Search microcosm in a forced carpool

Yesterday my car was at the dealership. The dealer has a shuttle service that drops you off at home or work, and so there were four random people in the car besides the driver. Out of that semi-random sample of Silicon Valley folks, three out of the four were working on search! The other person could have been in search too, but he was cranky and/or hard-of-hearing, so he didn’t really talk much. ๐Ÿ™‚

Of the remaining three, there was me and a person working on Windows Live Search (just down the road from Google at Microsoft Research Silicon Valley). The third fellow was trying to get a search start-up off the ground. The start-up fellow didn’t want to mention his company’s name, but he was very proud of the fact that he was building a team of programmers in Romania. ๐Ÿ™‚ He said a friend of his had recently interviewed with Google and hadn’t gotten an offer, despite have an 800 on the math section of the SAT. He was convinced that getting a job at Google was all about who you knew. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I’d gladly trade the 800 score (if that was all I knew about the candidate) for someone that got a 720 on the math, but worked well in a team, communicated well, took the initiative, could work independently, cared about the company’s mission, had good industry knowledge, listened, executed well, etc.

The Windows Live guy was cool, and he asked about the recent “Best Place to Work” award from Fortune. I said that they do take pretty good care of us at the ‘plex. I thought about inviting him up to lunch sometime, but wasn’t sure whether it would be good etiquette or not, so I played it safe.

Stuff like that doesn’t happen in many places other than here, and it was a fun ride in the shuttle. ๐Ÿ™‚

75 Responses to Search microcosm in a forced carpool (Leave a comment)

  1. It’s not random, but the result of selection bias, Matt. I don’t know what make of car you drive, or how old it is, or what dealership you visited, but you (a search guy) made those choices and so did they (search people). Bias. It’s everywhere ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. “I didnโ€™t have the heart to tell him Iโ€™d gladly trade the 800 score (if that was all I knew about the candidate) for someone that got a 720 on the math, but worked well in a team, communicated well, took the initiative, could work independently, cared about the companyโ€™s mission, had good industry knowledge, listened, executed well, etc.”

    It’s good to know that people are starting to see past the employee that looks good on paper. I’ve been handed some impressive resumes and when I met the applicant(s) in person I had to wonder if they really had ever held a job at all…

  3. >>cared about the companyโ€™s mission

    Matt, what a perfect place to post about this recent news story, and what Google has accomplished with the mission of organizing the world’s information. And how important BRANDING is, way past anything resembling or even remotely related to business or marketing.

    Google to the rescue in child abuse case:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070105.gtabuse05/BNStory/Technology

    The kid knew enough to do a search for help, and knew the “name” of a search site to type in to search for help. That says a lot for branding and having a silly name that’s easy to remember. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Public posts are usually about and by webmasters with commercial interests, but there’s a whole private world out there that’s seldom posted about or even known about, that touches the life of PEOPLE in very special ways – including my own story of being re-united with long lost lost, precious family after decades – via Google Search.

    This isn’t a Google-arse-kissing post, it actually brings tears to my eyes and serves as a reality check. It’s about the potential of touching the lives of real people in a meaningful way – just because a couple of guys in a garage had a bright idea and a mision in their heads. This is one of the things we sometimes find that can remind us that the internet is for and all about people and their needs – even down to sweet little children like this little boy who got rescued by doing a search.

  4. Hi Matt,

    Nice to see your message, that you love to come to Hyderabad. We are group of young SEO’s would like to meet you. Is it possible ??

    Thanks,
    Amar

  5. In 1982 I was riding the shuttle bus to the Hertz cars at Logan airport and found that I was with two folks from a competitor. They were kind enough to discuss their sales strategy (rather loudly) with each other for me and the entire bus to hear. Since I was pitching to the customer first they helped me to preempt their pesentation. We won the business.

    A great learning experience. Interesting things happen on a bus.

    Ted

  6. i’m curious, why the start-up guy was so proud, cause he managed to build a team or because it’s in Romania?
    i’m from Romania too…:)

  7. Adam

    What a funny coincidence… or it could be a population sample (a bit small though) of Silicon Valley. Along with 60% of statistics are made up on the spot, now comes 75% of Search programmers in Silicon Valley are likely to have slightly uncomfortable meetings in shuttle services. LOL.

  8. mad4

    You mean people still work on Live Search? I thought they had abandoned it?

  9. Dyce

    I always find a quick chat with competitors to be refreshing… but you gotta watch what you say!

    Never had anything like that over here.. either get a courtesy car, or have to suffer public transport… funny where you meet new people ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Hey Matt. When you come to Seattle, you can have lunch with my company. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Hi,

    You’d think there would be some genetic bias against people discussing sensitive private plans loudly on public transport with one another or on mobile/cell phones. Maybe it just hasn’t had enough time to act on the gene pool. Maybe we need a sub-class of Darwin Award. I was on a train the other day with a woman LOUDLY arguing details with her ex on her phone that would quite possibly have allowed me to do a decent bit of ID theft and abduct her child from nursery. Goodness me!

    Still, at least G is not YET indexing that data and making it publicly available, even if uttered in the public domain as it were! Matt, don’t even THINK about it (except for really annoying people, maybe the first ones to shout “YES, I’M ON THE PLANE ON MY PHONE! GOOD, ISN’T IT!”).

    Rgds

    Damon

  12. I could never get a job at Google, I was more interested in girls and cars in high school. Barely graduated, took my SAT after coming back from a Grateful Dead concert where I suffered from a bad acid trip, took up drinking and my parents kicked me out of my house.

    Lived in my car and collected recycled cans to fund my destructive downward spiral all summer. Had a nervous break down, went to rehab and came out understanding that I wasted a quarter of my life.

    Google would never hire a person like me even if I have good genes. How about others?

  13. I didnโ€™t have the heart to tell him Iโ€™d gladly trade the 800 score (if that was all I knew about the candidate) for someone that got a 720 on the math, but worked well in a team, communicated well, took the initiative, could work independently, cared about the companyโ€™s mission, had good industry knowledge, listened, executed well, etc.

    Graned, while those attributes are generally desirable in the business world as well as socially, there must also be room for the less easy to get along with dissenters. who may not always be team players.

    You’d be surprise what those people can contribute, that others were too afraid to say, or just not naturally geared towards that mindset.

    Why is it that so-o many companies that were once at the top -DECLINED.

    Could it be surrounding oneself with too many people with those PREFERRED traits. And recoiling from those who deviated from that comfort-level.

    What if there was just ONE person who persistantly dissented and made a difference… assuming she would not have been fired or Outcasted ?????!!!!!!

    The whole point of the reply is to illustrate how the
    comments over the past year by SearchEnginesWeb – could potentially play a role in the survivability of a Google.

    NO employees would DARE say those things – Nor, would they say it so blatently and passionately.
    No Social contacts would DARE risk their ruining business relationships by being so …….. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    BUT take for example Yahoo or Microsoft or AltaVista
    Or take NetScape or IBM or WANG, or take the many DeadPools once powerful

    – would aggressive vocal dissenters have been able to make them see their flaws or their misdirections. Sure, they may not have been LIKED, but look at how history would have been changed

    Think about that the next time a comment is made that may APPEAR to be insulting –

    but our reactons are really reflections of the flawed traits of the business world and business egos of society .

    REALLY, think about IT!!

  14. >> Google would never hire a person like me even if I have good genes. How about others?

    ….no.

    On another note, I hear they have a bicycle repair shop at the ‘Plex, you mean to say they don’t have auto repair too??? Pfft! …”Best Place to Work”… ๐Ÿ˜›

  15. Ain’t it a small world?

    Search is a huge market, but the world of search seams to be pretty small nevertheless.

    Over here in The Netherlands it’s the same..we always run into each other at the most weird places!

  16. Nice, I was stuck with a guy who forgot what a shower is and a lady that wanted to tell me all about her 12 cats. ๐Ÿ™

  17. Matt you are right about pseudo-random sample. I believe that “signal intelligence” is very powerful, few fragments of information may be very interesting, ShoeMoney asks would you hire Matt Cats, guy from Live task bout “Fortune” and forth guy “hard-of-hearing” is key in this story… well who knows maybe he will hear you…

  18. andy

    Yeah, I agree having high scores doesn’t always mean that you are the best possible worker, and I thinkin’ workin for google requires more then knowing just math, especially when thir stocks keep on growing :))))))) http://www.trendio.com/word.php?wordid=1373&language=en

  19. “He said a friend of his had recently interviewed with Google and hadnโ€™t gotten an offer, despite have an 800 on the math section of the SAT”

    This is what I call a “Tester”. Testers take tests – SAT, Cisco certs, MSCE, aptitude, etc. and believe their score (and test preparation) qualifies them for a job. Testers do not believe group dynamics, communication skills, experience of any sort, ambition or abilities should have anything to do with obtaining a position. “I took the test, received an excellent score, where is my job?”

    “He was convinced that getting a job at Google was all about who you knew.”

    Testers often think jobs are handed out by a “good ole boy network” which they have been excluded from because of some conspiracy theory.

    Networking is good and responsible for most job opportunities. But networking is the reason for interviews, not job offers. Job offers come from ability, communication, committment, etc.

  20. That guy who was so proud of building a team in Romania, it is no surprise. As recent partners of the Eu they have a problem. They cannot move unless they have a job. The people who give them jobs have to apply for a permit and most employers are not prepared to do that, especially because there are very few full time jobs out there, most are short term contracts.

    The reason most of the intelligent Romanians want to get out is quite strait forward, the place is poor, very poor. If this guy is living and running a business in silicon valley, building a team of Romanians in Romania to do his bidding, there one reason why this would be happening really. He wants to pay them nothing and make big money with their skills.

    Charles Dickens in an article called ‘On Strike’ from his weekly periodical ‘Household Words’ 11 Feb 1854 said ‘Profits and wages have no connection whatever’.

    How far we have come in the modern world.

  21. Chris Hunt – Heh funny interviews but I did notice the first one was from seven years ago.

    Let me slightly threadjack this conversation with another question that I believe is relevant to Google’s success.

    Has Google failed in social areas (like tech support) because they rely on geeks to hire?

    There is a noticeable lack of sense of humor at Google, it is not exactly a bad thing but is shows.

  22. cornwall

    “semi-random sample”

    Nowhere near a semi random sample, its a sample of those who can afford an (expensive) car like yours, and who can afford an (expensive) dealership like yours.

    I would assume that is why you had like minded (employed) individuals in the car.

  23. This is just further evidence of my “Search engineers drive really crappy cars” theory.
    ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Jeff

    Ted, youโ€™re fired.

    A company I worked for was banned from doing business with a large federal government agency โ€“ a good customer โ€“ because a scientist fudged some numbers on a report. The company lost credibility across the board (a very, very big board) and hundreds of millions of dollars in existing and future contracts with that customer. Many jobs were also lost as a result (one in particular).

    From the ashes rose an ethics test given to all prospective and current employees. The test included a question that asked what you would do if you overheard a competitor discussing trade secrets or sales strategies. The right answer was not something like โ€œuse it to win contracts against themโ€.

    Iโ€™ll trade a few SAT points for solid ethics as well.

  25. he was cranky and/or hard-of-hearing, so he didnโ€™t really talk much

    Probably works on The Zune ๐Ÿ˜‰

  26. On certain days counting to 800 would give me troubles. … I think it would have been well within proper business manners to ask him to lunch. Having a captive audience is never a bad thing in business, kind of like you reading this post, I would be remiss if I did not ask you if you know of anyone looking to buy or sell real estate? ; )

  27. What makes this story even more amazing is that it happened at a Reliant Robin dealership! What’s the chance of that … ๐Ÿ˜‰

    http://www.3wheelers.com/robin.html

  28. Matt;

    Thank You!!!!

    (You know what for)

    ~Audrey

  29. Is 800 on SAT math such a big deal? US math test is just so simple. I scored 800 on GRE quantitative (with no single error out of 60 questions) and full score on GRE math pilot test (much harder questions).

    I am sure lots of Google employees scored such high on SAT/GRE math. It’s good to have the 800 score but many others things mentioned by Matt are also important.

  30. Jeff

    Soory using information overheard in public is not a fireing offence any how you would have to take it with a pinch of salt mayeb they wanted you to overhear.

    What’s the diference between a 720 and 800 SATS are what you use to get into Uni in the states right?

    Why arn’t they more interested in what class of degree they got or what there MSC/PHD.

    So Matt do G employ any people who havn’t been to Uni? though given the number of HR types maybe I should have done IPD rather than Cisco acreditaion as a back up carrear plan

  31. Matt,

    Have you ever thought about a career as the head of HR/People? Your approach sounds much better than the broken and brand damaging current practices of Laszlo Bock. ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Re: GOOG interviews, my experiences have been the same as others’.
    For example, during a phone screen, I answered a question correctly
    about the order of Unix system calls needed to create a TCP
    connection. The interviewer proceeded to argue with me that my
    answers were incorrect. I have since learned from Joel on Software
    that this is a common interview tactic to determine how “passionate”
    someone is. On another screen, I was expected to give the tcpdump
    command for printing out DNS packets. Sorry, I just don’t memorize
    that type of information. That’s what man pages are for.

    Perhaps I just don’t “get it”. There are a lot of good computer
    science questions that can be asked that test relevant knowledge and
    problem solving capability; I don’t see why GOOG insists on these
    trivia questions and head games.

  33. S.E.W., thank you for blinding me. A little word of advice, dude: when you highlight everything in bold and/or italicize it, it diminishes the marginal value of everything bolded and/or italicized. Tone it down, man.

    Oh yeah, and you’re dead wrong as usual.

    Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut…your post actually helped in a backward way. There’s nothing wrong with disagreeing with your employer/client (if you’re someone like me) or presenting a different point of view. But there’s a way to do it, and there’s a way not to do it.

    Your method? That’s the way not to do it. “Oh, the points SearchEnginesWeb has made, if only Matt and others would listen, Google would survive and become the greatest search engine of all time thanks to SearchEnginesWeb and make millions of dollars thanks to SearchEnginesWeb and everyone would be happy thanks to SearchEnginesWeb and…” Lose the ego trip. It doesn’t help anyone, especially you.

    Now…what Matt’s saying, and he’s dead right on this, is that there’s the type of person who may not appear to be the most qualified or knowledgeable on paper, but may bring intangibles to the equation that cannot be measured but may help a business grow and see profitability.

    One of the biggest problems I see here in Canada is that we obsess far too much over education. “Do you have a university degree? What is it in? Oh, that’s great, you’re hired.” Quite often, these people are mindless, soulless automatons without an original thought in their body or the ability to behave in anything other than a corporate syncophantic manner.

    This isn’t always true: I do know a number of people with a post-secondary education that are quite intelligent. But I quite often find that dealing with people who chose not to go to a post-secondary institution is more productive than dealing with those who did, because the former bring more of those intangibles and passion to the table, and legitimately care about what they’re doing. (That, and I don’t have to hear words like “infrastructure”, “customer-centric”, or my personal favourite, “scalable and robust architecture.”)

    Jack also summed it up quite well too when he mentioned the number of “I passed a test, where’s my job?” types out there. Good call, Jack. I’m with you 100% there…and 100% is the grade I got on my last test, so hire me, or you’re a corporate good ol’ boy yourself. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  34. By the way, there’s a question that didn’t get asked in this whole equation that is of deep social consequence:

    Matt, why are you taking your car to the dealership anyway? If you want to waste money, just give it to me. I’ll spend it for ya. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  35. I thought Google had a garage on the complex.

  36. Bentley? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  37. > Google would never hire a person like me even if I have good genes.

    I don’t know what Google would think, but assuming defeat is probably not a desirable quality for most employers. It sounds like you fought hard to get where you are now, which indicates some great qualities for a demanding position.

  38. probably just a glitch

    but your showing a pr of 0 9:45 in the uk?

  39. Alok

    Didn’t need a 800 maths score to answer that spam protection: question too …

    Sounds like California and silicon valley are the place to be for software. I quite like the sound of 4 strange people in a car and all find that they are working in the same industry and similar jobs. There is only one other place where I have personally known this to happen, a place diametrically opposite to the valley which was a few years called Bangalore, and now whatever the local political thugs cooked up for their populist whims.

  40. Hi Matt,

    I know you won’t have much todo with hiring a firing but I thought perhaps you could find out and report back. If you do I’m sure there would be a lot of interested people around the world, who like me secretly dream of one day working for a large search engine…

    How does google handle job applications from overseas?

    Take me as an example, I live in New Zealand, and have BSc in Computer Science. Since I don’t have a work permit for the US is there any point in my applying for a job at the googleplex? Or would the costs associated with interviewing me, moving countries, applying for work permits mean that Google would just choose someone closer by? What kind of hurdles does google have to jump through to get someone a work permit? Is it true that you would have to prove that you can’t get an american citizen who can do the job?

    It is quite likely you get a million questions like this a day, so I’m sorry to add to the load ๐Ÿ™‚

    Cheers,

    James Brunskill

  41. My first thought with the Google job application horror stories was “Ooo, a room full of shiny things to play with!!”. That’s more fun than any job interview I’ve been too.

    I am a bit curious about how Google handles entry level people. It’d be unrealistic to expect very high levels of technical knowledge with just a bachelors degree (you’ll have some, but without industry experience, a lot of the detail would be lacking). Oddly none of the Google-interviews-are-evil things I’ve seen have been about that level of job.

  42. ….720 on the math, but worked well in a team, communicated well, took the initiative, could work independently, cared about the companyโ€™s mission, had good industry knowledge, listened, executed well….
    Matt! This is exactly ME. (better cuz it’s a pre-recalibrated 720).
    But alas, I’m way too old for Google.

  43. I’m way too bad in math for Google! lol

    But it’s good to know that a company works well because it recruites the best “all-round people” around, and not just the smartest. Makes sense.

    When I read that you were in the same car as a Live Search guy, I thought there was a kidnap history coming…

  44. There are plenty of questions that an interviewer can ask a new or
    recent graduate from a bachelor’s program in computer science. There
    is no need to ask trivia questions or play mind games. I remember
    going on interviews at companies even before I graduated (back in the
    days of lineprinters) where people just asked me questions that
    pertained to the subject matter of classes.

  45. Hi Matt –

    The sample in your shuttle is definitely indicative of the industry in your area. And the comment by the “guy with a friend” also brings up another argument – how IMPORTANT is a college degree….really?

    I do not have a college degree (suprise suprise, why else would I have brought the subject up?) I work for a search marketing company and 98% of my (much younger) co-workers DO have college degrees – yet I have achieved more in my time here than 90% of the “educated” co-workers because of my work ethic. If I donโ€™t know an answerI will go find out – and Iโ€™m not afraid to keep a dictionary on my desk.

    In my opinion – how hard someone will work and how much pride they take in that work is 10x more important than what paper hangs on their wall or what their test scores are.

    I’m glad Google is moving in this direction.

    Have a great week!
    ~Carrie

  46. “Stuff like that doesnโ€™t happen in many places other than here, and it was a fun ride in the shuttle. ”

    What other places have you worked that you can say that with enough certainty to not being proven wrong?

    The world is a lot bigger than silicon valey,. ๐Ÿ™‚

  47. What a neat idea…

    Maybe this afternoon I’ll run out to the bus stop down the road here from our Lexington, KY office and see if I can dig up some juicy Search/Web 2.0 insights.

    If anything good comes of it I’ll be sure to follow-up post….

  48. >>for someone that got a 720 on the math

    I scored 720 and I work well on teams. Does that mean I can work at Google?

    I just looked at the best places articel Starbucks has 109,873 employees – man that’s a lot of coffee going around.

  49. ‘worked well in a team, communicated well, took the initiative, could work independently, cared about the companyโ€™s mission, had good industry knowledge, listened, executed well’

    If someone is capable of all these things, the SAT math scores should be completely irrelevant.

  50. What happened in that shuttle is an egregious and inexcusable breach of confidence and confidentiality, IMHO.

    A long time ago I worked for the military (US Navy) as a civilian employee with a security clearance – which I took very seriously, as it should and must be. When you went to the elevators to leave the floor, there were BIG signs on the walls that said:

    When you leave here,
    What you see hear, and
    What you hear here…
    When you leave here,
    Leave it here.

    That left a permanent mark on me, and I’ve always adhered to that (even when not necessary or required). And as an SEO forum moderator for many years, I can’t begin to count the number of times “snitch” or otherwise unacceptable posts have been pulled that I knew, by all rights, really should be reported to the engines for very good reasons. There’s been considerable stress and inner conflict over that very issue.

    When people work for an organization there’s a certain responsibility of stewardship that’s needed, and things that should even instinctively, if not explicitly and mandated, be known to be proprietary information shouldn’t be discussed – not only beyond the walls, but even to most other employees within the same organization.

    Information, where security clearances are concerned, is only divulged on a “need to know” basis – and any mention anyplace should be based on that criteria. Certainly not in a place where parties of unknown affiliations might be present.

    Just MHO.

  51. How about this guy go by the name of John Draper? Is he qualified for google?

    If you don’t know him please read:
    http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB116863379291775523-_EQCu93LyjSommsN6J7qiCozuu8_20070122.html?mod=blogs
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Draper

    Well I don’t know if google is willing to hire him, but after reading this heart-breaking story, I’d guess that if there’s one place that can accommodate his talent AND eccentricity that might be google.

    Maybe Bill or Steve cannot appreciate his talent but Larry and Sergey can right? This guy has the power to contribute yet he’s left alone to do websites now….

  52. Wow that’s a very interesting post. So on the way to work or home from your dealership you had to ride in a shuttle and this shuttle happened to have several other people in it at the same time as you that works in the search industry. What’s the odds of that happening?

  53. David

    I guess someone in that carpool had some infectious diseases.
    Matt wont be posting until the found the cure.

  54. ISAAC, you’ve got to be kidding right?

    Sit down and talk with him for 20 minutes and you’ll change your mind.

  55. Matt:

    If there is one thing that an inspiring young person can learn from your posts, this may be one the most important things you have ever shared. As CEO of eTrafficJams.com, I can tell you first hand that most companies will take an excellent team worker with slightly above average scores over someone that scores off the charts but can not work well with a team.

    This is one of the reasons why I am involved with Odyssey of the Mind (www.odysseyofthemind.com) as a coach…to help kids learn to work as a team while building out their creativity.

  56. Gotta be careful what you say in public in Silicon Valley – you never know when the competition may be sitting right next to you… ๐Ÿ™‚

  57. Issac,

    Maybe if John ‘Capt. Crunch’ Drapier gives Larry and Sergey one of his infamous ‘Energy Tranfers’.

    -douglas

  58. Why would someone even mention SAT. Come on, SAT is for getting into college and frankly 800 in Math really means nothing, a lot of people get it. Anyhow, that’s pretty cool and its funny how you excluded the guy who has his own start up. Do “corporate” people dsicriminate against startupers until they make it big time?

  59. Never once have I met anyone that is involved in search. Forget about 2 in one shuttle bus trip.

    By the way, does anyone have any idea when the next round of page ranks will be allocated?

  60. I thought I’d actually leave a comment for a change! Thanks so much for all the valuable tips-as well as the sometimes amusing posts. Makes me wish (sometimes) I lived in Silicon Valley too.

  61. Is it just me or is Matt’s blogging frequency getting longer and longer. It’s been a weeks since his last blog entry. maybe he is away on holiday or something?

  62. SEO Company UK, I was on vacation last week and I’m just now getting back into everything.

  63. I wonder if history will repeat itself, and that someday Silicon Valley will become known as the home of the ‘Big 3 Search Engines’ in the same way that Detroit has the ‘Big 3 Auto Makers’.

  64. Harith

    Hi Matt

    “SEO Company UK, I was on vacation last week and Iโ€™m just now getting back into everything.”

    The regular users of your blog know that you were on a short vacation.. at last ๐Ÿ™‚

    Btw, how was it to have few days with Mrs Cutts away from GOOG, Adam Lasnik, blogs, TW and us ๐Ÿ˜‰

  65. Googler In-Law

    I have three relatives working at Google. One was a *very* early employee. The other two bounced around at various startups trying to get rich, but no success. So the first guy offered to help them get jobs at Google.

    The pair involved are very sweet, but not geniuses by any means. They got the jobs. They were very honest that the first guy was key in getting them in, first getting them to be considered at all, then coaching them through the interview process, which they had to redo several times to pass. Now everyone is happily enjoying their options.

    So I would have to say that knowing the right people matters. It may not outweigh merit, but the stranger the interview process the greater the value in having an insider walk you through it. As Google gets bigger, this nepotistic/friendship effect may be hard to avoid.

  66. Ride on mass transit in any East European city and you’ll run into lots of people working for U.S.A startups.

  67. I did have a good time, Harith, but I credit that just as much to trying a bunch of fun new things as much as not getting online for a week. I tried not using any computers for a week, and it was an interesting experiment. It turns out that you free up enough time to try a bunch of other stuff. ๐Ÿ™‚

  68. Matt;

    I wrote a post on my blog that I think you and your wife might enjoy… Go check it out, it’s called “Seo and Romance” LOL

  69. Jon

    Matt,

    I just graduated from school and movin out to mountain view to work for a startup . After hearing stories like that i’m even more excited about going… completely shot in the dark but email me if you’d like to meet up for lunch. i’m a young kid running a dot-com and it would be an absolutely awesome welcome to the valley.

  70. Matt, one word my friend, limo. (deep inside you know I’m right)

  71. Jon, I would enjoy that, and I hope we intersect someday. Right now I’m barely keeping my head above water in terms of workload though; I’m about 400 emails behind where I need to be. ๐Ÿ™‚ You might mention the idea to Adam Lasnik though; he might be a little more of top of things than I am right now..

  72. Audrey, nice! ๐Ÿ™‚

  73. Actually this was a quite humerous post. Most of the time when I’m dropping my car off at Acura and take the vanpool thing into work you get the silent approach in the car, with maybe one nasty person in the back who gets a message on their Blackberry and decides that it would be the perfect time to yell on the cell phone. I guess maybe it is a difference between Nor Cal and So Cal?

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