8.12. GUARDING THE SECRETS
Google has been and remains a secretive company. Part of the firm's reluctance to engage in orgies of public relations is common sense. Mountain View, Calif. is open but also closed. The culture spawned Andy Grove's best-selling "Only the Paranoid Survive: How to Exploit the Crisis Points that Challenge Every Company." Dr. Grove popularized the importance of chaos, which obscures underlying intent. When published, Mssrs Brin and Page were revving Google's engines, and too much chatter around the Google technical secret ingredients was unnecessary.
—Stephen E. Arnold, author and technology consultant
Larry and Sergey spelled it out when they went public:
As a smaller private company, Google kept business information closely held, and we believe this helped us against our competitors. But, as we grow larger, information becomes more widely known. As a public company, we will of course provide you with all information required by law, and we will also do our best to explain our actions. But we will not unnecessarily disclose all of our strengths, strategies and intentions.
Google is known for being elusive with reporters, even those covering local Mountain View news. Because Google has such a large presence in its town and because Google is a publicly held company, the local newspaper feels that citizens have a right to know at least something about what's going on there. The Mountain View Voice complained about Google's inaccessibility in a 2007 editorial: ...