Google: Share Googlers As You Did in Kindergarten. No Spats over Cookies!

March 1, 2023

The 2023 manifestation of the Google is fascinating. There was the Code Red. There’s the Supreme Court and the European Union. There’s the anti-Microsoft Bing thing.

And now we have the kindergarten mantra, “Share, kiddies.” Sorry, I meant, “Share, Googlers.”

I read “Google Cloud Staff Asked to Share Desks in Real Estate Efficiency Drive.” The article reports as absolute real journalism:

Google has reportedly asked employees to begin sharing desks at several sites across the US as part of a “real estate efficiency” drive.  Employees at Google’s cloud division will be asked to pair up with colleagues and alternate in-office shift patterns as part of the move…

How will this work in Kirkland and Seattle, Washington, Manhattan, San Francisco, and maybe TC3 or MP1? The write up explains:

“Most Googlers will now share a desk with one other Googler,” the documents state. “Through the matching process, they will agree on a basic desk setup and establish norms with their desk partner and teams to ensure a positive experience in the new shared environment.”

Have you been in a Google, DeepMind, Alphabet, or YouTube meeting? Ah, well, if the answer is “yes,” you will know that reaching agreement is an interesting process. If the answer is “no,” you can replicate the experience by visiting a meeting of the local high school’s science club. Close enough I would suggest.

I remember when:

  • Tony Bennett performed in the Google cafeteria
  • Odwalla (a killer health drink) filled fridges
  • A car wash service was available in the parking lot on Shoreline Drive

Yes, I remember.

In 2023, the Google is showing its age (maybe maturity) after the solving death and Loon balloon era.

Reducing costs is a cookie cutter solution to management running out of ideas for generating new revenue. How many McKinsey or Booz, Allen consultants did it require to produce the idea of sharing a sleeping bag? A better question is, “How much did Google pay outside consultants to frame the problem and offer several solutions?

Googzilla is not dead. The beastie is taking steps to make sure it survives after the Microsoft marketing wild fire scorched the tail of the feared online advertising, relevance killed creature.

And Odwalla? Just have a New Coke? Oh, sorry. That’s gone too.

Stephen E Arnold, March 1, 2023


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