Ok, we’ve decided to declare a Google fast for one week — but, only after this:
The news about Google’s quirks begins to spill. Google has been pretty tight-lipped about its relationships with bankers and VCs, including the whole IPO process last year. It was only a matter of time before things would leak out. In that line, here’s a good Business Week story about Google’s rub up against venture capitalists and more:
Many VCs, for example are still fuming over the “Google Startup Day.” VCs, who are used to making elaborate and proprietary pitches to potential investors, were instead summoned as a group to take turns making their spiels to Google’s 10-person corporate development group. “Check out the gall,” says one, sharing…
an Aug. 3 e-mail from Google’s in-house M&A team. “Hi Very Senior Partner,” the mass memo says by way of salutation…
There’s an interesting line about how Google snubbed one of Wall Street’s most respected investment banking firms, Goldman & Sachs, for trying to do an end run around the management team, during negotiations around the IPO process, and deal with one of Google’s bigger investors, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (we’ll try to confirm that):
Rainmakers at blue-chip investment banks are accustomed to a certain level of respect — something that Google is unwilling to grant automatically. Just ask Goldman, Sachs & Co. (GS ) Goldman famously got the boot from the elite group selected to manage Google’s IPO after Brin and Page caught wind of the firm’s backroom lobbying of one of Google’s largest VCs for a bigger stake in the deal. The bank has been trying to crawl out of the woodshed ever since. Goldman declined to comment.
A note on the post we did earlier on Xooglers, the new tell-all blog about Google: The author, a former marketing guy at Google, seems to suggest most of the company’s quirks come from the founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin:
In one post, “My dinner with Sergey,” he writes about when Sergey asked him for his GPA was during an interview:
I laughed it off, thinking he was joking, but even after I had an offer on the table, the HR people kept pestering me for a college transcript and my S.A.T. scores. It was a classic Google moment. Your S.A.T. score was the measure of your intellectual capability; your GPA represented the numerical summary of your ability to execute on that potential. Your value to Google could be plotted using those two data points.
Sergey’s desire to reduce every decision to an equation would cause me a fair amount of frustration in the years to come. While it forced a discipline on me that was likely lacking in my career up to that point, it also went against my deeply-held conviction that some things are not expressible simply by deriving the correct algorithm.
Oh, and while you’re at it, here’s a story about what Googlers are doing with their money.