Best Companies rank: 4
Name: Ken Norton
Title: Senior product manager
Years with the company: 3
Google bought my company, so I didn't come in the traditional way. It's not hard to convince people at a start up working in a crummy old building to move to the Googleplex. That was one of the things that we were most excited about. The food, the resources and the amazing people that are around -- these are the figure heads in the history of technology and the Internet.
For me though, the food is always the thing that I talk about the most -- it is pretty amazing. It's not so much the quality, but also the way in which the café is part of our culture. It's like the village square in ancient Rome, where everyone meets and comes together. Some of the coolest ideas have come from casual conversations in the cafés. Lunch is part of the creative, innovative process.
I think that the quality of life perks in general are important. I'm a competitive cyclist and I race bikes and I spend a lot of time training. Google is the kind of environment where you can fit that in. I can go for a ride in the morning and work from home, or in the early afternoon. The flexibility is accommodating for having a life outside the office. You get the sense that the people running things care about you and your life.
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