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Google + has ruined the company

This is a discussion on Google + has ruined the company within the Motorola Xoom General Discussion forums, part of the Motorola Xoom Forum category; Angry rants about the demise of corporate culture aren’t reserved only for ex-Goldman Sachs employees. Microsoft-turned-Google engineer James Whittaker —now once again a Microsoft employee ...

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Thread: Google + has ruined the company

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    Google + has ruined the company

    Angry rants about the demise of corporate culture aren’t reserved only for ex-Goldman Sachs employees. Microsoft-turned-Google engineer James Whittaker —now once again a Microsoft employee — fired off a scathing blast Tuesday on a Microsoft blog about why he left Google.

    “My last three months working for Google was a whirlwind of desperation,” wrote Whittaker, who headed the engineering team for social network Google+. “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.”

    Whittaker, who joined Google in 2009 and left last month, described a corporate culture clearly divided into two eras: “Before Google+,” and “After.”

    “After” is pretty terrible, in his view.

    Google once gave its engineers the time and resources to be creative. That experimental approach yielded several home-run hits like Chrome and Gmail. But Google fell behind in one key area: competing with Facebook.

    That turned into corporate priority No. 1 when Larry Page took over as the company’s CEO. “Social” became Google’s battle cry, and anything that didn’t support Google+ was viewed as a distraction.

    “Suddenly, 20% meant half-assed,” wrote Whittaker, referring to Google’s famous policy of letting employees spend a fifth of their time on projects other than their core job. “The trappings of entrepreneurship were dismantled.”

    Whittaker is not the first ex-Googler to express that line of criticism. Several high-level employees have left after complaining that the “start-up spirit” of Google has been replaced by a more mature but staid culture focused on the bottom line.

    The interesting thing about Whittaker’s take is that it was posted not on his personal blog, but on an official blog of Microsoft, Google’s arch nemesis.

    Spokesmen from Microsoft and Google declined to comment.

    The battle between Microsoft and Google has heated up recently, as the Federal Trade Commission and the European Commission begin to investigate Google for potential antitrust violations .Microsoft, with its Bing search engine, has doubled its share of the search market since its June 2010 founding, but has been unsuccessful at taking market share away from Google.

    Microsoft is increasingly willing to call out Google for what it sees as illicit behavior. A year ago, the software company released a long list of gripes about Google’s monopolistic actions, and last month it said Google was violating Internet Explorer users’ privacy.

    Despite his misgivings about what Google cast aside to make Google+ a reality, Whittaker thinks that the social network was worth a shot. If it had worked — if Google had dramatically changed the social Web for the better — it would have been a heroic gamble.

    But it didn’t. It’s too early to write Google+ off, but the site is developing a reputation as a ghost town. Google says 90 million people have signed up, but analysts and anecdotal evidence show that fairly few have turned into heavy users.

    “Google was the rich kid who, after having discovered he wasn’t invited to the party, built his own party in retaliation,” Whittaker wrote. “The fact that no one came to Google’s party became the elephant in the room.”

    David Goldman, CNNMoney

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  3. #2
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    Google+ is not very good. Gmail WAS ok but they keep screwing up the interface and have never fixed user complaints about it. Gmails labeling/filing system is terrible and its easy to lose emails if you are not careful. I tolerate Gmail because it is integrated with Android contacts.

    I don't blame James for lashing out. Google is getting worse not better, in my opinion.
    Adios XOOM it has been, well an experience
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    Great article, well worth the read in my opinion. As a fairly heavy user of Google products articles like this sadden me. I have been a user of Google since back when they first started up, and over the years have really grown accustom to their software. As things progress and Google bites off more of the corporate chain I continually feel disappointed with their end products. As a user, I can definitely see these problems manifesting into their software. It sucks, but what is one to do? Especially when we are talking about "free" services provided by Google. Despite these setbacks I still continue to advocate the use of Google and will likely continue to support their products as I truly do like the submersive experience that has become Google, but I often wonder at what expense? Who knows...

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    This is the same letter that was "leaked" about 3 months ago. Wonder why it's making another go around?
    What is rooting: the advantages/disadvantages | Set-up ADB | Need Help? Post Here | ADB Commands for Newcomers | Boot Animation Requests
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    Quote Originally Posted by fish1552 View Post
    This is the same letter that was "leaked" about 3 months ago. Wonder why it's making another go around?
    Guess the report from cnn was lacking stories. Actually first ive heard about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelz View Post
    Guess the report from cnn was lacking stories. Actually first ive heard about.
    Well, could be a number of reasons. It could simply be that the actual media is so far behind the internet at times on things.

    I think the version I read was actually on Google+ and it was released more as a guy writing a letter (or novel IMO due to the length) voicing his opinion as he was leaving the company.

    I do however agree with his overall idea after everything Google has done to run it into the ground since it came out. How can a company that has it's own OS on mobile devices, NOT put out an API for it's own social network, when many people use those devices to use those networks? Not being able to build Google+ into a multi-service app IMO was a large part of the issue with the site. Making things harder isn't helping the site take off.
    What is rooting: the advantages/disadvantages | Set-up ADB | Need Help? Post Here | ADB Commands for Newcomers | Boot Animation Requests
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    Google .... is all about not polishing its products, but having them be so rawly awesome that folks use them anyways. Most all google things I've used have been 80% done, very often still in "beta", sometimes for years.

    But I and tons of folks still use google.

    The iphone really really really has a better interface, but I still use google, because, well, google voice search was years ahead of siri. I think my old tomtom 4 years ago had a way better interface than google navigation, but, I use that blue arrow button in android because (a) its there (b) its free and (c) I can even speak my destination and don't need to type it out ......

    Google + hasn't dislodged facebook. yet. Once I got on facebook, it was SOOO easy, even my mom could do it. Google + has such killer cool things .. but .. where and how to get to them is ... harder. Google+ huddle is freaking awesome idea, AMG GROUP CHAT, wait, we've seen that before, but, AMG GROUP CHAT ON YOUR PHONE ... they illustrate it with the example of getting folks together for a movie, but, think about coordinating folks to search for a lost pet, or child, or etc..

    For the future, specifically re facebook, will be to see (a) if facebook shoots itself with things like timelines, and (b) for google, can they just zerg facebook with their "integrated everything" approach.

    Zerg? Integrated everything? You saw it in an earlier post, where magpiemini says "I tolerate Gmail because it is integrated with Android contacts."

    IF google gets enough cool things (google voice, free phone numbers, etc.) and bundles them all together so that say google+ really is totally integrated into gmail and google voice, and all the other stuff, then G+ isn't competing by itself against facebook, G+ could win out by shear weight of the number of cool google things that come together in G+.

    "dos 2.0 aint don't till lotus 123 won't run", MS was successful for a long time seeing what new things were out there, and "bundling them in" to the OS, squashing competition through sheer weight of its installed base and "bundled" features. Once, there were disk compression companies that sold software that would compress your stuff so you could fit more of it on your hard drive. MS "bundled" disk compression into their OS (about dos 6.2 ish, I think) effectively killing the disk compression companies. Who would pay for disk compression if it came free with your OS, right? Well, turns out Stacker won a law suit because MS didn't just bundle disk compression into its OS .. .it bundled STACKER itself, (er, well, stackers compression algorithm) without stackers permission .....

    Google seems to be taking a similar approach, "invent" a lot of cool stuff, then, make it work / bundle it together, so that folks will use google's weaker stuff just because its so integrated with the cools stuff you really want ....

    We'll see if it works. I'm still keeping local HD backup copies of all my google cloud media ......
    twowheelz likes this.


 

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