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If you “know someone whose résumé is truly exceptional: someone who climbed K2, is an Olympic-class hockey player, published a critically acclaimed novel, worked her way through college and finished cum laude, just had an art exhibit, started a (real) nonprofit, speaks four languages, owns three patents, codes top-100 apps for fun, plays lead guitar in a band, and once danced onstage with Bruno Mars,” then you might suggest they apply for a job at Google. (p. 112). Actually, by that standard I could cover all of the above criteria, a couple of times over, except for one; I don’t have a clue who Bruno Mars is. Google yields – Treasure video. Okay, so now I know. Moving on!

This is a great book for the one-in-a-million person who is a brilliant young electrical engineer, or programmer, or top executive type, but for most other general readers it will be anxiety-provoking because of its subtle put-downs of ordinary straight-A college graduates. The quantification of one in a million isn’t an exaggeration. Go figure – there are seven billion people on this planet and Google seeks only the very, very best, and has 53,600 (Q4 2014) employees. 7,300,000,000/53,600 = 136,194. But that number includes everyone, and only three billion are considered to be in the workforce, so it isn’t one in a million, it is closer to 1 in 270,000. But, another but, most of those people are not scientific or technical types, and nearly all of Google employees would be considered to be in the US government science and technology category, and the current world population that fits that category is seven million. Therefore, (7,000,000/53,600=131) about 1 of every 131 science and technology qualified people in the world’s population of seven million works for Google. Well, since Schmidt and Rosenberg claim to only hire the very best candidates, even of these elite people from this category, your chance is about one in a hundred of being hired. So, all you have to ask yourself is are you one in a hundred of your chosen field. If you are then this book is essential reading.

I am quick to admit the numbers above are fanciful, but they do give a concrete suggestion of one’s chances of being admitted into the Google team.