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David and Goliath
Wooden: A Coach's Life



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Will's books

The Silent Man
5 of 5 stars
Another great John Wells book. I previously compared Alex Berenson and his hero, John Wells, with Vince Flynn and his troubled CIA agent/assassin, Mitch Rapp. Towards the end of Flynn's short life and in his final Rapp books, Flynn got a...
tagged: fiction and troubled-assassin
Getting Started with Hobby Quadcopters and Drones
2 of 5 stars
When I was looking up reviews of drones on the web, I found several mentions of this "book" (a pamphlet,really). It's OK,but all the information can be easily found elsewhere online. The repeated warning about crashing your drone and sta...
tagged: non-fiction
The Martian
5 of 5 stars
Wow. Just . . . wow. This was one of the most entertaining books I have read in a long time. The story is fabulous and the execution wonderful. Basically a diary of an astronaut left behind in an escape from a failed Mars mission (though...
tagged: fiction
The Target
2 of 5 stars
I can't even begin to imagine why this book has gotten good reviews. I have read and enjoyed Baldacci's books before, but this is the first book in the Will Robie series that I've read. Probably the last as well. It's the third one of t...
tagged: fiction and troubled-assassin
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
3 of 5 stars
I didn't love this book. While I generally like Gladwell's style and analysis, he seems to be running out of interesting observations or topics to cover. There are a few good tidbits and the book is short. If you love Gladwell, it's wor...
tagged: non-fiction
Anthem
4 of 5 stars
I love Ayn Rand's thought-provoking books and stories. I'm fundamentally aligned with her libertarian way of thinking so, for the most part, her stories are just one's that drive home a point that I already agree with or, at least, under...
tagged: fiction
Thinking, Fast and Slow
5 of 5 stars
This is simply a fabulous book about how the mind works and how our behavior is driven by our levels of thought. It's not a terribly difficult book to get through, although it does require a lot of System 2 thinking - Kahneman's term for...
tagged: non-fiction
Killing Jesus: A History
4 of 5 stars
As with the other "killing" books by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard, I really don't like the positioning that the book is based entirely on fact - insinuating the other crappy books I've read are made up. In the documenting of Jesus' li...
tagged: non-fiction
Wooden: A Coach's Life
4 of 5 stars
How can one not like a book about John Wooden? The man is a sports icon. Most of all, of course, he's a teacher, which is exactly what he wanted to be and prided himself on. He based his entire life on teaching basketball fundamentals an...
tagged: non-fiction and sports
Dead Eye
5 of 5 stars
Wow. Just. Wow. This is a great book. In the ex-CIA-troubled-assassin genre, this may be my favorite book ever. Greaney does a fabulous job of balancing action with storyline. Never gets boring, but the reader is overwhelmed by ridiculou...
tagged: fiction and troubled-assassin

goodreads.com

Andy Grove Describes Google’s Organizational Structure as Brownian Motion

iinovate has a great podcast with accompanying YouTube videos of an interview with Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google.  They have broken out one segment where a luminary, in this case Andy Grove of Intel fame, asks a question.  Grove queries: 

“From the outside it looks like Google’s organizational structure is best described by . . . Brownian motion . . in an expanding bottle.  Does [Eric Schmidt] think it will work forever.”

I find Schmidt’s answer to be revealing.  It’s so convenient to think of Google, its inner workings in particular, in some uniform, consistent way.  I know that I’m certainly guilty of this.  The stories of days off to innovate, corporate massage therapists at everyone’s disposal, cappuccino machines in every closet and Guitar Hero duels whenever employees feel the urge are captivating.  It’s also easy to let visions of this environment overtake the realization that real work gets done in spades within the company’s walls.  Schmidt states that legal, finance, M&A, investment and even sales are all run in “a very traditional way.”  Further, he says that it’s only the “creative side” that gets all the attention and can be described as Brownian motion which, he thinks, is a reasonable description. 

Doh!  Of course.  That makes complete sense.  There goes my fantasy about the insides of the company being in some kind of total, but managed chaos.  I guess there is no tooth fairy after all.  Next, someone’s gonna tell me there’s no Santa Claus.

Check out the iinovate post for the other, longer part of the interview.

Thanks to Guy Kawasaki for pointing it out.

  • http://amicuscapitalservices.com/ Bill Tilley

    makes sense, at the end of the day a business needs to be run like a business with an awareness of the bottom line. One needs to make sure as processes are refined and improved that the business yield productivity gains from them. A business can run with the perks but productivity and profitability needs to be tracked a improved upon steadily.