Visiting Avinash @ Google in the Valley



The Friday following Emetrics, while Aurélie was attending the Predictive Analytics two day course, I was invited by Avinash to visit him at Google. I have to admit that I was pretty excited with the idea to visit Google’s offices as I didn’t attend the GAAC training in Dublin. So after a nice breakfast with Matthew and Jim I took a cab and went ahead to Mountain-view.

I had a taximan from Morocco that while driving was always looking to the back as we were having a very engaged discussion about the political situation of his country (in a Arabic influenced french). I have to admit that I regret to have launched the conversation as when we arrived at the highway I was afraid that we would get into an accident. But fortunately I got safe to Google’s HQ (a bit shaky I have to admit ;-)).

entrance_google.jpgFrom the outside it looked like a University campus with young people discussing outside or riding in bicycles. I then arrived at the Building 41 where I had to meet Avinash. The reception desk was as what Aurélie described me from Dublin, you had to register in a computer and then sign an NDA electronically. In that NDA I was forbidden to take pictures, so you’ll have to excuse me if I don’t show you anything from the inside.

Avinash then came to pick me up and we started the tour. The facilities were awesome and they had all kinds of things as washing room for your clothes, fitness centers, I even had the chance to see how a Tech Talk was taking place and Avinash told me about one he had attended recently of a guy that was explaining how to better combine personal and professional life applying Buddhist principles.

But well, I didn’t come just for the tour, so we went to his office as I needed to make him a quick training on OniSystem, our Emarketing Platform, as we just finished the integration of the design of his website (he also showed me his book). When Avinash decided to become an independent consultant and launched his brand ‘ZQ Insights’, we decided to make him a present and Manuela, my sister that is one of the Designers at OX2 (yes, we really are a family business ;-)) did his logo, business cards and website design (view the presentation she did back then with Avinash’s corporate identity at the end of this post). During Emetrics London I already had given him his business cards and now it was time for the website that we finally had had the time to integrate. I won’t be able to show you the website yet as Avinash has the hot potato of having to write the content 😉

food_avinash_rene_google.jpgAfter an hour of training (Avinash really gets it fast ;-)), we went down to have lunch. It was amazing to see all the different eating places they have at Google and what a variety of cuisines! And yes, all for free. So we picked up something to eat and we step outside to have lunch and discuss about our respective businesses. I won’t enter into specifics of the conversation but it was a very interesting one. It’s always great to have an external vision and I have to admit that Avinash can be of great support, also I have to thank him for sharing with me his objectives now that he has become an independent consultant. It will be great to have the opportunity to work together some of these days 😉

And after 4 hours discussing (I think I could have stayed a week) it was time for me to get back to the Hotel and let Avinash get back to work 😉 But before getting into the taxi Avinash gave me some new Google Analytics T-Shirts for my team.

Thank you Avinash for your time and to the readers, if you have the opportunity to visit Google: Accept it, it is very interesting to see such a different working environment!

Avinash new Brand identity (ZQ Insights):

Bonnus material Avinash speaking about the importance of investing in people (his 10/90 rule):


4 Responses to “Visiting Avinash @ Google in the Valley”

  1. Avinash Kaushik Says:

    René: Every single time I hand out my business cards the recipient will praise it. It has never happened that the card has not received a smile and words like “oh so cool / pretty!” I am deeply grateful to Manuela for her wonderful design and to you for the efficient execution (what a surprise that was in London!). Thank you.

    PS: I am so glad you were able to make time and visit the Googleplex, the conversation was sparkling to say the least.

    PPS: I did not realize I move my hands about so much! How embarrassing!!

  2. Daniel Waisberg Says:

    Sounds really exciting! If Avinash would open Google’s doors for Web Analysts to visit him, the line would probably go as far as New York 😀

  3. Lars Says:

    Wow, what a day! I envy you. 😉 There is really only one thing about Google that I am uncertain of at the moment — their recruitment policy. No doubt they have a ton of really talented and exceptional people working for them. No doubt they struck a goldmine when they wanted Avinash as a consultant.

    My issue with Google is this: do they cover all sixteen squares of MBTI? Do they try hard enough not to introduce a bias in the recruitment process? My impression is that in some regards they’re taking a wide approach while in others being a bit close-minded. I know some talented people who can’t get a job at Google due to what, to me, seems as “snobbism”. But I may be wrong. There are some Google “rejects” that I’d love to hire. 🙂

  4. S.Hamel Says:

    René, I’m sure 99% of the eMetrics attendees would have traded their shorts to be in yours! (hmmm… not sure this will convey my message correctly… oh well!)
    Seriously, having the chance to visit the Googleplex is already something, visiting it with Avinash most have been pure heaven!

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