In contrast to Raytheon’s carefully orchestrated “culture clubs,” this article tells of Google “thriving at the edge of chaos.” Its 1.3 million-square-foot headquarters is a wild mix of volley ball courts, motorized scooters, free cafeterias and hallway bull sessions. Risk-taking is prized, supervision is light and failure and success are accepted with nearly the same enthusiasm. The corporate culture that has evolved is one where ideas are constantly churning and where product offerings are fashioned without the necessity of turning an immediate profit.

The problem with this, according to the author, is that the company’s famous search engine continues to generate nearly all of Google’s considerable profits. The new products and services – and there are many – have failed to contribute significantly to the company’s bottom line.

This article does find new profit potential simmering just below the surface and show how new website add-ons like Google-Earth help to plant Google’s search tool bar on more and more computers, leading to more and more ad revenue. Acquisitions like My Space and new features like ad auctions are discussed and some final thoughts on Google’s direction are provided.

Source: Adam Lashinky, Fortune; Oct 2, 2006

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