It’s a classic story: two PhD students from Stanford University decide their research project has possibilities, and go on to register a web domain, incorporate their business in a friend’s garage in Menlo Park, CA, raise some money, move to Palo Alto – and in a decade see their start-up become the internet’s most-visited website, the most powerful brand in the world, and what Fortune magazine calls “the Number One Best Place to Work.”
What is it like to work at a company whose corporate philosophy states that “you can be serious without a suit,” and “work should be challenging and the challenge should be fun,” whose headquarters’ lobby is decorated with a piano, lava lamps, and old server clusters, and where all the engineers are encouraged to spend 20% of their work time (one day per week) on projects that interest them (keeping in mind that 50% of the company’s new product launches have originated from that 20% “Innovation Time Off”)?
What can we all learn from a company like that— one which earned $6.52 billion last year on revenue of $23.65 billion, but whose founders and CEO have limited themselves to a base salary of only $1 for the past five years?
Thirty-five students joined us when we ventured inside Google’s world headquarters to sit down with Google executive Jim Kolotouros, the Director of Distribution Partnerships at Google – who is himself a Stanford graduate, an Intel alumnus, and one-time Capitol Hill intern – and find out why Google gets more than a thousand résumés every day, and to get the inside story on life in the “Googleplex,” home to a company with a current market capitalization of more than $160 billion, a herd of goats to keep the grass short, and a history of perpetrating April Fool’s jokes and hiding virtual Easter Eggs.
A Master Class with
Mountain View, CA
Jim Kolotouros is the Director of Distribution Partnerships at Google. After receiving his undergraduate and MBA degrees from Stanford University in 1993 and 1997, respectively, he worked at Intel Corporation and Financial Engines before joining Google in April of 2003. During his seven-year tenure, Jim has managed and negotiated some of Google’s most prominent partnerships with leading corporations and brands in the media and Internet space. While at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, he wrote cases for then-Intel Chairman Andrew Grove on the rising prominence of digital media in the Entertainment and Technology industries. He also interned for Senator Edward M. Kennedy in 1990. In his spare time, Jim is a home winemaker and enjoys snowboarding, cooking and learning more about American history.