Hahaha! Where were you my friend when I got beat up for commenting on 96%-4% split over last 24 hours? Specifically for saying that may be 10-20% of Googlers are resulting in 96% of direct revenue and probably 80% of them are resulting in 4% of Google's total revenue :-)
Thank you for your wonderful analysis and sharing infographic with all of us. And a special thank you for coming to rescue me and clarifying the 4% part - that this 4% revenue is very likely from the interest on their piles of money. If I understand correctly, besides search+Ad revenues almost everything else in Google-sphere has no direct-revenue model (even when it may indirectly contribute to the search+Ad revenues through "freemium" model)!
I am a technologist with Fortune 500 technology management experience and now founder of a bootstrapped startup with very limited resources but lofty goals! We work on shoestring budgets but are still able to deliver innovative solutions. So when I read your piece I could not comprehend how such a "distribution of wealth" - i.e. tens of thousands of employees, almost fairytale level of employee benefits, hundreds of projects with very little direct revenue to show for it - could occur in an otherwise capitalist society? Again, I will emphasize that I understand that there are many smart and hardworking Googlers who make things happen, but probably many more are there to taste the honey in the honeypot!
I totally understand that when you have oodles and oodles of cash in your coffers and continue to earn a boat load of money each quarter, you have pretty much earned the right to blow it however you like it! I just read today that Google scored highest in employee satisfaction among all companies so definitely they are treating their employees well through what I call the "bean bag benefits". But if I were +Larry Page
, I would definitely remind my employees to take a lesson from the likes of Palm, RIMM, Yahoo, Apple-of-80s among others that while enjoying good times, do not forget that tech industry is brutal and the equilibrium shift can happen within matter of years!
Finally, I believe that with Google-kind of resources, they have the potential to develop many more innovative solutions, and truly hope that they continue to do so!