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Launch & Iterate — a team cooperative card game coming to a campus near you

“What would be a fun way to show students what it’s like to work at Google, rather than just tell them about it?” My manager asked me this question a little over a year ago as we started planning for the upcoming campus recruiting season. Tech talks, career fairs, info sessions — these were our bread and butter events, and we knew there was a missed opportunity to come up with some more creative and innovative programs.

In typical Google fashion, my initial step was to get a few engineers in a room to brainstorm ideas. Some of the more obvious ideas were thrown out — host a hackathon, coding workshop, bring students to a Google office, etc. Then Eddie (the engineer who ended up leading this project) suggested, “Why not build a game that mimics what it’s like to launch a product at Google?” We all sort of laughed, then quickly realized this was a pretty genius (but daunting!) idea. We rallied a group of engineers to take this on as a 20% project, and the game took on a life of its own.

Building a card game 101

As we started working, we quickly discovered that quite a few of our coworkers had either built games like this before or were game aficionados (aka. the group of Googlers who meet up weekly to play board/card games). They provided guidance as we set out goals for the game (first and foremost, it had to be fun!) and general insight as to how long this whole process would take.

After a few months of developing the game dynamics (and building an automatic card generation pipeline, of course), we put an early version into the hands of interns to get some real feedback. Based on their comments, we continued to iterate (pun intended) and make changes to ensure that the game was still satisfying our initial set of goals. We introduced the game to more Googlers to continue collecting feedback, then took the game to the University of Texas at Austin for a true beta test. Feedback continued to remain positive, so we decided it was time to launch the game on a broader scale.

The team playing one of our earliest versions of the game (in black and white!).

So how do you play?

Launch & Iterate is a team cooperative card game with the goal of launching products in order to gain as many users as possible. In order to successfully launch products, players must develop the necessary infrastructure and features while keeping an eye on external events, which might help or hinder efforts. We created a video tutorial where you can learn more about how the game is played.

Celebrating after we beat the game for the first time. Launch ALL the products!

Launching and iterating (literally)

We’ll be bringing Launch & Iterate to university campuses globally over the next few months, so keep an eye out. You can learn more (and review the game if you get a chance to play it!) on our Board Game Geek profile.

Posted by Jessica Safir, University Programs

Google EMEA Intern Insights 一 Meet Michelangelo Marchiorello, an SMB Sales intern

Our interns have the opportunity to work on some of Google’s most cutting edge and innovative projects – not only in engineering, but across sales and other business functions, bringing a fresh perspective to the work done at Google. Interested in joining the Google team? Check out our student positions today and apply!

Meet Michelangelo Marchiorello, a Google intern on the SMB Sales team.

Where are you from?
I’m proud to be Italian!

Where and what did you study at University?
I received my bachelors degree in Business Administration at Bocconi University, in Milan. I recently finished my Masters in Management at ESCP Europe, a business school that gave me the opportunity to study each year in a different country and in a different language. I think that having a strong international profile is key nowadays.

What inspired you to apply for this internship, and what made Google appealing to you as a potential intern?
I’ve always been interested in working at Google. The company philosophy is what distinguished itself from the other players – placing customers and employees at the top of the company’s priorities before investors and financial return.

What type of internship have you done? Give a brief description.
I interned for 6 months in the Italian Small and Medium Businesses (SMB) Sales team, at the Google Dublin headquarters for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). During that time, I worked with many Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) in my home country. As an intern I had the opportunity to get involved in projects that had a direct impact on the business, on customers and on fellow colleagues!

My first Noogler selfie!

What did your workday look like?
Every workday looked different. On quiet days, I had the opportunity to work on my projects in a very chilled out way; on busy days, I couldn’t even find the time to read through all of my emails.

8:30 AM ‒ The day starts. I would meet with some of my fellow Nooglers (other Interns or Googlers who have recently joined Google) for breakfast.

9:00 AM ‒ After a quick catch up, I would be sitting at my desk. That said, at Google there is no need to be at your desk all the time.

50 : 50 ‒ I would spend 50% of my time on Team Support activities and 50% on my projects.

What’s something you’ve accomplished during your internship that you’re most proud of? Or something you’re looking forward to working on?
My main project: “QBR@Scale,” is something I am very proud of. The project was a huge overall success, as it enabled a more strategic pitch for the sales representatives. I created more than 200 presentations with in-depth analysis on the past performance for many of our biggest clients. It didn’t just impact the Italian sales team, but throughout the whole of Europe, the Middle East and Africa!

At Google you have an opportunity to collaborate with people from many different backgrounds. What moment stood out to you, where diversity in the team made for better and more innovative work?
At the Google Dublin office there are more than 60 languages spoken and you can feel the international vibe all around you. The level of diversity found at Google is outstanding!

One recent moment that stood out to me was the amazing work done by the Brand Club. Every couple of weeks the Brand representatives from Europe, the Middle East and Africa meet up to discuss recent efforts on growing brand equity. It was through the diversity of the team that enabled our group to share different perspectives and points of views, tell our success stories, best practices etc.. And since the group is so diverse, in terms of needs and past experiences, everyone learned a multitude of new and better ways to do their jobs!

At Google, we say: “when you don’t find anything new to learn, it’s time to change your job”.

We all know Googler’s and interns love the food and the other perks. Outside of some of the well-known perks, what’s your favorite part about working at Google?
The best Google perk is being part of a group of pioneers (well ahead of early adopters) who are shaping the future of the Tech and Digital world.

We are entitled to try out the latest beta, work-in-progress software and hardware, and get to know all the latest internal and external news before anyone else. This is SO EXCITING! The apps on my phone … my Gmail, my Google Maps, Project Cardboard … everything gets updated on a daily basis and every update brings something new to test and give feedback on.

What does “being Googley” mean to you?
Being Googley means being available to help others, despite your schedule or level of knowledge. Being Googley means always being curious about new things and being open to learn. Being Googley means thriving in an ambiguous environment where creativity is the only compass available.

Enjoying the Dublin sun from the 11th floor terrace

What do you like most about your Google office and its locations?
Having been lucky to work in the European HQ, I really had the chance to fall in love with the facilities. Everything is designed to be functional to the employees happiness, creativity and teamwork.

Outside of being a Google intern, what are some fun things you do outside the classroom/office throughout the year?
First of all, I am a travel addict. Since working at Google, I’ve had the chance to travel to Ibiza, Milan, Istanbul, Amsterdam and Berlin.

Beyond traveling, I love almost any water sport, from sailing to kite-surfing. At Google there are groups for almost all sports and a multitude of hobbies and interests. Despite the temperature, there are always those willing to take on the cold Irish waters.

What will you do after your internship?
After my internship I’ve taken some time off to travel for a few days to Milan, Kenya and London. Can’t wait to re-charge my cultural curiosity!

In mid-January, I’m excited to come back to Google. This time, as a full-time Google employee. Yayyyyyyy!

What are your top 2 tips to potential student applicants?
Firstly, engage on as many extracurricular projects and activities as you can. These are the parts of your CV that are going to make a difference – your grades, not so much!

Secondly, don’t be scared of the interview process. If you are “a good fit” for this organization, any interview that you’ll have will turn into an engaging conversation about your life. It’s also your first opportunity to show how willing you are to learn from other people, even when under pressure. So, don’t waste the opportunity!

Interested to join the Google team? Check out our student positions today and apply!

Posted by Nicole Zwaaneveld, University Programs Team