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Google's Goofy Formula

In his presentation, Brin addressed ways in which the company seeks to keep employees motivated and productive. In accord with the company's prior indications that it is leaning away from stock options as an incentive tool, Brin alluded to the difficulty for one individual among thousands to feel that his or her efforts have an effect on the company's stock price.

Returning to points discussed by Schmidt, Google's other co-founder, Larry Page, asserted that the importance of "20% time" at the company "doesn't mean we don't structure the company."

Responding to a question related to the company's monetization of new products, Page said, "We're trying to be ruthlessly efficient about how we run our business, and we're trying to make lots of money."

While the company scrupulously avoided forward-looking statements Wednesday, Page and Schmidt mapped out a crude roadmap of efforts in their advertising business. Both indicated the company must better address the needs of its very largest advertising clients and its very smallest. The largest, suggested Page, needed Google to devote larger teams to their needs; the smallest, he indicated, didn't have Web sites.

Despite Google's efforts to promote a theme of normalcy, it proved impossible Wednesday to paper over the company's distinctiveness. For example, when the analysts' meeting took a lunch break, attendees heard one last presentation from yet another key Google employee: its executive chef.

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