Just got back from visiting Google HQ for lunch today. Check out my photo album. I'll be adding more descriptions to the photos later.
I had a wonderful time there. I got to meet lots of great Googlers and see all sorts of famous stuff. A lot of people (especially those in marketing and PR) said they read my blog and loved it. I'm sort of curious why, since I expect they know most of what I write. Is my perspective as an outsider useful? (Tell me.)
At lunch we discussed my goals for the weblog. I like breaking stories first, but I'm more interested in putting together all the news in one place (which I owe to all the people who send me news). We noted that the things I'm interested in are very different than the normal press. They went wild over Google's deal with AOL, I went over the details Google's new redirect-on-no-matches feature.
I asked them what their new top secret project was. They didn't tell me, but they said it would be introduced on Thursday. (Stay tuned.) They were great about letting me ask questions and take photos but there were only two things that were off limits: whiteboards and their crayon graph of Google's popularity over time (it's going up). I unfortunately ran out of room and batteries on my camera (I woke up late and forgot to charge it properly) so I didn't photograph everything I wanted. Maybe next time.
For example, the fellow who did the crayon graph is part of the production team. He had a little pice of art with a stick figure man hanging on a wire over a hungry shark. A nearby sticky note reads "a typical day in the life of a production engineer". The height of the man is adjustable based on how well the day is going. I'd imagine he'd fall into the shark's jaws on Mondays, when Google's traffic spikes way up.
All in all it was a great trip. I've got a few more photos which I'll upload when my camera recharges. Send me your questions.
Posted by Aaron Swartz on May 13, 2002 06:47 PM