Google Works on Cool Stuff, Yahoo Doesn't

James B. Stewart, in a post for The New York Times:

As to the broader relationship between the workplace and creativity, “there’s some evidence that great physical space enhances creativity,” she said. “The theory is that open spaces that are fun, where people want to be, facilitate idea exchange. I’ve watched people interact at Google and you see a cross-fertilization of ideas.”

There should be little doubt that Google's perks (described in the article) make its offices more inviting to work at than the typical cube farm. However, let's not get carried away here. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer can add all the perks she wants and can make employees work at an office, but those don't really get to the crux of the problem that Yahoo faces in trying to remain relevant. Google employees don't enjoy going to the office because of the perks, they enjoy going to the office because Google works on cool stuff. Yahoo, unfortunately, doesn't work on cool things anymore. That's why employees can't wait to leave when 5:00 PM rolls around.