A few weeks ago I received an invitation to go to the Mecca of the Geek – the Google Campus. Even though I know a number of people that work there it is still a once in a lifetime opportunity.
I went there with Wayne to meet our dedicated account representative Christian. We flew into San Jose from San Diego and it is just incredible to see the number of people that commute every week from one part of the country to Silicon Valley. These are people who live weekend to weekend and work out of the house every week. There is real dedication to commute and be a part timer in a full time relationship. But enough about that lets get the show on the road.
We landed and went to pick up our rental car, and we picked up the new Dodge Nitro. I loved the look of this beast – Wayne was less than enthusiastic about its appearance. Well I was driving and I dug it. The car is just a very chunky machine and other than the spongy breaks it was very cool to drive and easy to navigate. Not like there was much navigating to do because the Google offices are just a few miles from the airport.
We got to Google a few minutes early for our appointment and met in a smaller building just the the west of the Googleplex. We signed in and went up to Christians office, he shares this office with one other person and her dog. Man that dog was cute.
He rounded up two fellow staff members and we headed to a conference area in another building. During the meeting we discussed search strategy, page optimization and some of the new advertising options like the new Pay Per Action model. Let me tell you there is nothing like getting the scoop right from the horses mouth. These guys are plugged in, they were really prepped for this meeting. They had discussed our account, everyone from their team was on the same page and it just moved like a well oiled machine. So often these types of meeting get off track, but this was great – not a lot of BS and no question that we asked went unanswered. These guys are real professionals and deserve what they have achieved.
The meeting took just under two hours and we left with a notepad filled with action items. Oh did I mention that I forgot my notebook in the car and got to experience Google Hospitality with a trip to an overflowing supply cabinet. I grabbed one pen and a notepad, just what was needed. Once the meeting was over we headed to the famous Google Lunch at the main campus.
As were were driving in we saw people installing new solar panels that Christian said were part of a new green initiative at the office, he was also thrilled to have a little bit more covered parking. Lunch was great, everything that I had ever heard it to be – what an experience being there with off of my fellow 30 and 20 somethings just talking and participating. No one was sitting on the sidelines, everyone was engaged and on the court. The culture here is fantastic.
A couple things that i noticed: no cell phone or blackberry’s anywhere, during our meeting not one peep or missed email message. I can’t recall even seeing one on campus. I did however see new X Prize space craft and the dinosaur…but no phones.
I also noticed that the people in the meeting did not have business cards. I don’t think that we really had an opportunity to swap cards but more so there did not seem to be a need. We knew who they were, they knew who we were and that was that.
I have never been to Mecca but I can only assume that for Geeks the Googleplex is just as holy.