(When I wasn't showing movies or hosting authors)
Nicely done Mr. Cory. I too started in 2005 and you've captured the era of mini-kitchen extravagance beautifully. And those wonderful cafe meals -- one of the things I miss the most.
Great description of the long-gone GSA. It had the additional feature of being a physical manifestation of Google's business and as such its photo used to accompany press about the company much more frequently than it deserved. Anyway, I'm shocked, SHOCKED to read that Google did not prioritize the Enterprise business. Say it ain't so!
Speaking of swag, I could hook you up with some of those crappy Google t-shirts if you still want some. I think I was there at least five years before I finally spent my $150 swag allowance, probably on Android figurines. Most of the swag really was junk. In particular, there was never a worthwhile Google hat or coffee mug. The good swag, as always, came from the marketeers and trade show folks.
i remember the GSA, when i started at Google in 2010 i remember finding a stack of them in a closet near where my initial team was (in building 47) i remember asking what they were and a couple people knew but thought it was a crazy science project, something ridiculous like putting search in a box. Apparently they sold thousands of them though but tfat wasnt a big deal compared to ads. Nothing is a big deal compared to ads! (which is one of Google's biggest issues...)