F is for friends

As everyone probably knows by now, Google has restructured itself big time. Google became Alphabet, more or less a Holding company with Google’s most important services as a subsidiary called Google. More thoughts on this in our latest podcast episode.
What sounds more complicated than it is, was a bold move to allow better growth for Google and also to allow their founders to shift their energy to other projects from the day to day money making business.

Part of the letter explaining everything Larry Page wrote, was this:

“Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one.”

Having founded companies on my own, I can relate to this thinking a lot. We decided to take it one step further, it has always been our mission to change “conventional”.

Since our start with booncon 4 years ago we lead by example and we dedicate a lot of effort into our company culture to make sure our whole team feels the same energy we do. Sometimes it is difficult, especially when growing.
The bigger your team gets, the harder you need to be on yourself and it is important to establish traditions people can relate to.

We started with “Gaming Fridays” soon after starting our company. It is our way of getting together at the end of the week and talk in a more relaxed setting about what kept us busy.

It helps blowing off steam and is a great tool to feel connected and make sure we are “working with friends”, which is in the core of our company.
The bigger we got, the more difficult it was to gather the whole team around a big table at the same time.
Although it is part of the working time it became difficult getting people to stop other work at the right time to enjoy a drink together and play a round of board games.

As we work on projects with full enthusiasm and with a lot of dedication, it is easy to lose track of time. “Gaming Fridays” are necessary to help with the transition into the weekend and make sure we have time to recharge our batteries.
You can hardly crunch that into numbers and prove it is paying off financially.

We trust our gut-feeling and just do it because it’s feels right to do so. That is how you need to treat the people you spend most of your time with. First the people, then the money. We hope this becomes the new convention.

Coming back to Google and Alphabet I am sure that took a big part in the decision of splitting up the companies.
It helps the founders keeping the motivation of moving forward to new endeavours and at the same time gives better perspectives to their hard working employees.

Now it is a lot more clear how far you can get within Google when you are working on some project of your own.
At the summit there isn’t the one CEO nobody can reach but if your idea is great enough it can become its own venture, possibly even with you as its leader.

Alphabet is a great ecosystem that I am sure is every entrepreneur’s dream. It has a clearly defined division that generates revenue, does research in many fields that could help humanity in the long run and there is enough space for new even better ideas to grow.

I raise my hat to Larry Page and Sergey Brin, they seem to have taken a lot of right decisions in the last 11 years and I wish them all the best with Alphabet.

This blog post is a part of the series of posts our team wrote together during a BLOGATHON in August 2015. Through 10 posts you will meet 10 storytellers ranging from China to Italy and from Finland to New Zealand who make the office our second home.



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