What ails Google, and how it can turn things around

Google has 175,000+ capable and well-compensated employees who get very little done quarter over quarter, year over year. Like mice, they are trapped in a maze of approvals, launch processes, legal reviews, performance reviews, exec reviews, documents, meetings, bug reports, triage, OKRs, H1 plans followed by H2 plans, all-hands summits, and inevitable reorgs. The mice are regularly fed their “cheese” (promotions, bonuses, fancy food, fancier perks) and despite many wanting to experience personal satisfaction and impact from their work, the system trains them to quell these inappropriate desires and learn what it actually means to be “Googley” — just don’t rock the boat. As Deepak Malhotra put it in his excellent business fable, at some point the problem is no longer that the mouse is in a maze. The problem is that “the maze is in the mouse”.

I have never worked at any company – other than the hardware store for 7-8 years when I was a teenager and during university – so I have no idea if this is uncommon, but this sounds like my personal version of hell. No wonder Google has such a massive graveyard.


  1. 2023-02-18 8:39 pm
    • 2023-02-20 7:22 am
  2. 2023-02-20 5:43 pm
  3. 2023-02-20 6:14 pm