Receiving what can only be described as a MASSIVE wake up call, Google woke up this morning to a blog post by a former employee.
This employee now works for Microsoft.
James Whittaker’s profile reads as follows:
James Whittaker is a technology executive focused on making the web a better place for users and developers. He is a former Googler, former professor and former startup founder.
He wrote a devastating post explaining why he left Google and it’s quite a scandalous read.
Some choice quotes:
It turns out that there was one place where the Google innovation machine faltered and that one place mattered a lot: competing with Facebook. Informal efforts produced a couple of antisocial dogs in Wave and Buzz. Orkut never caught on outside Brazil. 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 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, so much so that they are willing to put the Facebook brand before their own. Exhibit A: www.facebook.com/nike, a company with the power and clout of Nike putting their own brand after Facebook’s? No company has ever done that for Google and Google took it personally.
As it turned out, sharing was not broken. Sharing was working fine and dandy, Google just wasn’t part of it. People were sharing all around us and seemed quite happy. A user exodus from Facebook never materialized. I couldn’t even get my own teenage daughter to look at Google+ twice, “social isn’t a product,” she told me after I gave her a demo, “social is people and the people are on Facebook.” 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.
A fantastic read.
You can read it in full here.
I never thought I would see a full throated and objective endorsement of Eric Schmidt.
It also makes you wonder why founders of companies always feel the need to come back and
screw up fix their companies.
Yes Jerry Yang, I was thinking about you.