Here’s the latest news on Google stuff:
Google’s 900 millionaires figure out what to do with their money — Recent estimates suggest more than 900 Googlers became millionaires at the initial public offering, and that 100 of the first 300 workers have quietly resigned. Meanwhile, early Google investor David Cheriton (he joined Ram Shriram, Bechtolsheim and others in the first $1 million angel round) turned his $200,000 into more than $1 billion, and yet is still too cheap to pay for parking at Stanford. And when a Canadian University asked him to donate $25M, he at first thought it was ludicrous, but then realized he could afford it without landing in the “poor house.” So Cheriton did much better than we originally thought. Remember the legal tussle, when he was forced to sell early, and reports only referenced $58 million?
Meanwhile — Google has called in a doctorate in organizational psychology who has designed a survey to help Google hire the right people. They’ve got a 300 word questionnaire, and apparently analyze two million data points — all to figure out how best to lure, keep and organize the company’s workers.
Battle of the search toolbars — ChaCha, the search engine that provides human “guides” to help you in your search, is paying its guides $1 per month for every person they get to download the toolbar, and is giving equity to the guides who win the most converts. Meanwhile, Conduit, which provides blog and other Web site owners with a personalized toolbar, has signed a deal with Google, making it the default search engine on the Conduit toolbar. We reviewed the fast-growing Conduit here.
Google’s “Tips” removed — Google has removed its “Tips” feature, after receiving a torrent of criticism. The feature promoted Google’s services, such as its own photo-sharing site Picasa, at the top of the results, and people said that went against Google’s policy of giving unbiased results.
Google fights back in China — As reported earlier, Google invested in Chinese music and video download service Xunlei.com. Various reports from NYT and Pacific Epoch say Google gave $5 million. Google also signed a deal with China Mobile, the company’s leading carrier, to provide search on its mobile phones. These are good moves. Rival Chinese search engine Baidu.com leads in part because of its music download service. Xunlei may help close the gap. It was started in Silicon Valley by two Duke computer science graduates, Zou Shenglong and Cheng Hao, and they moved the company to China in 2003. The NYT says Google now owns 4 percent of Xunlei — valuing the company at $125 million.