[...] To prove that Google wasn't composed entirely of metal and wiring attached to positronic brains, I suggested we collect photos of moms from our coworkers and arrange them around the old poem spelling out "What Mother Means to Me." Straight out of the Hallmark emotional-manipulation handbook. We were so inundated with fan mail I became verklempt.
"Your mothers must be so proud," a user told us. "I want my son to work at Google."
We received more letters of praise when we did the same thing the following year, but we also received pointed questions about why there weren't any African-American moms depicted. We answered that not all staff members were represented—but it was the last time our mothers put in an appearance.