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The Best Place to Work: Google and their Office in Zurich

Well actually, not anymore – Google is now ranked “only” 4th by Fortune (it was 1st in 2008).

Anyway,we still thinks it’s worth taking a little virtual tour through their office in Zurich.

When, asked, what was it like working at Google, former Google employee Avinash Kaushik, says: “interesting, fun, surprising, insightful, inspiring, impactful, and more such words.”

These photos from their office in Zurich tell the same story, and I hope it will let you taste, what it’s like working at Google.

To make this post more fun, I’ve added some fun facts about Google bellow the photos. (Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5)

Update: Google Reveals Its Top-Secret Data Centers

“Google got its name by accident. The founders misspelled the word “googol,” which refers to the number 1 followed by 100 zeroes. The word was chosen to reflect the company’s goal of organizing the massive amount of information that is available on the Internet.”

“Employees are encouraged to use 20% of their time working on their own projects. Google News, Orkut are both examples of projects that grew from this working model.”

“On any given day at Google there are brilliant people visiting and giving talks and lectures. Politicians, authors, professors, bright young folks, environmentalists, journalists, dignitaries, monks, Nobel prize winners, venture capitalists and so on and so forth.

I am astounded at the ability to have access to so many brilliant and leading minds. If I have some time then I can take an hour out, go listen to someone brilliant and stretch my brain on a wide variety of topics.”

“The Google home page is so sparse because the founders did not know HTML and just wanted to create a quick interface.”

“Due to the sparseness of the homepage, in early user tests they noted people just sitting looking at the screen. After a minute of nothingness, the tester intervened and asked “Whats up?” to which they replied “We are waiting for the rest of it”. To solve that particular problem the Google Copyright message was inserted to act as a crude end of page marker.”

“Google’s first data center was Larry Page’s dorm room.”

“Brett had always said one of the reasons I should work at Google was the food.

I still can’t get used to the fact that every day when I walk into a cafe the food is different and delicious and healthy and mostly organic.

At Google the food never gets boring because each cafe has a executive / sous chef and when you eat they’ll come chat with you and ask you what you think of the food (to your utter shock the first few times). They actually care.”

“When Page and Brin tried to find buyers to license their search technology, one portal CEO told them “As long as we’re 80 percent as good as our competitors, that’s good enough. Our users don’t really care about search.”

“Google’s traffic doubled when they introduced their “Did you mean…” feature. This feature was made possible by a much-improved spell checker.”

“The search engine that Page and Brin were collaborating on was originally called BackRub, named for its ability to analyze the “back links” pointing to a given Web site.”

“The infamous “I feel lucky” is nearly never used. However, in trials it was found that removing it would somehow reduce the Google experience. Users wanted it kept. It was a comfort button.”

Update: Google Reveals Its Top-Secret Data Centers

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  • http://canayjun.blogspot.com/ Canayjun

    The workstation pods, themed meeting rooms and games rooms remind me of a company in Toronto in the 90′s called Digital Renaissance (animation and special effects) housed in reclaimed warehouse space with soaring 20′ ceilings and open concept lunchrooms complete with free munchies beer fridges. Great place to work but that kind of overhead proved unsustainable. Maybe there is such a thing as too much fun. From 1st to 4th – Google beware?

  • http://www.JosephHolguin.com Joseph Holguin

    Wow that is a really cool office, I would love to work there. So I am looking for a job in January, google if your hiring I will be there January 1st!

  • Vishal Shastri

    this is really amazing, i would really love to work in this type of office having such infrastructure anyways looking forward to be at google……

  • http://zyxo.wordpress.com zyxo

    It is clear that “human assets” are valued at google.

  • http://hanitje.blogdrive.com HoneyBee

    I’m so jealous. I’d LOVE to work there!

  • kodabar

    Don’t go thinking every Google office is like this. I can’t speak for any of the other offices, but my time in Google’s London office (by Victoria) was not like the Zurich experience. The London offices are standard drab offices with strip lights, industrial and cheap Venetian blinds. There is a cafe/bistro/whatever-they’re-calling-it-this-month on the top floor, but the food isn’t great. Sure, there’s quite a variety, but crap sushi is crap sushi. There are free vending machines and coffee can be obtained every few feet, but it’s hardly the swish playroom of the Zurich office.

  • http://livingsimplelife.wordpress.com Marie Lynn

    HOW I WISH I”D LAND THERE. this is just awesome!

  • Ned

    It’s depressing to see that in the ‘Guitar Hero’ image, they’re rocking out to the home screen. It just makes you question the authenticity of the entire photoset, dontcha think?

  • Raulek

    Those are really cool offices. Note the pic of the playroom with the Xbox and some workers playing Guitar Hero, the screen actually shows the Xbox Dashboard haha nice PR stunt

  • http://www.learnthekoreanlanguage.net David

    That is indescribably cool

  • http://twitter.com/Mohdabid2 Mohd abid

    such a really wonderfull office yaha work karna ek sapna jaisa hai employees ko itna araam un ke comfort ke liye itna care shayad hi koi dusra office deta ho …

Author:   Date posted: Aug 11th, 2009
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