Google: Becoming The World’s Most Valuable Company

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Recently, Alphabet, Google’s parent company, was listed as the most valuable public company in the world, beating Apple to clinch the coveted top spot.

After releasing its fourth quarter earnings on 1 February, 2016, Alphabet reported an 18% increase in revenue from the previous year to stand at $21.33 billion and a net income at $8.67 a share.

So how did Alphabet get to the top in its short existence?

According to Lisa Conquergood, a former Google team-member, it boils down to organization. During her stay at one of the world’s most successful companies, Conquergood noticed that Google emphasises internal organization in its daily management and operations.

This dedication to internal organization is externally manifested in its  search engine, enabling Google to achieve its overall mission of organizing the world’s information.

The company’s meticulous approach to organization is backed by a phenomenal working culture, and a particular philosophy ingrained in Google staff from their first day. The following are just but a few productivity tricks that have propelled Google into a commanding position in the search engine market:

1. Simplicity

Google believes in making everything simple and easy to use. This makes its search engine faster, convenient and very, very powerful.

In fact, Google’s philosophy reads “Simplicity is Powerful”. Everything is designed with the aim of providing only what is necessary to the user, cutting down on extraneous features that would otherwise confuse and frustrate users.

This minimalist philosophy is so entrenched in Google’s culture that the software engineers are trained on how to make simple programs simpler.

2. Impressive Employee Culture

When it comes to choosing employees, Google only picks the best applicants out of the thousands who apply.

The high quality of talent employed has a large influence on the overall output and productivity of the company. Moreover, it has resulted in Google maintaining a stable, passionate and hardworking workforce compared to its counterparts, Microsoft and Yahoo.

The company’s work environment is also accommodative. Its offices are set up in a casual way, hence offering flexibility and encouraging openness.

Even the working hours are flexible enough to cater for the wide employee base which hardly sits at a central location all the time.

According to Laszlo Bock, Head of Google’s People Operations office, the company invests a lot in enhancing employee experience, aiming to foster transparency, accountability, openness and trust among the employee wherever and whenever possible.

It is in this regard that the company employs its own technology in its everyday operations. Google Hangouts was originally established to ensure proper internal employee correspondence regardless of location and time. This enabled staff members who were far away to contribute just as much as those in the offices.

3. Clarity In Mission And Vision

In the article, “Ten Things We Know to Be True”, the company founders list and review the working values and basic tenets of the organization. Their intention is to provide reasonable and practical guidelines for achieving the overall company vision.

Indeed, every employee is expected to understand what the company plans to achieve within a set period of time. This way, they understand what is expected of them both individually and as part of a team.

Employees who understand their role and part in the plan of an organization are more productive and reliable.

All staff members are also held accountable in the performance of their duties. They have a system called Snippets in which they record what they have accomplished in the past week and what they plan to achieve in the coming week. This upholds the work ethic with a view of enhancing productivity.

4. Understanding The Market

Larry Page and Sergey Brin take time to study their market and understand what they need before rolling out a product. Their goal is to develop services that significantly improve the lives of as many people as possible. And this has proven worthwhile in the long run.

They have built brand loyalty by developing services that add value to their clients. Gmail, Google Docs, Google Analytics, Google Chrome, Google Earth – services cost millions to develop, yet generate very little income for the company – are just a few of the free software products provided by the company in a bid to enhance user experience.

Google understands that many people are unwilling to pay for online services. Therefore, they are geared towards adding value at no extra cost. This ensures that they attract more clients while maintaining their existing ones.

In more advanced fronts, the company offers premium services at a fee. This is to cater for clients who prefer highly customized services for unique purposes. It definitely takes a lot of market research and tech skill to satisfy all the clients at any given time.

5. Not Too Serious

Another of Google’s interesting philosophies is that “you can be serious without a suit”.

Not centered round formalities, the company’s culture fosters openness, approachability, and collaboration. This increases the teamwork amongst employees.

The company maintains a casual atmosphere even with the managers.

Additionally, the company campuses are comfortable and relaxed, with snack bars offering free treats, a campus bar, a sleeping pod, and a gym room.

Away from the traditional rigid computer desk and chair, these relaxed offices have become a company trademark. Not to forget the volleyball breaks that are very refreshing and create perfect opportunities for staff bonding.

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