Saturday, January 17, 2009

Big Businesses and Big Hits

Sorry for the delay in postings. Our days have been full (as expected) and has led to my slacking in the blogger area.

On Thursday we visited some companies named Google and Apple. I previously thought that Google was just some extremely large number and that Apple was a fruit company.....I was way off-base.

We arrived at Google with much anticipation. Rick Klau (Feedburner developer) and former Luther grad Craig Cornelius gave us a quick tour. We were able to see many things although there is not much I can discuss because we signed an NDA. Google's campus is amazing, filled with energy and friendly people along with beauty. The courtyard consists of a company garden, volleyball courts, swimming pool, outdoor dining areas and bicycles scattered everywhere to accompany its many buildings. You would think with all the extra curricular within the work environment that not much would get done, this is far from the truth. Google has such a commitment to their employees it only builds more confidence within their work environment. There is so much I could talk about from how the company has shuttles for people up to 60 miles from work to the free cafeteria to their green initiatives and their interesting work environment.

Google's main purpose is to engage people online and organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Everything in this company is data driven. There is no such thing as a "hunch." Bring data to the table and present it. Did you know that every minute 13 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube? Or that every four hours enough information is uploaded to the Internet by Google to fill the Library of Congress? This philosophy is heavily rooted in the fact that they believe the world will be a better place if people are knowledgeable; which will lead to people making better decisions.

As if visiting Google wasn't cool enough, we were privileged enough to visit Apple headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop in Palo Alto, Ca. Jeremy and Joe gave us the opportunity for some Q and A before a walk inside the courtyard and provided us with a meal at the Apple caf. This was an extreme benefit because it is extremely rare that anybody who is not an Apple employee to be allowed inside their buildings, let alone the courtyard.

It was neat to hear from Apple employees describing their work environment and how they handle their work. A lot of projects are done on teams and it appears to be somewhat secretive among workers and then people up the ladder link them together. Where with Google people are working on side projects with workers in completely different departments with their 20% of work time to explore other company interests. Apple seemed to be a much more secretive company that was less transparent. Either way, both strategies seem to be working fine.

We then headed south to San Jose for the Sharks game. It was my first hockey game and we were hooked up with tickets thanks to Stephanie's friend and Luther Alum, Jen. The Sharks lost 3-2 to Calvary but the game was exciting to watch....a lot better than on TV.

For now, it is nearly 1 in the morning and I am tired after a day filled with more travel. We are heading back into San Francisco tomorrow for a day of tourist events including a trip to Alcatraz.

Until next time,

Create, inspire and be inspired.

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