Was graciously invited by Google to lecture at their campus yesterday. Took me about .5 seconds to say yes. Googler Mike Wiacek sent me an email a while back and mentioned that enthusiasm for The Moment It Clicks was high within the organization and was there a chance I might be in the neighborhood some time or other?
Cool! Got a chance to relax and float around in the foam cushion thing filled with plastic balls. (Photo by Brad Moore.) Evidently some folks relax in here with their laptops.
The nap module was already occupied.
Made the stop on my way to my favorite DLWS location, the Redwoods. (Ahh, the mighty Redwoods! It stirs my soul! I don’t want to be a photographer anyway! I want to be a lumberjack. Leaping from tree to tree as they float down the mighty rivers of British Columbia! The giant redwoods! The larch! The fir! The mighty Scots pine! The smell of fresh cut timber! The crash of mighty trees! With my best girlie by my side!)
I digress. It figures there are photo enthusiasts everywhere in the halls of Google. Can’t imagine a better place to plug into the fast paced world of digital shooting, the discussion threads, the new tech and gear, than the home base of this internet powerhouse.
Thing is, it doesn’t feel like a big company. It feels very human. It feels like a place where people (and their pets) are valued. The array of food options (for free) is astonishing. There are more cafes and eateries per square yard than Little Italy in NY. Seems management figured out it is cheaper, happier and more productive to take care of their employees and create a positive work environment than to burn them to a crisp, make them afraid of the future, and send them off into the highways and byways of California in search of a Taco Bell for lunch.
Enlightened management is tough to find these days, but I do know of another distinctly wonderful workplace. Scott Kelby and the folks down there at Kelby Media and NAPP are a bunch of happy campers, to be sure. Hmmm. Both these places are forward looking, innovative, very creative, and use the newest of technologies. And, they value their people and treat them well. And both outfits are doing gang buster business….Geez, I wonder if there’s a connection?
There were about 100 folks at the lecture, and Google beamed it out to 8 of their other locations, domestic and international. My buddy Bill suggested that in return for doing the lecture, I simply ask Google to change a few lines of code, you know, couple of minor alterations, nothing truly significant. That way, he said, anytime anybody in the world Googles, “photography,” they get sent to my website. Just a few tweaks in the codes, and, when you type in “Ansel Adams,” it comes up as “joemcnally.com.” Or, “Moose Peterson.” You get “joemcnally.com.” If you type in, “I’m a client with a huge budget and I wanna spend some big ass money on pictures,” it connects you directly to my cell phone.
Way cool day.