable’ thing – like getting a degree, getting a post degree and getting married . The steps of life are laid out for us. And like any big organization where people religiously follow the rules laid out – an individual stops thinking.
2. We are work shirkers. I guess it has a lot to do with not having passion for work. The world famous ‘babudom’ is a result of this. 9-5 jobs where you don’t do anything. It just kills any thoughts of working hard. In many places hard work is considered only if a person cannot make ends meet.

I don’t know about you guys, but I am fed up of doing bug fixing. I am fed up of working on things I don’t have any passion about. I need a break.

Some interesting reads :
* Google Corporate Information
* Steve Jobs
* Bill Gates
* Vibhu Rishi

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~ by Vibhu on February 22, 2006.

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