One of the inflated myths about Silicon Valley is that the place runs on the currency of stock options.
In big tech companies, cash plays a much more important part in staff retention – as Google has known for some years. So the across-the-board pay rise it has just come up with for all 23,331 Googlers is confirmation that while options are alluring in early-stage start-ups, most employees prefer cold, hard cash.
This may sound like the opposite of the risk culture that the Valley is meant to celebrate. But in the midst of a ferocious war for talent, Google has taken the temperature among employees and struck a different note in how it sets incentives.