India and Its Management Secrets: Under Utilized Staff Motivation Technique

June 6, 2023

Vea4_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_t[1]Note: This essay is the work of a real and still-alive dinobaby. No smart software involved, just a dumb humanoid.

I am not sure if the information in the article is accurate, but it sure is entertaining. If true, I think I have identified one of those management secrets which makes wizards from India such outstanding managers. Navigate to “Company Blocks Employees from Leaving Office:  Now, a Clarification.” The write up states:

Coding Ninjas, a Gurugram-based edtech institute, has issued clarification on a recent incident that saw its employees being ‘locked’ inside the office so that they cannot exit ‘without permission.’

And what was the clarification? Let me guess. Heck, no. Just a misunderstanding. The write up explains:

… the company [Coding Ninjas, remember?], while acknowledging the incident, attributed it to a ‘regrettable’ action by an employee. The ‘action,’ noted, was ‘immediately rectified within minutes,’ and the individual in question acknowledged his ‘mistake’ and apologized for it. Further saying that the founders had expressed their ‘regret’ and apologized to the staff, Coding Ninjas described this as an ‘isolated’ incident. Coding Ninjas’ senior executive gets gate locked to stop employees from leaving office; company says action ‘regrettable…’

For another take on this interesting management approach to ensuring productivity, check out “Coding Ninjas’ Senior Executive Gets Gate Locked to Stop Employees from Leaving Office; Company Says Action ‘Regrettable’.

What if you were to look for a link to this story on Reddit? I located a page which showed a door being locked. Exciting footage was available at this link on June 6, 2023 at this link. (If the information has been deleted, you have learned something about in my opinion.)

My interpretation of this enjoyable incident (if indeed true) is:

  1. Something to keep in mind when accepting a job in Mumbai or similar technology hot spot
  2. Why graduates of the Indian Institutes of Technology are in such demand; those folks are indeed practical and focused on maximizing employee productivity as measured in minutes in a facility
  3. A solution to employees who want to work from home. When an employee wants a paycheck, make them come to the office and lock the employees in. Works well and the effectiveness is evident in prisons and re-education facilities in a number of countries.

And regrettable? Yes, in terms of PR. No, in terms of getting snagged in what may be fake news. Is this a precept of the high school science club management method. Yep. Yep.

Stephen E Arnold, June 6, 2023

IBM Dino Baby Unhappy about Being Outed as Dinobaby in the Baby Wizards Sandbox

June 5, 2023

Vea4_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_t[1]Note: This essay is the work of a real and still-alive dinobaby. No smart software involved, just a dumb humanoid.

I learned the term “dinobaby” reading blog posts about IBM workers who alleged Big Blue wanted younger workers. After thinking about the term, I embraced it. This blog post features an animated GIF of me dancing in my home office. I try to avoid the following: [a] Millennials, GenX, GenZ, and GenY super wizards; [b] former IBM workers who grouse about growing old and not liking a world without CICS; and [c] individuals with advanced degrees who want to talk with me about “smart software.” I have to admit that I have not been particularly successful in this effort in 2023: Conferences, Zooms, face-to-face meetings, lunches, yada yada. Either I am the most magnetic dinobaby in Harrod’s Creek, or these jejune world changers are clueless. (Maybe I should live in a cave on a mountain and accept acolytes?)

I read “Laid-Off 60-Year-Old Kyndryl Exec Says He Was Told IT Giant Wanted New Blood.” The write up includes a number of interesting statements. Here’s one:

BM has been sued numerous times for age discrimination since 2018 when it was reported that company leadership carried out a plan to de-age its workforce – charges IBM has consistently denied, despite US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) findings to the contrary and confidential settlements.

Would IBM deny allegations of age discrimination? There are so many ways to terminate employees today. Why use the “you are old, so you are RIF’ed” ploy? In my opinion, it is an example of the lack of management finesse evident in many once high-flying companies today. I term the methods apparently in use at outfits like Twitter, Google, Facebook, and others as “high school science club management methods” or H2S2M2. The acronym has not caught one, but I assume that someone with a subscription to ChatGPT will use AI to write a book on the subject soon.

The write up also includes this statement:

Liss-Riordan [an attorney representing the dinobaby] said she has also been told that an algorithm was used to identify those who would lose their jobs, but had no further details to provide with regard to that allegation.

Several observations are warranted:

  1. Discrimination is nothing new. Oldsters will be nuked. No question about it. Why? Old people like me (I am 78) make younger folks nervous because we belong in warehouses for the soon dead, not giving lectures to the leaders of today and tomorrow.
  2. Younger folks do not know what they do not know. Consequently, opportunities exist to [a] make fun of young wizards as I do in this blog Monday through Friday since 2008 and [b] charge these “masters of the universe” money to talk about that which is part of their great unknowing. Billing is rejuvenating.
  3. No one cares. One can sue. One can rage. One can find solace in chemicals, fast cars, or climbing a mountain. But it is important to keep one thing in mind: No one cares.

Net net: Does IBM practice dark arts to rid the firm of those who slow down Zoom meetings, raise questions to which no one knows answers, and burdens on benefits plans? My hunch is that IBM type outfits will do what’s necessary to keep the camp ground free of old timers. Who wouldn’t?

Stephen E Arnold, June 5, 2023

The Ebb and More Ebby of Technology Full Time Jobs

May 19, 2023

Vea4_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_tNote: This essay is the work of a real and still-alive dinobaby. No smart software involved, just a dumb humanoid.

Do recent layoffs herald a sea change for the tech field? The Pragmatic Engineer and blogger Gergely Orosz examines “What Big Tech Layoffs Suggest for the Industry.” Probably not much, we think. Gergely penned his reflections just after Microsoft axed 10,000 jobs in January. Soon after Google followed suit, cutting 12,000 positions. Gergely appended a note stating those cuts strengthen his case that layoffs are significant. He writes:

“The layoffs at Microsoft suggest that in 2023, the tech industry may stall growth-wise. By cutting 5% of staff, Microsoft reduces its headcount from 221,000 to around 211,000. We can expect that by the middle of this year, the company’s headcount will increase, but only modestly, and still be below the 221,000 figure it was at last July. … Microsoft’s layoffs worry me precisely because the company has a very good track record of predicting how the business will grow or shrink.”

Okay, so Microsoft and other “nimble” tech companies are responding to market forces. That is what businesses do. Gergely himself notes:

“It’s certain we’ll see a correction of 2021-22’s hiring frenzy and it’s a given that Big Tech will hire much less this year than in 2022, while the question remains whether other large tech companies will follow suit and announce layoffs in the coming months.”

Well, yes, they did. Nevertheless tech workers, especially developers, remain in high demand compared to other fields. And when the proverbial stars align, hiring is sure to surge again as it did a couple years ago. Until the next correction. And so on.

Cynthia Murrell, May 19, 2023

Google Manager Checklist: What an Amazing Approach from the Online Ad Outfit!

May 8, 2023

Vea4_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_tNote: This essay is the work of a real and still-alive dinobaby. No smart software involved, just a dumb humanoid. I tagged this write up about the cited story as “News.” I wish I had a suitable term at my disposal because “news” does not capture the essence of the write up in my opinion.

Please, take a moment to read and savor “15 Years Ago, Google Determined the Best Bosses Share These 11 Traits. But 1 Behavior Is Still Missing.” If the title were not a fancy birthday cake, here’s the cherry on top in the form of a subtitle:

While Google’s approach to identifying its best managers is great, it ignores the fact a ‘new’ employee isn’t always new to the company.

Imagine. Google defines new in a way incomprehensible to an observer of outstanding, ethical, exemplary, high-performing commercial enterprises.

What are the traits of a super duper best boss at the Google? In fact, let’s look at each as the traits have been applied in recent Google management actions. You can judge for yourself how the wizards are manifesting “best boss” behavior.

Trait 1. My [Googley] manager gives me “actionable” feedback that helps me improve my performance. Based on my conversations with Google full time employees, communications is not exactly a core competency.

Trait 2. My [Googley] manager does not micro-manage. Based on my personal experience, management of any type is similar to the behavior of the snipe.

Trait 3. My [Googley] manager shows consideration to me as a person. Based on reading about the treatment of folks disagreeing with other Googlers (for instance, Dr. Timnit Gebru), consideration must be defined in a unique Alphabet which I don’t understand.

Trait 4. The actions of [a Googley] manager show that the full time equivalent values the perspective and employee brings to his/her team, even if it is different from his/her own. Wowza. See the Dr. Timnit Gebru reference above or consider the snapshots of Googlers protesting.

Trait 5. [The Googley manager] keeps the team focused on our priority results/deliverables. How about those killed projects, the weird dead end help pages, and the mysteries swirling around ad click fraud allegations?

Trait 6. [The Googley] manager regularly shares relevant information from his/her manager and senior leaders. Yeah, those Friday all-hands meetings now take place when?

Trait 7. [The Googley] manager has had a “meaningful discussion” with me about career development? In my view, terminating people via email when a senior manager gets a $200 million bonus is an outstanding way to stimulate a “meaningful discussion.”

Trait 8. [The Googley] manager communicates clear goals for our team. Absolutely. A good example is the existence of multiple chat apps, cancelation of some moon shots like solving death, and the fertility of the company’s legal department.

Trait 9. [The Googley manager] has technical expertise to manage a professional. Of course, that’s why a Google professional admitted that the AI software was alive and needed a lawyer. The management move of genius was to terminate the wizard. Mental health counseling? Ho ho ho.

Trait 10. [A Googler] recommends a super duper Googley manager to friends? Certainly. That’s what Glassdoor reviews permit. Also, there are posts on social media and oodles of praise opportunities on LinkedIn. The “secret” photographs at an off site? Those are perfect for a Telegram group.

Trait 11. [A true Googler] sees only greatness in Googley managers. Period.

Trait 12. [A Googler] loves Googley managers who are Googley. There is no such thing as too much Googley goodness.

Trait 13. [A Googley manager] does not change, including such actions as overdosing on a yacht with a “special services contractor” or dodging legal documents from a representative of a court or comparable entity from a non US nation state.

This article appears to be a recycling of either a Google science fiction story or a glitch in the matrix.

What’s remarkable is that a well known publication presents the information as substantive. Amazing. I wonder if this “content” is a product of an early version of smart software.

Stephen E Arnold, May 8, 2023

Google: Timing Is Everything

April 28, 2023

Vea4_thumb_thumb_thumbNote: This short blog post is the work of a real and still-alive dinobaby. No smart software involved, just a dumb humanoid.

Alphabet or the bastion of excellent judgment in matters of management captured headlines in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, the Financial Times, yada yada. My hunch is that you think Google has knocked the socks off the smart software world. Wrong. Maybe Google has introduced an unbeatable approach to online advertising? Wrong. Perhaps you think that Google has rolled out a low-cost, self-driving vehicle? Sorry, wrong.

In the midst of layoffs, lawsuits, and the remarkable market reach of OpenAI, Google’s most recent brilliant move is the release of information abut a big payday for Sundar Pichai. The Reuters’ story “Alphabet CEO Pichai reaps Over $200 Million in 2022 Amid Cost-Cutting” reported:

The pay disparity comes at a time when Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has been cutting jobs globally, The Mountain View, California-based company announced plans to cut 12,000 jobs around the world in January [2023], equivalent to 6% of its global workforce.

Google employees promptly fouled traffic as protestors mumbled and shouted algorithms at the company.

Alphabet’s Board of Directors is quite tolerant and pleased with one half of the Sundar and Prabhakar Comedy Duo. The Paris Bard show which sucked more value than the Ticketmaster and Taylor Swift swizzle. Then the Google management wizards fired people. With Microsoft releasing smart software on a weekly cadence, Mr. Pichai’s reward for a job well done makes headlines.

Timing is everything.

Stephen E Arnold, April 28, 2023

Google Innovates in Smart Software: A Reorganization

April 28, 2023

Vea4_thumb_thumb_thumbNote: This essay is the work of a real and still-alive dinobaby. No smart software involved, just a dumb humanoid.

Someone once told me that it takes six months for staff to adjust to a reorganization. Is this a bit of folklore. Nope, I just think the six month estimate is dead wrong. I think it takes longer, often a year or more to integrate two units of the same company. How do I know? I watched Halliburton take over Nuclear Utility Services. Then I watched Bell + Howell take over the Courier Journal’s database publishing unit. Finally, I have quite direct memories of not being able to find much of anything when we last moved.

Now the Alphabet Google thing is addressing its marketing problem with a reorganization. I learned this by reading “Announcing Google DeepMind.” The write up by a founder of DeepMind says:

Sundar is announcing that DeepMind and the Brain team from Google Research will be joining forces as a single, focused unit called Google DeepMind. Combining our talents and efforts will accelerate our progress towards a world in which AI helps solve the biggest challenges facing humanity…

Not a word about catching up with Microsoft’s Bing ChatGPT marketing, not a peep about the fast cycle integration of orchestration software across discrete ChatGPT-type functions, and not a whisper about why Google is writing about what is to happen.

What’s my take on this Code Red or Red Alert operational status which required the presence of Messrs. Brin and Page?

  1. Google is demonstrating that a reorganization will address the Microsoft ChatGPT marketing. A reorganization and a close partnership among Sundar [Pichai], Jeff Dean, James Manyika, and Demis [Hassabis]? Okay.
  2. Google announced quantum supremacy, its protein folding breakthrough, and the game playing ability of its smart software. Noble achievements, but Microsoft is pushing smart Bing into keyboards. That’s one way to get Android and iPhone users’ attention. Will it work for Microsoft? Probably not, but it is something visible.
  3. Google is simply not reacting. A baby ecosystem is growing up around Midjourney. I learned about The service provides a search and point-to-get the prompt service. When I saw this service, I realized that ChatGPT may be morphing in ways that any simple Web search engine could implement. For Google, deploying the service would be trivial. The problem is that reorgs don’t pay much attention outside of the fox hole in which senior management prefers to dwell.

Net net: Google is too big and has too much money to concede. However, the ChatGPT innovation off road vehicle is zipping along. Google is organizing the wizards who will on Google’s glitzy glamping rig. ChatGPT is hitting the rocks and crawling over obstacles. The Google machine is in a scenic observation point with a Pebble Beach-type of view. What’s the hurry? Google is moving… with a reorg.

Stephen E Arnold, April 28, 2023

Amusing Moments in Business Analysis

April 27, 2023

Vea4_thumb_thumb_thumbNote: This essay is the work of a real and still-alive dinobaby. No smart software involved, just a dumb humanoid.

I noted two interesting examples of business analysis crashing into reality. I like to visualize the misstep as a well-dressed professional slipping in a doggy deposit and creating a “smelly shoe in a big meeting problem.”

Let me explain the two examples.

The first is MBA baloney about business change or as it is now jargonized “transformation.” If you are a bit rusty on business baloney, a quick look at the so-far free “Organizational Change Management: What It Is & Why It’s Important.” But McKinsey, a blue chip consulting company with a core competency in opioid-related insights, published its version as “What Is Business Transformation?”

The write up says:

Research by McKinsey has long documented that enterprise-wide transformation is difficult, with less than a third of transformations reaching their goals to improve organizational performance and sustain these improvements over time.

I found this recommendation notable:

Many transformations are enabled by a central transformation office (TO), with the CTO at the helm.

As I recall, McKinsey allegedly worked two sides of the street; that is, getting paid to advise certain companies and government agencies about the same subject. I won’t go into details, but the advice proved problematic, and some connect McKinsey’s input with the firm’s efforts to change.

So, does McKinsey have a chief transformation officer? It appears that a Microsoft veteran occupies that position at the venerable, bluest of the blue chip consulting firms. However, this professional has two jobs according to the McKinsey blog. But I thought the chief transformation officer had to operate according to the precepts outlined in the “What Is Business Transformation?” article? Now the job is not just transformation; it is platform. What does platform mean?

Here’s the answer:

Jacky will accelerate this work by helping our firm further leverage technology in our client work and innovate new platforms to help client organizations transform and grow. She will also lead McKinsey’s internal technology team, which serves our more than 40,000 colleagues across 66 countries.

Does this mean that McKinsey’s chief transform officer has to do the change thing and manage the internal technology staff globally?

If I keep in mind the chilling factoid that one third of transformation efforts fail, McKinsey has to focus to make the transformation work. The problem is that, as I understand how the McKinsey and other blue-chip experts operate, is that incentive plans for those leading practices allow the loose confederation of “partners” to hit their goals. In order to hit those goals, partners will have to generate money in ways that are known to work; for example, work for industry, work for the government, heck, work for any entity with the ability to pay.

Will McKinsey change under the firm and informed hand of a chief transformation officer? Not unless that “hand” writes specific incentive plans to cause change from the pocketbook outwards. I wonder whether McKinsey will be in the 33 percent failure set? ‘

The second example comes from Mr. Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal. The essay (not real news in my opinion) appeared in the April 21, 2023 edition. The article’s title was “Justice Thomas and the Plague o Bad Reporting.” The author, according to my dead tree edition of the newspaper, is James Taranto, who is the Journal’s editorial features editor. What’s amazing about this essay is that it criticizes other “real” news outfits for their coverage of what appears to be some dog-doody moments for one of the Supreme Court justices. Pardon the pun, but I don’t have a dog in this fight.

What caught my attention is that the essay makes zero intellectual vibration of a sentient being in the wake of the Rupert Murdoch settlement of the Fox News and Dominion matter. Paying about a billion dollars for exactly the type of “real” news the WSJ essay addresses makes clear that more than the Foxy folks are intellectually dishonest. Amazing.

Net net: Two classy outfits, and each is happily, willingly writing baloney. Transformation without altering executive compensation plans and excoriating other publications for bad reporting illustrates the stuck dials on some organizations’ ethical compasses. I hate to repeat myself, but I have to end with: Amazing.

Stephen E Arnold, April 27, 2023

The Google Reorg. Will It Output Xooglers, Not Innovations?

April 25, 2023

Vea4_thumb_thumb_thumbNote: This essay is the work of a real and still-alive dinobaby. No smart software involved, just a dumb humanoid.

My team and I have been talking about the Alphabet decision to merge DeepMind with Google Brain. Viewed from one angle, the decision reflects the type of efficiency favored by managers who value the idea of streamlining. The arguments for consolidation are logical; for example, the old tried-and-true buzzword synergy may be invoked to explain the realignment. The decision makes business sense, particularly for an engineer or a number-oriented MBA, accountant, or lawyer.

Arguing against the “one plus one equals three” viewpoint may be those who have experienced the friction generated when staff, business procedures, and projects get close, interact, and release energy. I use the term “energy” to explain the dormant forces unleashed as the reorganization evolves. When I worked at a nuclear consulting firm early in my career, I recall the acrimonious and irreconcilable differences between a smaller unit in Florida and a major division in Maryland. The fix was to reassign personnel and give up on the dream of one big, happy group.

googler for hire

This somewhat pathos-infused image was created using NightCafe Creator and Craiyon. The author (a dinobaby) added the caption which may appeal to large language model-centric start ups with money, ideas, and a “we can do this” vibe.

Over the years, my team and I have observed Google’s struggles to innovate. The successes have been notable. Before the Alphabet entity was constructed, the “old” Google purchased Keyhole, Inc. (a spin-off of the gaming company Intrinsic). That worked after the US government invested in the company. There have been some failures too. My team followed the Orkut product which evolved from a hire named Orkut Büyükkökten, who had developed an allegedly similar system while working at InCircle. Orkut was a success, particularly among users in Brazil and a handful of other countries. However, some Orkut users relied on the system for activities which some found unacceptable. Google killed the social networking system in 2014 as Facebook surged to global prominence as Google’s efforts fell to earth. The company was in a position to be a player in social media, and it botched the opportunity. Steve Ballmer allegedly described Google as a “one-trick pony.” Mr. Ballmer’s touch point was Google’s dependence on online advertising: One source of revenue; therefore, a circus pony able to do one thing. Mr. Ballmer’s quip illustrates the fact that over the firm’s 20-plus year history, Google has not been able to diversify its revenue. More than two-thirds of the company’s money comes directly or indirectly from advertising.

My team and I have watched Google struggle to accept adapt its free-wheeling style to a more traditional business approach to policies and procedures. In one notable incident, my team and I were involved in reviewing proposals to index the content of the US Federal government. Google was one of the bidders. The Google proposal did not follow the expected format of responding to each individual requirement in the request for proposal. In 2000, Google professionals made it clear its method did not require that the government’s statement of work be followed. Other vendors responded, provided the required technical commentary, and produced cost estimates in a format familiar to those involved in the contracting award process. Flash forward 23 years, and Google has figured out how to capture US government work.

The key point: The learning process took a long time.

Why is this example relevant to the Alphabet decision to blend the Brain and DeepMind units? Change — despite the myths of Silicon Valley — is difficult for Alphabet. The tensions at the company are well known. Employees and part-time workers grouse and sometimes carry signs and disturb traffic. Specific personnel matters become, rightly or wrongly, messages that say, Google is unfair. The Google management generated an international spectacle with its all-thumbs approach to human relations. Dr. Timnit Gebru was a co-author of a technical paper which identified a characteristic of smart software. She and several colleagues explained that bias in training data produces results which are skewed. Anyone who has used any of the search systems which used open source libraries created by Google know that outputs are variable, which is a charitable way of saying, “Dr. Gebru was correct.” She became a Xoogler, set up a new organization, and organized a conference to further explain her research — the same research which ruffled the feathers of some Alphabet big birds.

The pace of generative artificial intelligence is accelerating. Disruption can be smelled like ozone in an old-fashioned electric power generation station. My team and I attempt to continue tracking innovations in smart software. We cannot do it. I am prepared to suggest that the job is quite challenging because the flow of new ChatGPT-type products, services, applications, and features is astounding. I recall the early days of the Internet when in 1993 I could navigate to a list of new sites via Mosaic browser and click on the ones of interest. I recall that in a matter of months the list grew too long to scan and was eventually discontinued. Smart software is behaving in this way: Too many people are doing too many new things.

I want to close this short personal essay with several points.

First, mashing up different cultures and a history of differences will act like a brake and add friction to innovative work. Such reorganizations will generate “heat” in the form of disputes, overt or quiet quitting, and an increase in productivity killers like planning meetings, internal product pitches, and getting legal’s blessing on a proposed service.

Second, a revenue monoculture is in danger when one pest runs rampant. Alphabet does not have a mechanism to slow down what is happening in the generative AI space. In online advertising, Google has knobs and levers. In the world of creating applications and hooking them together to complete tasks, Alphabet management seems to lack a magic button. The pests just eat the monoculture’s crop.

Third, the unexpected consequence of merging Brain and DeepMind may be creating what I call a “Xoogler Manufacturing Machine.” Annoyed or “grass is greener” Google AI experts may go to one of the many promising generative AI startups. Note: A former Google employee is sometimes labeled a “Xoogler,” which is shorthand for ex-Google employee.

Net net: In a conversation in 2005 with a Google professional whom I cannot name due to the confidentiality agreement I signed with the firm, I asked, “Do you think people and government officials will figure out what Google is really doing?” This person, who was a senior manager, said to the best of my recollection, “Sure and when people do, it’s game.” My personal view is that Alphabet is in a game in which the clock is ticking. And in the process of underperforming, Alphabet’s advertisers and users of free and for-fee services will shift their attention elsewhere, probably to a new or more agile firm able to leverage smart software. Alphabet’s most recent innovation is the creation of a Xoogler manufacturing system. The product? Former Google employees who want to do something instead of playing in the Alphabet sandbox with argumentative wizards and several ill-behaved office pets.

Stephen E Arnold, April 24, 2023

Business Baloney: Wowza, Google Management Is on the Ball

April 19, 2023

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

I read “Google CEO Sundar Pichai Broke the Rules on OKRs. Why It Worked.” I looked at this story in Inc. Magazine because Google has managed to mire itself in deep mud since Mr. Pichai (one half of the Sundar and Prabhakar Comedy Act) got top billing. Sucking the exhaust of the Microsoft marketing four-wheel drives strikes me as somewhat dispiriting.


Scribble Diffusion’s imagineering of a Google management meeting with slide rules, computing devices, and management wisdom. Art generated by smart software.

I will enumerate a few of these quicksand filled voids after I pull out two comments from the rather wild and wooly story which is infused with MBA think.

I noted this comment:

…in 2019, Pichai cut out quarterly OKRs altogether, choosing to focus solely on annual OKRs with quarterly progress reports. Pichai’s move might have gone against conventional OKR wisdom, but it made sense because _Google was no longer in startup mode._ [Editor’s note: The weird underscores are supposed to make my eyes perk up and my mind turn from TikTok to the peals of wisdom in the statement “Google was no longer in start up mode. Since I count Google as existing since Backrub, when Mr. Pichai took the stage, the company was 20 years old. Yep, two decades.]

Here’s another quote to note from the Inc. article:

Take shortcuts and do what you need to do to keep things afloat. [Editor’s Note: The article does not mention the foundation short cuts at the GOOG; specifically, [a] the appropriation of some systems and methods from a company to which Google paid before its IPO about a billion dollars in cash and other considerations and [b] a focused effort to implement via acquisitions and staff work a method designed to make sure that buyers and sellers of advertising both paid Google whenever an advertising transaction took place.]

Now the fruits of Mr. Pichai’s management approach:

  1. Personnel decisions which sparked interest in stochastic parrots, protests, staff walk outs, and the exciting litigation related to staff reductions. Definitely excellent management from the perspective of taking shortcuts
  2. Triggering a massive loss in corporate value when the Google smart software displayed its dumbness. Remember this goof emerged from the company which awarded itself quantum supremacy and beat a humanoid Go player into international embarrassment
  3. Management behavior — yep, personal behavior — which caused one Googler to try to terminate her life, not a balky Chrome instance, death by heroin on a yacht in the presence of a specialized contractor who rendered personal services, and fathering a Googler to be within the company’s legal department. Classy, classy.

What about the article? From my point of view, it presents what I would call baloney. I think there are some interesting stories to write about Google; for example, the link between IBM Almaden’s CLEVER system and the Google relevance method, the company’s inability to generate substantive alternative revenue streams, and the mystery acquisitions like Transformic Inc., which few know or care about. There’s even a personal interest story to be written about the interesting interpersonal dynamics at DeepMind, the outfit that is light years ahead of the world in smart software.

But, no. We learn about management brilliance. Those of you familiar with my idiosyncratic lingo I conceptualize Google’s approach to running its business as a high school science club trying to organize a dance party.

Stephen E Arnold, April 19, 2023

Google Is Humming Like a Well Oiled High School Science Club: A Sensitive Science Club

April 18, 2023

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

I believe everything I read on the Internet. Therefore, I am accepting as the truth inscribed on the floor of the Great Pyramid of Giza. (It’s numbers in case you did not know this factoid.)

The article “Dream Job Nightmare: Google Leaves New Hire Jobless and Without an Apartment” reports this slick personnel move executed with extreme prejudice by the Google. Yep, that Google. I noted this statement in a letter quoted by BoingBoing:

Unfortunately, these [Google internal budget] reviews mean that we have had to make the difficult decision to terminate the contract of employment which you signed with Google UK Ltd, and this letter is formal notice of termination.

What makes this statement interesting is that the never hired but fired Googler is:

  1. The individual fired before starting the Google job lives in Russia
  2. Getting in and out of Russia is not a simple nor risk free process
  3. Getting a job in the gloom of the special operation in Ukraine is more difficult that it was before the tanks got mired on the road to Kiev.

I suppose there is an upside to this story: Opportunities exist to enlist in the Russian armed forces. With computer skills, there are openings in the computer branch of several Russian agencies. In fact the boss of one of the advanced persistent threat units may be seeking his future elsewhere.

I am impressed with the coordination within the Google human resources people unit. I think this is one more example of how Google works to maintain the management panache of a high school science club organizing a field trip to a junior cotillion dance.

Stephen E Arnold, April 18, 2023

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