Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Chill Out, Marissa

Chill Out, Marissa

I don't think it's right to hate on someone just because she's blonde and has more fame and money than me. Heck, that describes most of the female population of Southern California. But I can blame her for perpetuating the cult of workoholism.

In this latest piece of media coverage, Marissa reveals her daily schedule:

8:00 a.m. Wake-up, get ready for work
9:00 a.m. Arrive at work, take conference call about a new technology
10:00 a.m. Meeting with Udi Manber, VP of engineering to discuss search, engineering staffing, etc.
10:30 a.m. Meet with Associate Product Managers to brief and prepare for upcoming international business trip
12:00 noon Product review with Larry and Sergey; review product direction and strategy and potential future collaborations
1:00 p.m. UI (User Interface) review to review/approve user interface designs/changes for multiple products
3:00 p.m. Meet with a new member of my team to welcome him and discuss career goals/trajectory
3:30 p.m. Meeting with Google Video product manager
4:00 p.m. Google Product Strategy meeting with Eric, Larry, Sergey, and other executives to go over weekly site traffic and a few special topics
5:00 p.m. Executive strategy meeting on Google China
6:00 p.m. Office Hours
8:30 p.m. Catch up on the day's e-mail
11:15 p.m. Visit to the Google Gym to run
12:00 p.m. Go home
12:30 a.m. Watch TV, do e-mail
3:00 a.m. Go to bed

Let's see...that's 14.25 hours of work and 5 hours of sleep per day.

Of course, that may be an underestimate...if Marissa thinks about work during the time it takes her to get ready and get into the office, during her run, and while watching TV and email at home, that's a 19 hour workday.

As I've noted in the past, I question the wisdom of taking the best years of our lives and devoting them solely to work--especially if you already have hundreds of millions in the bank.

So while I won't hate on Marissa, I'll reserve my admiration for the folks who set a better example, like my friend who sold his company for a 9-figure payday and now lists his position as "Chief Dad Officer."


Ben Casnocha said...

The question, of course, is whether this schedule makes her happy and fulfilled. If it does, then she's a different biological beast than me and can operate on such low sleep and so little personal time. But, I wonder whether she can even *ask* that question truthfully, or whether it'd take a two week vacation to get above the trees.

Chris said...

I'm guessing that Marissa is reasonably happy and fulfilled...but that this approach wouldn't work for the vast (carbon-based) majority of people.

The problem is that with the notable exception of Jim Buckmaster of Craigslist, the "how I work" articles about leaders and entrepreneurs always emphasize their insane hours and drive.

A cynic might wonder if this is either to A) fulfill some kind of ego trip, or B) scare off potential competition.