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Wandering Through the Gardens of the High and Mighty Google

By Karla Schlaepfer
google, book jcp journal, tage-buch jcp

Okay, the high and mighty Googlers never did respond our JCP interview request. We got over it.

And besides we were in the Mountain View neighborhood, so we drove by the Google HQ for a glimpse of the world’s most influential company. Our expectations were high. We were also expecting more tour buses to be parked in a row near the complex. There was only one.

What a pleasant surprise that no one asked us for ID, as we wandered into the large, open environment. This is a categorical difference to Apple’s insular, monochrome headquarters on Infinity Loop that we visited later!

At this part of Google HQ, there were 4 large individual buildings each with its distinct flair and all were with arranged in an open semi-circle. The paths through the buildings are laid along informal areas of garden seeded with drought resistance grasses and there is a highbed food garden in the middle.We walked by fountains, funky sculptures, passed people riding primary colored google bikes and largely younger Googler sporting Google badges. They were talking, working on laptops and eating together in groups at brightly colored picnic tables scattered around the beach volley ball court. In pairs they were discussing projects (heard snippets of conversation) as they moved along the sunny bits of the park or greened spaces.

Maybe its the beautiful Californian weather. Admittedly our impression of Google headquarters was much more like a California university campus than the setting for the today’s titan of our digital universe. In this laid-back, relaxed atmosphere, the old cliché really does seem to apply:

It does not look like they are working!

And we thought they were out to change the world.