James Whittaker is a former Google executive who recently left the company after he had enough of the downward spiral. Mr. Whittaker published a blog post this past Tuesday where he gives you the truth about what is really happening over at Google.
He was hired at Google back in 2009 when things were relatively still doing okay at the company – but after a few short years he knew he had to leave. He packed up his things and ditched Google last month. He gives his reasoning in his blog post titled “Why I left Google”. It’s an excellent post to read through and I urge you to read the whole thing for yourself (link is provided at the bottom). I will give you the highlights from his blog post accompanied by my commentary:
“…there is no drama here, no tell-all, no former colleagues bashed and nothing more than you couldn’t already surmise from what’s happening in the press these days surrounding Google and its attitudes toward user privacy and software developers”
- Alrighty – no need to dig for dirt and get nasty. There is enough public BS surrounding Google that could fill a ton of books.
“The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate. The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus.”
- Google has changed a lot over the years. It’s definitely not the same Google from a few years back – it’s now all about maintaining ad revenue. They couldn’t care less about their users. Google makes over 90% of its revenues from advertising – that’s about $40 billion every year. They make that money selling your personal information.
“Technically I suppose Google has always been an advertising company, but for the better part of the last three years, it didn’t feel like one. Google was an ad company only in the sense that a good TV show is an ad company: having great content attracts advertisers.”
- It used to be that Google made a great product, users embraced it, and then advertising dollars came in naturally. Now the emphasis and number one priority is about figuring out how to get more ad dollars into the company and not producing great products.
“Under Eric Schmidt ads were always in the background. Google was run like an innovation factory, empowering employees to be entrepreneurial through founder’s awards, peer bonuses and 20% time. Our advertising revenue gave us the headroom to think, innovate and create.”
- -Sigh- All good things come to end eventually…
“But that was then, as the saying goes, and this is now.”
- Okay….sigh….that was then and this is now!
“It turns out that there was one place where the Google innovation machine faltered and that one place mattered a lot: competing with Facebook…Like the proverbial hare confident enough in its lead to risk a brief nap, Google awoke from its social dreaming to find its front runner status in ads threatened”
- Google was built up by the media for so long that it bought into its own hype. Google thought it was invisible – the king of the world. This all changed when the new kid arrived and now threatens Google’s ad revenue. Everything Google does now is centered on beating Facebook. Many Google employees have come out and admitted that there is an intense focus on beating Facebook at the company now. Google CEO Larry Page even said that if employees don’t like the new direction the company is going they can hit the road. Larry Page even threatened to cut off employee bonuses if they fail to beat Facebook – pitiful.
“Google could still put ads in front of more people than Facebook, but Facebook knows so much more about those people. Advertisers and publishers cherish this kind of personal information”
“Larry Page himself assumed command to right this wrong. Social became state-owned, a corporate mandate called Google+”
- Basically, Larry Page’s obsession with beating Facebook destroyed the company.
“Officially, Google declared that “sharing is broken on the web” and nothing but the full force of our collective minds around Google+ could fix it.”
- You gotta love the arrogance here. This is so Google ha-ha
“As it turned out, sharing was not broken. Sharing was working fine and dandy, Google just wasn’t part of it.”
- If Google is not part of it, it must be broken! It must! It must! It must!!!!!
“A user exodus from Facebook never materialized. I couldn’t even get my own teenage daughter to look at Google+ twice”
- I don’t know a single person who uses Google Plus. If asked, they would respond by saying ‘WTF is that?’
“Google was the rich kid who, after having discovered he wasn’t invited to the party, built his own party in retaliation. The fact that no one came to Google’s party became the elephant in the room.”
- LOL – I have such a funny mental image of that. A spoiled brat who finally isn’t getting what he wants.
“I don’t click on ads. When Gmail displays ads based on things I type into my email message it creeps me out. I don’t want my search results to contain the rants of Google+ posters”
- You’re not the only person who’s creeped out by those targeted ads. Recent research conducted by various independent groups has shown that majority of Internet users hate them and think it’s an invasion of privacy.
“The old Google made a fortune on ads because they had good content. It was like TV used to be: make the best show and you get the most ad revenue from commercials. The new Google seems more focused on the commercials themselves.”
- Google changed and it’s time that people recognize this. I too have moved on from Google and good riddance. Thank you Mr. Whittaker for writing the truth about a great company that once was – until money and power corrupted it. Google’s internal culture has changed so much so that its once passionate employees are plotting their escape. The company has also fallen in the hearts and minds of its users worldwide.
For more information:
James Whittaker’s Full Blog Post – click here
Business Insider, “Google has strayed from its ‘core principles’” – click here
SFGate, “Google’s Focus On Beating Facebook Is Wrecking The Company…” – click here
Business Insider, “Larry Page To Googlers: If You Don’t Like ‘Search Plus Your World,’ Hit The Road” – click here
The Guardian, “TV ad revenue hits record thanks to Google...” – click here