Negotiation tips for Google Music CEO

Now there are some people who think I am unduly harsh on Google, especially regarding their goals in music or as they might say, information written in that primitive code. I can’t help noticing that those who think this do not appear to have been on the receiving end of Google’s desire to organize that primitive information. Those who have don’t feel that way.

So we’re going to be doing a few gratuitous tips for whoever is thinking about taking the job as head of Google Music.

1. Experience. If you’ve ever worked in the traditional music business, don’t plan on coming back, at least not until Google has completely commoditized it.

2. Indemnity. Make sure you get a personal indemnity for all claims against you during your employment, especially copyright infringement claims and advertising fraud. It should be pretty obvious by now to even the casual observer that these claims are often brought against individual executives–probably because they are the ones who told the machines what to do. Have a good explanation for your family about why you bet the house. I’m sure they’ll understand. Oh, and make sure Google has to pay to get you separate counsel. Remember that phrase “separate counsel”. Say it like a mantra. That is, if you can find a law firm that isn’t conflicted. (Insurance might be an option–see “Worried CIA Officers Buy Legal Insurance“.)

3. Lobbying. Don’t talk to any Google lobbyists about anything, especially not Andrew McLaughlin. Oh, right. He’s not a lobbyist, he works at the White House. But just to be safe, make sure that “violations of federal or state lobbying laws” don’t trigger the termination with cause clause. (See “Indemnity.”)

4. Health Insurance: Make sure that amnesia is not a preexisting condition. There’s a lot of it at the Googleplex–check for mold. Also check coverage for exploding laptops.

5. The Delete Key: The most popular big boy keystroke in the Googleplex. Learn it. Use it. Especially for email.

6. Poker. Brush up on your poker skills, there’s a lot of Berkman Center alumni and you know how they like their poker.

Remember: Someone will write a book about this one day. Do you want to be in the index?

See also: News from the Goolag: Grande Prosecutor Macchiato (the Andrew McLaughlin Scandal begins)