Google takes pride of its employees' ideas and the scalability of their ideas when implemented as projects within the company. It is interesting to note that for experienced professionals or employees, they would prefer to have a platform for them to test their ideas out. For them its self-fulfillment and gives them new meaning to their work.
Source: Avinash Kaushik
# 4: The scale of your impact.
This one is my personal favorite.
Google is not quite as big as many companies out there, but in its space it has a huge user base for most of its applications (search and beyond). Anything you work on will probably touch hundreds of thousands of people – if not multiple times that.
It is such a awesome thrill when you see your work in the hands of so many folks on this planet.
I think of a small idea and collaborate with the team and bam (!) they make it a reality.
In a few days something that was just in your brain is now in the hands of hundreds of thousands of people!
I open the app and there is such a deep sense of gratification when I see parts of it that helped with ("mine! that's mine!").
But more than that there is a thrill in the realization that something I helped create takes out just a little bit of stress out (even if five seconds worth) of the Users lives, makes data just a smidgen easier to understand, make a tiny bit of difference in how their customer experience.
In many other companies it takes time to drive change (see #5 above), even then you are just a cog, and even then your power to touch people (end users) is limited.
The scale at which you can touch people and make a tiny bit of difference in their day to day life is huge at Google.
It is also very liberating that you can do the right thing, the products are mostly free so you don't have to worry about the vagaries of trying to do things that are fluff or driven by other interests. You can focus on the customers.
The impact, for you and me, results in a high, a very high high.