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Like I wrote — Google is full of Speed Freaks

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

I know, I promised a bigger take on Google’s increasingly controversial Search plus Your World. I’m still assimilating it and gathering information, but it’ll come.

While I’m dragging my feet on that, a word about Google’s lavishly produced Think Quarterly magazine. The theme this quarter is speed. Readers of In the Plex know how important this is to Google, especially to Larry Page. I tell a story in the book where Page mentally measures a product’s speed in milliseconds.

One of the people I spoke to about Google and speed was early Googler Urs Hoelzle. In this issue of Think, Hoelzle outlines what he calls “The Google Gospel of Speed.” He outlines the company’s goals thus:

At Google, we don’t plan on stopping until the web is instant, so that when you click on a link the site loads immediately, and when you play a video it starts without delay.

I bet Google won’t stop even then.

In the Plex also talks at length about how Google tries to maintain startup nimbleness while growing and growing. There’s an interesting essay by Kristen Gil, Google’s VP of Business Operations, in Think Quarterly that describes this, with several bullet points that include Google’s recent shift to more of a command structure. (Something I first noted in my dispatch about Google+ and its origins in Wired.)

Gil also mentions Google’s internal management system called OKR’s but to get the full story on how Google has adopted Andy Grove’s system of Objectives and Key Results (brought to Google by John Doerr), you need to go to (you guessed it)…In the Plex.

Just sayin’.

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