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Google: Steps Toward a Cold Corporation

Kevin [PersonRank 0]

Friday, April 6, 2007
12 years ago3,299 views

I sent what I thought was a reasonable inquiry to Google investor relations:

"I am an 18 year old shareholder and will be visiting the area
for my sister's SCU graduation in June. Is it at all possible to visit the
Googleplex and take a look around? I've been a fan for a long time and
would love to see the famous campus. Thanks for any help – Kevin"

I presumed the warm, inviting company which I have followed for so long would be happy to accommodate my curiosity even if it was just for 1/2 hour or so. After all, this is the company I have evangelized and even convinced my dad to drop $350 into in my name for the stock.

Much to my surprise I received the following form letter back:

"Thank you for your interest in visiting Google. We're unable to
accommodate visits to our campus at this time; however, we hope to offer public visits in the future. If you'd like to learn more about Google, including search services, corporate information, services available for site owners, and much more, please check google.com/about.html

As a shareholder, you are welcome to attend our Annual Shareholder's meeting. You will be receiving information about this meeting in your proxy.

Additionally, you may be interested in reading the Google Blog, which keeps you up to date on all the latest happenings at Google. Check out our Blog at google.com/googleblog/

We appreciate your interest in Google and thank you for taking the time to write."

Now, I understand the constraints and the fact that they don't know that I follow their corporate blog and others w/ a vengeance, but I was just struck by the coldness of this email. It's really too bad.

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Why don't you move to Yahoo instead? I wouldn't but you know if you don't like Google anymore. Yahoo blogoscoped is blog.inner-court.com

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Not really! [just a joke]

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Here you go. Maybe this will make the corporation seem a little less icy:

maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF ...

Richard Brandt [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Google is notoriously secretive. I sneaked onto their campus with my reporter's notebook once, just to get a little color for my book. I was picked up by security cameras and stopped by security guards who threatened to take my notebook. After they contacted PR, who knew who I was, they let me go, saying I could still look around, but could NOT talk to anyone. Google is not a warm and fuzzy company.

pacificdave [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

"Is it at all possible to visit the Googleplex and take a look around? I've been a fan for a long time and would love to see the famous campus."

Not to sound like a jackass but, "Are you kidding me?" If it was that easy to get a tour of the Googleplex then they would have to make preparations for thousands to visit daily. I'm sure the Software Engineers wouldn't be too pleased with all the distractions... :-)

Kevin [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

[put at-character here]pacificdave:

The fact is, thousands of people don't

1. demonstrate interest in the company
2. own stock

I think the vibrant colors, pool tables, massages, food, volleyball and other amenities available prove that "distractions" are hardly a concern.

Matt Cutts [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Kevin, I'll ask around, but I can't promise anything. Is there a good way to contact you?

Mysterius [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

[put at-character here]Kevin: Actually, I'm pretty sure that if Google allowed any stockholder who "demonstrated interest in the company", then they *would* have thousands of visitors, at least in the first week that the news leaked out. The Googleplex is a working environment, after all.

Given that tours of the campus are not commonly permitted, what's particularly "cold" about that letter? If they don't want to give tours, how else are they supposed to say it? And they did remind you that you at least have one chance to visit the Googleplex each year, which is one more than the rest of the general public gets.

Try buying a share of Microsoft or Yahoo, and ask for a tour of their company headquarters. Then we can compare the experiences, at least.

[put at-character here]Richard Brandt: I'm surprised they even let you look around. You *are* sneaking onto company property, after all. Did you expect the security guards to welcome intruders, or did you expect no security at all?

Mysterius [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Oh, and the decor is meant to ease the stress of employees. Answering questions and dealing with even polite, well-meaning visitors on a daily basis wouldn't ease stress at all, don't you think?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

IMO, good service is all about fulfilling non-scalable, singular customer wishes.

Kevin [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

[put at-character here]Matt Cutts – my email is kdonovan11[put at-character here]gmail.com

I appreciate any effort.

Matt Cutts [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Thanks, Kevin. When will you be out here? Looks like SCU graduation is around June 15th-ish?

Kevin [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

Friday, the 15th, at any time would work.

Hashim [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

aww! Now that's customer service!

Colin Colehour [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Matt thanks for trying to accommodate his visit request. It is really cool that you take the time to try and help out Kevin. Enjoy your in laws this weekend.

stefan2904 [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Aww, matt, if i am in the us sometime in the future, i will contact you here. (-;

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