Building The Googtopia Out Of Legos

    February 24, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The beauty of being a young idealist billionaire is that you can set up a little world exactly the way you like it. The exception, perhaps, is that everybody’s horning in on your private life-but who isn’t fascinated by quirky weirdness of the Googleplex bricklayers? Even sweeter for the dynamic duo, they can afford to be weird-and heroic.

Inside their spanking new utopia, two of the wealthiest executives in the world are still fiddling around with Lego blocks in t-shirts. Larry Page, who carries with him two chief claims to fame–building an inkjet printer out of Legos and co-creating the most effective, speedy, and monitizable search engine on the planet—looks past Google’s token stuffed shirt to Sergey Brin and suggests building a Lego version of Eric Schmidt.

And you have a hunch they could do it, too, complete with animatronics and consciousness.

But it also begs the question: When they’re playing with Legos, who’s running Google?

Some speculate it ain’t Eric Schmidt, who pulls the airy corporate giant back to earth with his serious looking glasses, side-parted hair, shirt and tie (and by blacklisting journalists). Even when Time queried the Head Googlers about that, Schmidt answered with the aloof certainty that only enormous wealth will allow:

“My answer is simply to let the company’s results speak for themselves.”

That’s an answer and a non-answer at the same time. It’s very Zen. The nuts and bolts of Google is that it works, regardless of what its founders are doing, like its own organism. They’ve recruited the best there are to run their company and rewarded those star recruits with a self-propelled Disney-style feel good environment.

Check out this photo essay detailing life at the Googleplex. For most of corporate America, that type of ecosphere is unimaginable. How long is it before Google makes it way out of the collective minds of computer science students and into business management classes? These guys have propagated a model that damn well shouldn’t work, if you listen to some old school profs. But it does work. It works incredibly well and will have reaching effects on future academic theory.

Though Brin insists that the sudden accumulation of wealth hasn’t made him any happier, one might wonder if he’d still think so without the world he’s made with his old college roommate.

Silicon Valley’s new resident tabloid, Valleywag, is making celebrities out of Google employees, and has managed to only find one photo of Larry Page without a smile on his face. The same site reports of “harems” of gorgeous executive assistants to go along with the new Magic Kingdom.

Besides a reported Page meltdown in front of a bunch of engineers, the two boy-wonders-turned-high-powered-executives appear to be living it up, complete with fluffy puppies, and a goal to eradicate all things evil in the world-a seemingly latent comic book superhero fantasy that most of us bright eyed dreamers are forced to abandon for lack of funds.

One thing’s for certain, they’ve carved out an enviable place in the world, even if fame is the price (as well as the bringer of more good things). For even if many of the purer souls out there don’t covet that kind of bank account, they may covet more being in the position to do a tremendous amount of good in the world.