Who wants to take a trip down memory lane? Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt does! The one time company CEO recently took to Google+ to do a little reminiscing. The year was 2003 and Google had been going strong for about five years. In its earlier days, the lighthearted tech company would welcome new employees to the fold by presenting them with a smiley helium balloon to float around their office space. A kind gesture, the balloon was also an easy way for seasoned employees to spot a “Noogler” (new Google employee).

According to Schmidt, Google VP Jonathan Rosenberg had a bit of a reputation for hazing the new employees. So much in fact, the company put together a mockumentary outlining his obsession with popping the new recruits’ balloons. In fact, Rosenberg’s bloodlust was so severe, Schmidt claims that Mountain View’s brass even considered creating a company that would produce “Jonathan-proof” balloons.

In this rare look inside Google’s early corporate culture, you’ll see a few familiar faces like YouTube boss Susan Wojcicki, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and current Google frontman Larry Page, whose hair was a little bit darker back then.


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