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Inside Amazon's Bizarre Corporate Culture. I'd love to hear something from more recently than 2009 - half a decade ago is a huge amount of time, especially with a tech company. Me too, so if you know any Amazon executives, please have them email me. my brother is a CS Major working in seattle at a huge company for the last year now. it's a wonderful place to work, but he still talks to his friend from college who worked at amazon for about a year. his life was hell. they treated him like shit and was constantly stressed, put in insane hours and they were constantly telling him how people want his job. when you talk to the computer people around here, you'll here the same thing. amazon is the WORST place to work. they survive on recent grads like my brother's friend, who are just trying to land a job.

(all this was in 2013ish, so really recent) Google Employees Confess The Worst Things About Google. Google EarthGoogle founder Sergey Brin Disclaimer A job at Google. It's career heaven, right? How could a gig at the biggest, most ambitious tech company on the planet possibly be bad? Well, take a look at this Quora thread, which is being used by current and former Google employees to dish the dirt on working for Big G. We've edited some of the standout comments into this excerpt. Everyone is awesome, so they can hire the very best people to do even the most mundane jobs. "The worst part of working at Google, for many people, is that they're overqualified for their job. "There are students from top 10 colleges who are providing tech support for Google's ads products, or manually taking down flagged content from YouTube, or writing basic code to A|B test the color of a button on a site.

" Google staff are so outstanding that there's an internal joke about it. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith Google is not a startup any more. "Google was not a start-up environment by the time I left. Office Space. Amazon and the "profitless business model" fallacy — Remains of the Day. [DISCLOSURE: As always when I write about Amazon, I'll note I worked there from 1997-2004 and that I still own some shares in the company.

I still have many friends who work there, though I have no more idea what Amazon is working on now than any of you in the public.] With every quarterly earnings call, my Twitter feed lights up with jokes about how Amazon continues to grow its revenue and make no profits and how trusting investors continue to rewards the company for it. The apotheosis of that line of thoughts is a quote from Slate's Matthew Yglesias earlier this year: "Amazon, as best I can tell, is a charitable organization being run by elements of the investment community for the benefit of consumers. " It's a great quote, one that got so much play Amazon even featured it in its Annual Letter to Shareholders. But like much of the commentary about Amazon, it's a misreading of Amazon's business model.

I'm fairly certain most of Amazon's retail businesses remain quite profitable. The Amazon Mystery: What America's Strangest Tech Company Is Really Up To - Derek Thompson. Investors love Jeff Bezos's global-everything store, even though they aren't making any money from it yet—and it's not clear how they will. Amazon’s logistics machine recalls Sears, Roebuck’s pneumatic-tube-powered warehouse. The company may become the Sears of this century. (Ross D. Franklin/AP) If there’s a sentence that sums up Amazon, the weirdest major technology company in America, it’s one that came from its own CEO, Jeff Bezos, speaking at the Aspen Institute’s 2009 Annual Awards Dinner in New York City: “Invention requires a long-term willingness to be misunderstood.” In other words: if you don’t yet get what I’m trying to build, keep waiting.

Four years later, Amazon’s annual revenue and stock price have both nearly tripled, but for many onlookers, the long wait for understanding continues. Seriously: What is Amazon? Second, investors have developed a seemingly unconditional love for Amazon, despite the company’s reticence and, more to the point, its financial performance. What Is 'Evil' to Google? - Ian Bogost. Last week, another distasteful use of your personal information by Google came to light: The company plans to attach your name and likeness to advertisements delivered across its products without your permission.

As happens every time the search giant does something unseemly, Google's plan to turn its users into unwitting endorsers has inspired a new round of jabs at Google's famous slogan "Don't be evil. " While Google has deemphasized the motto over time, it remains prominent in the company's corporate code of conduct, and, as a cornerstone of its 2004 Founder's IPO Letter, the motto has become an inescapable component of the company's legacy. Famous though the slogan might be, its meaning has never been clear. In the 2004 IPO letter, founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin clarify that Google will be "a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short term gains.

" Of course, Google doesn't say so in as many words; the company never defines "evil" directly. Jeff Bezos’s League of Shadows. Amazon can be a uniquely challenging place to work, with its question-mark emergencies and the occasionally volcanic outburst from the visionary chief executive. It’s a place where promotions are hard-fought and sometimes painfully public. But there is also a job at Amazon (AMZN) that is highly coveted throughout the company and that nearly anyone in business would kill for. The man holding this job—and they have all been men so far—has had direct, almost unlimited access to Jeff Bezos for as long as two years. He follows Bezos around, travels with him, sits in on his meetings, and confers with him at the end of many workdays. The job title is unofficially the “shadow” to the CEO, or more formally, the technical assistant or technical adviser.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has had shadows since the late 90s. Leschly spent three months shadowing Bezos, and today, as CEO of charter school company Match Education, he remembers it as among the most valuable experiences of his career. Careers at Amazon: Why It's So Hard to Climb Jeff Bezos's Corporate Ladder. Inside the Internet juggernaut (AMZN), there’s near constant pressure to perform. In dozens of interviews ranging over two years for my book, The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, employees often sounded exhilarated as they boasted that they have never before exerted a more direct influence on products and customers. Just as frequently, they sounded frustrated and overwhelmed, beset by what they described as an adversarial culture and a grinding pace of work. Amazon declined to comment on its internal workings for the book or the excerpt appearing in Bloomberg Businessweek.

But in my interviews with rank and file employees, one common complaint I heard is that positive feedback from superiors is rare and promotions even rarer. This, it turns out, is probably by design. “OLRs give us the opportunity to identify our future leaders and prepare them for their next challenging role,” it reads. The discussions can get heated. •Directors are level 8. Thieves, Spies, and Silicon Valley Startups: A Cautionary Tale. Last Christmas Eve, a man broke into Adara Networks’ San Jose headquarters, using copies of both physical and electronic keys.

He seemed to know exactly what he was looking for. The thief left rows of desks untouched as he cruised toward the lab holding the source code for Adara’s proprietary data-center networking software. Fortunately for Adara, he triggered an alarm on the lab door and fled. “Snatch and grab” crimes, in which crooks enter an office and carts off a few loose laptops, happen occasionally in Silicon Valley.

Chief Executive Officer Eric Johnson sensed that his case was more serious, though. Silicon Valley has a long history of thievery and espionage. In decades past, KGB spies lurked at bars such as Walker’s Wagon Wheel in Mountain View, Calif., where semiconductor engineers hung out and talked shop. To make it harder for the thieves, some companies are paying for “penetration testing,” hiring security consultants to probe their defenses.

Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon: Excerpt From ‘The Everything Store’ by Brad Stone. Behind this week’s cover rivals Wal-Mart as a store, Apple as a device maker, and IBM as a data services provider. It will rake in about $75 billion this year. For his book, Bloomberg Businessweek’s Brad Stone spoke to hundreds of current and former friends of founder Jeff Bezos. In the process, he discovered the poignant story of how Amazon became the Everything Store. Within (AMZN) there’s a certain type of e-mail that elicits waves of panic. When Amazon employees get a Bezos question mark e-mail, they react as though they’ve discovered a ticking bomb. One of the more memorable escalations occurred in late 2010. At Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, Jeff Wilke, the senior vice president for North American retail, Doug Herrington, the vice president for consumables, and Steven Shure, the vice president for worldwide marketing, waited in a conference room until Bezos glided in briskly.

An animated argument followed. Eventually, they compromised. Boom Brands 2013 - Tumblr. TumblrFounded: 2007 Age of CEO: 27 Number of Tumblr users: 140 millionLesson: Youth can be worth more than $1 billion to a twenty-year-old Internet company. In mid-May, a few days before Yahoo announced it would be acquiring Tumblr, there was a housewarming party in Greenpoint. A Tumblr employee was moving into an apartment with a friend who happened to be dating another ­Tumblr employee, and the overlapping social circles resulted in a room full of Tumblr people. It was Saturday night. Late the previous afternoon, a cluster of posts had appeared on tech blogs with the announcement that Yahoo’s board would be meeting on Sunday to approve a $1.1 billion offer for Tumblr, and though everyone at the party had read the posts—or fielded texts from someone who had—nobody had really paid attention.

Rumors skittered around the office on a weekly basis. Employees always joked that it didn’t matter what kind of options you had because Tumblr was never going to sell. Plus: Yahoo? Jeff Bezos, Switchboard Operator. I drive a rental car through the rich gray green of overwatered, undersunned Seattle suburbs that border a city rising like a prize at the end of the road. The trees are the color of dried oregano, the air dense and wet. I’m going into Amazon country to meet Jeff Bezos, the king of this lush land (these days the old king, Bill Gates, is resting comfortably by the water saving the world). It’s my first time here – I’ve been covering Amazon products for years and our household could probably be re-papered in Amazon-branded cardboard boxes – and I’m excited to make the man’s acquaintance. I’m led into a room by an assistant and there he is, impeccably dressed in close-fitting jeans, a dark button down, and wingtips that looked like they came out of the closet of Rick Deckard, Blade Runner.

In preparation I asked around to see what folks had experienced while interviewing him. One reporter noted that he rarely wore belts. I was ready. That’s when the new products came out. “Yes. He laughs. How BlackBerry blew it: The inside story. This investigative report reveals that: Shortly after the release of the first iPhone, Verizon asked BlackBerry to create a touchscreen “iPhone killer.” But the result was a flop, so Verizon turned to Motorola and Google instead.In 2012, one-time co-CEO Jim Balsillie quit the board and cut all ties to BlackBerry in protest after his plan to shift focus to instant-messaging software, which had been opposed by founder Mike Lazaridis, was killed by current CEO Thorsten Heins.Mr. Lazaridis opposed the launch plan for the BlackBerry 10 phones and argued strongly in favour of emphasizing keyboard devices. But Mr. Heins and his executives did not take the advice and launched the touchscreen Z10, with disastrous results Late last year, Research In Motion Ltd. chief executive officer Thorsten Heins sat down with the board of directors at the company’s Waterloo, Ont., headquarters to review plans for the launch of a new phone designed to turn around the company’s fortunes.

Mr. Why a Killer Twitter IPO Could End Up Killing Twitter | Wired Business. Twitter’s IPO is going to be killer. Looking at the latest data on social media advertising — the stuff at the core of Twitter’s business model — the company is in a great position to rake in the dollars over the next several years. That’s good news for anyone who buys stock in the company after it goes public, which could happen any day now. But as Twitter reaches for those ad dollars, it could also kill the party for the people who use Twitter — people like you and me.

Worldwide ad spending on social networks grew by more than one-third last year and is on track to grow at an even greater rate this year, according to digital marketing research firm eMarketer. The social network seeing the greatest growth by far: Twitter. But once it goes public, Twitter will have no choice but to strive to maximize shareholder returns, which would appear to create a Catch-22. No doubt the company will work to strike the right balance between those two worlds. Image: eMarketer. The worst things about working at Facebook. The Only Place People Shop Online Is Amazon - Rebecca Greenfield. The Brazilian Billionaire Who Controls Your Beer, Your Condiments, and Your Whopper. After they sold H.J. Heinz to Warren Buffett and a bunch of Brazilians in June, the ketchup manufacturer’s outgoing board of directors met for dinner at Pittsburgh’s Duquesne Club to congratulate themselves on a job well done. Twenty-three billion dollars had just changed hands.

The takeover price, at $72.50 a share, was almost 20 percent higher than the company’s recent all-time high. “We said we’re all going to miss each other, but we felt we had done right by the shareholders,” says Dean O’Hare, who’d sat on the board since 2000. The only really un-Buffettlike aspect of the deal, other than the high price, was the Brazilians. In the U.S., Lemann is virtually unknown, even though he and his two longtime partners, Marcel Herrmann Telles and Carlos Alberto Sicupira, now control three icons of U.S. consumer culture: Heinz ketchup, Burger King, and, after the $52 billion takeover of Anheuser-Busch in 2008, Budweiser beer. In Brazil, Lemann is a business-class hero. Marissa Mayer Biography. Our Plan: John D. Rockefeller and the Combination of American Oil | EGEE 120: Oil: International Evolution. Printer-friendly version Reading Assignment Read the second chapter in The Prize, then review the online notes that follow.

The questions below should help guide your reading and viewing as to the important individuals, issues, or topics. Read text Chapter 2, “'Our Plan': John D. Rockefeller and the Combination of American Oil" Consider the following questions: What is market power? Later, towards the end of this lesson, you can watch the related video episodes from the documentary film series based on the book. Chapter 2 Themes The major themes of Chapter 2 (Our Plan) include: Early oil industry, highly competitive – many playersStandard Oil (SO) emerged as dominant firm – gained by cost reduction and aggressive but legal tacticsSO first modern corporation – legal entity with limited liability and bureaucratic structure John D.

John D. Credit: Public Domain John D. Rockefeller and Clark had a dispute over the speed of expansion (mainly with the oil refineries). The Oil Wars Concluding Remarks. The Rockefellers . American Experience . WGBH. The history of the Rockefellers. The Prize (Part 1 of 8) - "Our Plan" Andrew Carnegie: The Richest Man in the World. The Myth of the Robber Barons with Burt Folsom. Burt Folsom — Where History, Money, and Politics Collide.