I am having lunch at the Google Gurgaon office one day.
Standing in line at the North Indian counter.
And in front of me is a Googler.
This dude steps away from the line to check what the menu of the day is.
And goes, “Damn! Aaj phir se daal makhani hai!”
(Translated: Damn!! I have to subject myself to the torture of eating butter-laden richly cooked lentils for 2 consecutive days of my hard-earned life!)
And I stood there. Amazed.
Wondering what is it that this person has done in his life to be troubled by the fact that he is getting to eat daal makhani for 2 days of his life?
So, I came up with this theory of how Google started.
When Larry and Sergey (the founders of Google) started it, they said:
“We are going to create the biggest experiment that this world has ever seen.
And here is how it will work.
We will get a set of super-smart people in a room (we will call it a company later on). And we will give them the most complex problems to work on.
But we will also give them stuff they didn’t expect.
Free lunches. Bean bags. They can come whenever they want. Leave whenever they want. Bring their pets to work. Sleep at work. Take 20% off and do their own thing.
And over time
They will stand in front of the mirror and say, ‘I deserve this!’”
But then Larry and Sergey were statisticians.
They know that it is impossible that EVERYONE would feel this way.
There has to be a percentage, however small, that doesn’t.
Let’s assume 1%.
So they said, “If we build a large enough company, say 100,000 (Google’s employee count), then 1% or 1,000 people will get up every morning and say:
‘WE DON’T DESERVE THIS.
We are going to work super hard everyday to get close to hopefully feeling one day that we deserve this.’
And those 1,000 will move the company forward.
The remaining 99,000 are just filling in a seat.
They are smart, no doubt, but their level of entitlement makes them dispensable.
It is the 1% that creates magic.
This, my friend, is not true about Google. It is true everywhere.
It is the 1% who do not feel entitled that drive it forward.
Are you that 1%?