Reverberations

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We just talk to each other

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Bret Taylor on his present at Friendfeed and his past at Google :

I had a number of accomplishments that I’m really proud of at Google. But I think for me I really wanted to sort of, you kow, forge my own path, if we can do it on our own. When we make decisions, I get to just look up from my computer and say, “Hey, you think we should do this?” And then people say, yes, we should do it. I haven’t made a single PowerPoint presentation. We don’t even use Microsoft Word documents; we just talk to each other.

It’s a really, really interesting dynamic environment. I think no matter how innovative a culture is at a large company, you can’t really reproduce it. And I think that’s what’s so infectious and wonderful about a startup environment, that I think draws a lot of people to it (…)

With 70 people the odds that two people are working on the same thing are probably pretty low. With 17,000, it’s almost a 100% that two or three people will be working on the same idea, or at least very similar ideas, at different parts of the organization. I think there is a certain amount of cost to just coordinating that activity. I’ve been really impressed with how Google has been able to scale, but inherently it has to change – just because there’s that coordination cost.

I think some bloggers call it “strategy tax.” You know, when you grow, your strategy becomes more and more important, and it taxes sort of everything you do a little bit… because everything you do, it strays from that strategy. You know, there’s a huge cost to that. Whereas I think for smaller companies, the strategy is less well-defined, or certainly the impact of straying from it is much lower.

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Written by Brajesh

March 18, 2008 at 10:32 pm

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