Google's Panem Et Circenses

Avinash Kaushik has an interesting post about Google's Bread and circuses 10 Insights at Google and what makes Google tick: "# 10: The amazingly fantastic food and impressive digs. # 9: “Micro Efficiencies”. # 8: A company that truly cares. # 7: Brain expansion opportunities. # 6: The sheer amount of brilliant Google employees. # 5: Empowerment (The big small company). # 4: The scale of your impact. # 3: Doing Good: Green & .org # 2: It’s a happening place. The energy, the vibe, the passion. # 1: The brand. "

Google is for most people certainly a great place to work and all benefits sound amazing at first. But having worked with many Googlers over the years and knowing some of them really close, I was wondering how Google employees never question all these "practices".

Good food is certainly exciting (I love food!), and I love that my employer provides breakfast, lunch and dinner once in a while (which I highly appreciate), but having a Google mother driving me with WiFi to work, serving me breakfast before 9am (dinner after 7pm), giving me an earthquake backpack, setting up a 24x7 concierge, massaging me during the day and building a slide in my office (happens in SFO) , scares me a tiny bit.

Does bread and circuses really make such a difference? How can a Googler eat outside his 5-star Googleplex restaurant anymore? Do Googlers own a fridge at home? Do you really need a 24x7 concierge, who plans your wedding (happened to a Googler that I know)? How often will you use the tent in the earthquake backpack? Do you really need to stay in late just to grab the free dinner or is this all just about Time Spent in office (=productivity= communicated innovation)?

And overall...Does it really pay off to take a possibly bad salary and the Google stamp in your resume or am I just a jealous Non-Googler b/c my beautiful wife pretty much never cooks or doesn't have any Wifi in our 12-years old Toyota Corolla :-)?

P.S.

Today is a great article in Fast Company about Google's top (!) employees. It certainly is entertaining and interesting to see how Google communicates their "benefits" over and over......even if some of the benefits don't apply to Joe Schmo.

[irony] Still I wonder how often Google's paramedics have to scratch a Googler off the sidewalk, because they crashed with their scooter on the way to a meeting (According to Googlers it's the No.1 cause of paramedics running around at the Googleplex. Avinash, please confirm! :-)) [irony off]