Why would Google spend a small fortune of decking out a single floor of its main London office? It’s too easy to say that just because the company makes a billion dollars a month it’s decided to buy staff exotic cappuccino machines, provide a music and games room and even build an in-door park. This is the company, after all, that still flies people around the world in economy. More than most, its top staff know that nobody got rich by throwing money away.
So, extravagant as Google’s new offices are, it’s vital to note that these are the programmers’ areas. The value of a retained engineer to Google is enormous – they are at the heart of everything the company does, and they are at the heart too of a war for talent with Facebook, Twitter, even the British government and of course academia.