Google Economics: The Cost of Bard Versus Staplers

April 4, 2023

Vea4_thumb_thumbNote: This essay is the work of a real and still-alive dinobaby. No smart software involved, just a dumb humanoid.

Does anyone remember the good old days at the Google. Tony Bennett performing in the cafeteria. What about those car washes? How about the entry security system which was beset with door propped open with credit card receipts from Fred’s Place. Those were the days.

I read “Google to Cut Down on Employee Laptops, Services and Staplers for Multi-Year Savings.” The article explains:

Google said it’s cutting back on fitness classes, staplers, tape and the frequency of laptop replacements for employees. One of the company’s important objectives for 2023 is to “deliver durable savings through improved velocity and efficiency.” Porat said in the email. “All PAs and Functions are working toward this,” she said, referring to product areas. OKR stands for objectives and key results.

Yes, OKR. I wonder if the Sundar and Prabhakar comedy act will incorporate staplers into their next presentation.

And what about the $100 billion the Google “lost” after its quantum supremacy smart software screwed up in Paris? Let’s convert that to staplers, shall we? Today (April 4, 2023), I can purchase one office stapler from Amazon (Google’s fellow traveler in trashing relevance with advertisements) for $10.98. I liked the Bostitch Office Heavy Duty device, which is Amazon’s number one best seller (according to Amazon marketing).

The write up pointed out:

Staplers and tape are no longer being provided to print stations companywide as “part of a cost effectiveness initiative,” according to a separate, internal facilities directive viewed by CNBC.

To recoup that $100 million, Google will have to not purchase 9,107,468.12. I want to retain the 0.12 because one must be attentive to small numbers (unlike some of the fancy math in the Snorkel world). Google, I have heard, has about 100,000 “employees”, but it is never clear which are “real” employees, contractors, interns, or mysterious partners. Thus each of these individuals will be responsible for NOT losing or breaking 91 staplers per year.

I know the idea of rationing staplers is like burning Joan of Arc. It’s not an opportunity to warm a croissant; it is the symbolism of the event.

Google in 2023 knows how to keep me in stitches. Sorry, staples. And the cost of Bard? As the real Bard said:

Poor and content is rich and rich enough,
But riches fineless is as poor as winter
To him that ever fears he shall be poor. (Othello, III.iv)

Stephen E Arnold, April 4, 2023


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