Google’s Alumni Reveal Reasons for Departure
At the Web 2.0 conference John Battelle interviewed several prominent former Google employees about their reasons for the leaving the company, the culture there, and its challenges as the company continues to grow. InformationWeek captures some of that discussion.
Here’s the paradox of Google’s culture and the challenge it faces, summed up nicely in this paragraph:
David Friedberg, who was a founding member of Google’s corporate development team and led several of the company’s largest acquisitions, said Google hires people looking for more than just money. “There are certain kinds of people where it’s not about the money. And Google hires those kinds of people,” Friedberg said. These people look for something they can build in their own way, something that they really care about. Friedberg is chief executive of the Internet company WeatherBill, which he founded.
The fact that Google is specifically looking for entrepreneurs or those with entrepreneurial inclinations is partly why the company has been so successful in developing new and interesting products, but it also creates risk as the company matures and the culture changes. These types of people, as the article reflects, are precisely the ones who get restless over time and head out the door.
Here’s a related piece that appeared in the New York Times about Google’s “20 percent time” allowance for engineers and the culture that allows them more creative freedom and opportunity to pursue their particular interests.