Google’s results are, of course, amazing, although I find it odd that they include their “traffic acquisition costs” (basically, the commission they pay to sites which host Google AdSense) in their topline revenue figure. Although they probably say it’s a cost of sale, it does feel a bit like the Guardian reporting gross revenue at the newsstand rather than actual received revenue from the retailer.
The thing that stuck out for me, though, was Google’s solution to the eternal problem of rewarding innovation, particular at a company where the original innovators have been rewarded spectacularly (through stock options) while new employees do nothing like as well:
Meanwhile, Sergey Brin, co-founder and president of technology, gave details about a recently-launched program designed to retain employees and attract good candidates. The program, called the Founders Award, rewards groups of employees who have come up with innovative ideas and projects, Brin said.
In the fourth quarter, Google rewarded two teams with Founders Awards, giving the employees involved collectively over $12 million in restricted stock units, Brin said. “This is both a great internal incentive and recognition, as well as a way to attract new employees who might otherwise opt for a startup,” he said.
Would love to know more about how that works.
One of the awards was given to a technology team that devised a means of linking users to the advertisements most likely to interest them. Another team, on the business side, worked on a “particularly important deal to us,” said Google’s co-founder and co-president, Sergey Brin. Mr. Brin, who played a principal role in establishing the award, would not discuss the projects in more detail.
The stock vests in monthly increments over four years, Mr. Brin said. “We have people who just do phenomenal things here,” he said. “I wanted a mechanism to reward that.”