TGIF, Larry! Page Can Avoid the Press, But Not Hard Questions from Googlers

By Sarah Lacy , written on January 27, 2012

From The News Desk

I'm told that one of the best things about Google is its open culture. While they're not supposed to talk to the press, the management shares quite a bit with them and they're encouraged to push back and question authority.

And from what I understand, that's going to happen today.

Google has a weekly meeting called "TGIF" where the CEO, founders and other corporate leaders give updates in front of the entire company. This was the meeting when Larry Page's Search Plus Your World ultimatum came down, according to our sources. This week, the subject is all but guaranteed to come up again.

There's always an open mic for questions at the end. Because the company is so large, Google has a Digg-like system for questions, where they're submitted before hand and employees vote them up or down. I saw this in action yesterday at an event at Google with Mayor Ed Lee. (I should note the Googlers were very gracious hosts despite my dog-with-a-bone coverage of the SPYW issues.)

From what we're told, it's rare that any individual questions get more than a few hundred votes. But our source is telling us that the top-voted question this week is "What are we doing to improve our product in response to the Focus on the User project?" And it has thousands of up votes.

It turns out we're not the only ones who want an answer on that question. We'll report the answer if we hear it.