How Google Works

Google Company Culture
The Googleplex -- Google's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.
The Googleplex -- Google's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.
David Paul Morris/Getty Images

Google has come a long way since Sergey Brin and Larry Page networked a few computers together at Stanford. What started as a modest project is now a multibillion-dollar global organization that employs more than 19,000 people around the world. Brin and Page are still very much involved with Google's operations -- they're Presidents of Google's Technology and Products divisions, respectively.

In September 2008, Google's market capitalization figure (Google's stock price multiplied by the number of outstanding company shares) was more than $145 billion. Google's stock is listed in NASDAQ as GOOG, and in late 2008 Google had more than 314 million outstanding shares in the marketplace [source: Google Finance].

Google's headquarters are in Mountain View, Calif. Google cheekily calls its campus the Googleplex -- a combination of the words "Google" and "complex" and a play on the term googolplex: One followed by a googol of zeroes. Life at the Googleplex is pretty sweet. Here's just a small list of the amenities you can find there:

  • Several café stations where employees can gather to eat free food and have conversations
  • Snack rooms stocked with goodies ranging from candy to healthy foods like carrots and yogurt
  • Exercise rooms
  • Game rooms with video games, foosball, pool tables and ping-pong
  • A baby grand piano for those who enjoy tickling the ivories

­In addition to these amenities, Google employees receive a comprehensive benefits package that includes not only medical and dental coverage, but also a host of other services. These include tuition reimbursement, a child care center, adoption assistance services, an on-site doctor, financial planning classes and lots of opportunities to gather with coworkers at special corporate events. Google's philosophy also places importance on nonprofit work, and so Google will match up to $3,000 of any employee's contributions to nonprofit organizations.

Google has asserted itself as one of the most dominant forces on the Internet. Still, the company says its mission is "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful" [source: Google]. With a goal that lofty, it's a good bet that the people behind Google feel their work is just beginning.

­To learn more about Google and other related topics, follow the links on the next page.

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