You can’t help but admire the success of Google. With a market capitalization of $158 billion it is very hard to argue with their strategy. If you visit their corporate website they have a section called “Philosophy” and a button below called “Ten Things”. These ten things represent the guiding philosophy or values for the firm.
Google’s Ten Things make up a corporate values statement. Corporate value statements have become quite popular post the Enron fiasco and for good reason. These written guidelines for corporate ethics help serve as a compass for day to day behavior for all employees including key executives. Google has set an excellent example for entrepreneurs both big and small. I have liberally borrowed the following from the Google website; note my comments in italics:
1. Focus on the user and all else will follow. By always placing the interests of the user first, Google has built a loyal audience on the web and this growth has come through word of mouth from one satisfied user to another. This has been my experience. All the Google tools that I use were referred to me by others.
2. It’s best to do one thing really, really well. Google does search. Virtually all their expansionary efforts are built on search. This certainly is my philosophy.
3. Fast is better than slow.Google believes in instant gratification. You want answers and you want them right now. Google may be the only company in the world whose stated goal is to have users leave its website as quickly as possible. OK. I buy this, but trash at light speed is still trash. Quality is more important in my book.
4. Democracy on the web works. Google works because it relies on the millions of individuals posting links on websites to help determine which other sites offer content of value. I think democracy is the wrong word. This is actually Laissez-Faire which literally means ‘let it be”; the current interpretation of Laissez-Faire is free market economics.
5. You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer. The world is increasingly mobile and unwilling to be constrained to a fixed location. Yep!
6. You can make money without doing evil. Google is a business but maintains a low profile about advertising, which they seem to feel is evil. This fascination with advertising as the source of evil is misplaced. We all know it is the oil companies that are evil.
7. There’s always more information out there. I guess this means that we anticipate more and more hits on your next search.
8. The need for information crosses all borders. Search is a global phenomenon. Okie dokie.
9. You can be serious without a suit. Google’s founders have often stated that the company is not serious about anything but search. I love this, but I always wear aloha shirts and shorts so what do you expect?
10. Great just isn’t good enough. Always deliver more than expected. Makes sense to me.
OK, I am not a Google shareholder, but I do greatly admire the values of this firm. What are your firm’s values?
John Bradley Jackson
© Copyright 2007 All rights reserved.
In the interest of fair play, below are Yahoo!’s corporate values. In all they are similar but with a bit more whimsy.
We are committed to winning with integrity. We know leadership is hard won and should never be taken for granted. We aspire to flawless execution and don’t take shortcuts on quality. We seek the best talent and promote its development. We are flexible and learn from our mistakes.
We treat one another with respect and communicate openly. We foster collaboration while maintaining individual accountability. We encourage the best ideas to surface from anywhere within the organization. We appreciate the value of multiple perspectives and diverse expertise.
We thrive on creativity and ingenuity. We seek the innovations and ideas that can change the world. We anticipate market trends and move quickly to embrace them. We are not afraid to take informed, responsible risk.
We share an infectious sense of mission to make an impact on society and empower consumers in ways never before possible. We are committed to serving both the Internet community and our own communities. Customer
We respect our customers above all else and never forget that they come to us by choice. We share a personal responsibility to maintain our customers’ loyalty and trust. We listen and respond to our customers and seek to exceed their expectations.
We believe humor is essential to success. We applaud irreverence and don’t take ourselves too seriously. We celebrate achievement. We yodel.