Google Buckles Down and Axes Perks To Help Face Tough Times

Justin Kerr

Like it or not, Google is widely considered to be a leader within the technology industry. Flagship companies such as themselves, Apple, and Microsoft are important companies to watch during a market downturn. Downsizing at these multibillion dollar corporations are viewed as a devastating reminder that even the strongest companies aren’t immune to the decline. In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal , Google CEO Eric Schmidt outlined several cost cutting initiatives to help keep revenue on track.

"We have to behave as though we don't know" what's going to happen, says Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt. The company will curtail the "dark matter," he says, projects that "haven't really caught on" and "aren't really that exciting." He says the company is "not going to give" an engineer 20 people to work with on certain experimental projects anymore. "When the cycle comes back," he says, "we will be able to fund his brilliant vision."

Here is brief list of changes in store for the engineers at Google:

- An increased focus on business diversification . They are expected to focus on display ads, mobile integration, and enterprise software.
- Kill off, or slowly starve non-revenue generating products. Schmidt clarified this statement by referring to smaller projects, but hopefully money sinkholes such as YouTube won’t be affected. Some of this has already started with the death of services such as Lively .
- Suspension of the 20% rule. This famous decree allowed Google engineers to spend a fifth of their time on any project of their choosing including something completely new.
- Closing down offices in Dallas and Denver.
- Increased workloads. With the recent pink slips handed out to over 10,000 contractors , someone has to pickup the slack and empty the trash cans.

Does trouble at Google signal the peek of our economic woes or is it just par for the course?

(Image Credit ABC News)

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