Jay Greene, CNET News (April 17, 2012)
"The Web giant picked its new GBike, created by a team of Google engineers, from among nearly three dozen submissions in a company-wide design competition. It debuts later this month."
(Google, via CNET, used w/o permission)
"The new GBike, designed by Google engineers, will debut at the company's Mountain View, Calif., campus by the end of April."
"When it came time to redesign the colorful bikes scattered about Google's massive Mountain View, Calif., campus, the company knew exactly who to turn to for next generation of its GBikes: Googlers themselves.
"Last fall, the company launched a competition among employees to replace the 2-year-old fleet of bikes available to workers at the Googleplex to pedal from one building to another. The idea was to come up with a user-friendly, low-maintenance bike.
" 'We've got an entrepreneurial and innovative culture,' said Brendon Harrington, Google's transportation operations manager. 'We said, "You tell us what you think is a cool design." '
"The company listed four design criteria. The bike had to be easy to produce. It needed to be affordable. The bike had to be both comfortable and secure. And, in a nod to its culture, the bike had to be Googley, using novel components, structure, and appearance...."
This, in the Lemming's opinion, is part of what makes Google successful. It's a 'big business' that says it values the skills and opinions of its employees. And then acts as if that's true.
It's a radical idea: but seems to work for Google. Maybe other big companies could learn from Google's example.
As for why the Lemming isn't ranting about how everybody, everywhere, should ride bicycles all the time? For starters, the Lemming lives in central Minnesota. The climate here isn't quite the same as Mountain View's. And that's another topic.
- "Rose Bowl Helmets, Jell-O Cartons, and the Italian Renaissance"
(January 11, 2012)
- "Google's 13th, and Where Did the Month Go?!"
(September 27, 2011)
- "Interior Design: Something a Little Different"
(March 12, 2011)
- "Google, China, Censorship, Compromise: 'Totally Wrong;' or, Not"
(March 23, 2010)
- "Better Ideas From Norway: A Bicycle Lift"
(June 7, 2008)