Peter Harkins met some of his friends who are now Google employees, but their conversations couldn't flow naturally because Googlers had to think if they are about to disclose some confidential information from Google. As you probably know, Google employees sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), which could be similar to this NDA you have to sign if you visit Googleplex.
"Google employees get distracted by mentally rereading their NDA and figuring out what they can say, can't say, and can't say that they can't say. It just gets worse if you keep talking and extrapolating (that is to say, holding a conversation) because you're giving them O(n2 interrelations + m potential suggestions from them) more topics to analyze. I've never quite managed to crash them, but I imagine it's entirely possible given the NP nature of conversations," jokes Peter.
The confidential information includes: "(a) trade secrets; (b) financial information, including pricing; (c) technical information, including research, development, procedures, algorithms, data, designs, and know-how; (d) business information, including operations, planning, marketing interests, and products; (e) the terms of any agreement and the discussions, negotiations and proposals related to any agreement; and (f) information acquired during any facilities tours." Maybe Google should offer a Googler-only mobile app that monitors a conversation and alerts you when you start to discuss sensitive topics.
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