I find this to be the most amusing line in the Google paper (pdf) about their prediction market.
“As noted above, participants are not representative of Google employees as a whole: on many dimensions, they are closer to the modal employee than the mean.”
It suggests to me that if you want to fit in at Google you’d be wanting to model your behavior on the attributes of this population.
- Optimistic when a new employee
- Longer tenure
- Work in the engineering division
- Degree in computer science
- Attend code reviews
- Work in Mountain View, or New York
- In Mountain View you’ll want to near the center
- Be deeply embedded in the organization
- Have friends, at Google, good enough that they name you
- Be a senior employee.
- Get with the program: i.e. over-price favorites
- Shun pessimism, i.e. have an aversion to shorts
- Stay the course, under price extreme outcomes
Sounds like the default culture, or at least the culture aspired to, of all high tech firms in my experience.
Update: Yes, I know the difference between modal and model. 🙂