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The Google+ project and exec team (threader.app)
308 points by seapunk 32 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 178 comments



Controversial opinion here. I know that exaggerating and complaining is a surefire way to get clicks, but it's hard to take the author's criticisms seriously when he complains about so many different things. Some as minor as the noogler orientation. Others as petty as putting down colleagues who haven't worked as designers before.

Regarding the main event in question: I like that Google allows people to party in the evenings with whoever they want to party with. I like that Google allows people to reschedule meetings if they aren't feeling well, for whatever reason. It sucks that the author's grandmother died and that he felt the need to work through the night while that happened, but it's unfair to take that out on your colleagues. Nobody would have blamed him if he asked to reschedule the meeting because of his grandmother's health. Heck, they probably wouldn't even have minded if he asked for a different day/time, just so he wouldn't have to work through the night.

I have no idea who the author is. He might be a fantastic person, and Jim/Greg might be total dicks, for all I know. But just from the volume of different complaints mentioned, and his reaction to a meeting reschedule, I get the impression that he isn't the easiest person to work with, and that there are other sides to this story.


It was a hard lesson for me to learn in the past: if you care wildly more than the people around you -- so much that you work late into the night while your grandmother is dying and your coworkers are pounding drinks with their counterparts at a competitor -- you'll just end up really hurt and frustrated and they'll all think that you are the problem.

The author seems like the kind of person that I'd love to do a 3-person startup with. We'd be in an environment where working late into the night is valuable sometimes, and because all of us would be doing that he'd have no reason to be resentful. Hopefully he gets into a group like that before the corporate life trains him to preserve his sanity by not caring so much.


His criticisms come off as seriously naive and green if he was expecting to upend the design practice of a behemoth tech company with many competing business units and products, each with their own leaders, legacy code dependencies, and teams of designers who would poke holes in his design decisions from a UX perspective (e.g. didn't test designs with users, just made it up) and see him as a 'graphic designer' who is a glorified pixel pusher and lacks a fundamental understanding of the field of HCI and user centered design.

This is clearly evident from when he mentioned his outrage that he:

"Never would’ve imagined that I was joining a team of 50+ designers where a bunch of them had never designed before.

And I was “evaluated” at about their level? These weren’t interns, these were designers in their very first roles ever...at Google."

From any UX design professional's perspective, he comes into their world, lacking any background in UX or basic understanding of user centered design methods, and just does the visual design portion of the work, not the actual hard work that goes into understanding human behavior, being curious and testing hypotheses and validating designs with quantitative and qualitative data via UX research methods.

Dude needs to check his ego in my opinion, design is a team sport and anyone can mock up random dribble worthy interfaces in an afternoon and think they deserve the title of designer then diss others who have a 4 year degree in fields related to understanding human behavior, not just art or graphic design (although art degrees are good if you solely focus on visual design due to color theory, typography, understanding design aesthetics, design critiquing etc.)

tl;dr

UI designer ≠ UX designer


Whoops, I misspelled *dribbble


and they'll all think that you are the problem.

Agreed.


The thing is that often they are right. It's almost literally crazy to me that he wouldn't just try to reschedule the meeting and that he would work when his grandma was dying. It's not working long hours that's a problem but in my experience it often correlates with people who don't work well in a team (which this guy seems like a perfect example of).


I do sort of see that, but there's another side to that coin.

This dude, and many people I've met similar to him, takes people on their word and acts accordingly. He might be a bad fit for an environment where this is not respected, but I'd argue this is not a sign of 'not working well in a team'. Rather, it's a sign of him taking people on their word and finding it difficult to work on a team where this is not respected.

I imagine there are plenty of teams, in companies big and small, that do respect these kinds of things. Or at least do so begrudgingly.

My personal experience is that any work environment that does not manage to handle these 'your word is your word' type situations, even if badly, is a horrible place and destined to fail (barring some exceptional situation where they can get away with it).

Outliers like this particular person are a kind of anchor-point. Perhaps it's okay, even necessary, that they don't quite thrive in certain stages of a company. But when they actively flee the ship, it's a horribly sign.


I love working with people who “don’t work well in a team”. There’s something beautiful about these crazies. They make amazing stuff if you just have the wits to lead them.


Or have a problem ;)


you'll just end up really hurt and frustrated and they'll all think that you are the problem.

This so much this.

It’s so hard to find a tribe of passionate driven people who care crazy amounts about their vision and purpose.


He did get into an env like that, later on in the thread he mentions he started shift.com which just raised 140m.


Seriously. When Jim schedules a meeting for 9am the next day, just tell him that you need more time than that. Instead, this guy goes home and works through the night so he can prove Jim wrong.

Way too much ego tied up in petty disagreements here.


Agreed. The thing it took me a long time to realise about stuff like that is that you're not winning by breaking your neck to get something done for an unrealistic deadline, they are!


I finally read the story after reading this comment and some of the other ones, and this undersells how nuts it is.

> Anyhow, my wholesale redesign of all of Jim’s work was obviously making him feel bad.

> One day, he came up to me totally flustered in one of the micro-kitchens. He said “People aren’t liking these icons.” I said, “Oh, ok, let me know who and I’ll collect their feedback and we can make them better.”

...

> Me: “OK, no worries man. Would it make you feel better if I put something together that explains my decision making and then you and whomever else can punch holes in it, and give me direct feedback?”

> Jim: “Yeah, ok, sounds good. I’ll put something on the calendar.”

> 9am the next morning. A dick move.

> I went home and got to work.

> In the early evening I got a call from my dad. My grandmother’s health took a turn for the worst. They weren’t sure she’d make it past the evening.

> I couldn’t grieve. I needed to make this happen. These two designers were beloved by Greg. I had to win them over or they’d screw everything up for me. Everything I’d worked for could come crashing down due to their pettiness.

Like, holy hell. Jim is a _peer_. Nobody asked Morgan to do this work, Morgan volunteered to do it. And he decided to work through a major life event in the off hours for something that didn't come from anyone above him in the hierarchy? And then to blow the other guy up when he reschedules the meeting? Wow.


> It sucks that the author's grandmother died and that he felt the need to work through the night while that happened, but it's unfair to take that out on your colleagues.

It's unfair to take that out on your colleagues, but it is fair to blame it on management and the culture they set. Some people are going to be more politically protected than others for reasons that aren't strongly related to the value they add to the business and able to get away with things others aren't, and if you don't counteract that, you'll both get inefficient results (either they're doing something they shouldn't, or other people don't feel empowered to do something they should) and also cause a loss to morale and trust.

Setting clear (if mechanical) rules about things that would otherwise turn into "the politically connected can do this, the rest of you can't" is absolutely the responsibility of management. Saying to people up front that they should always feel free to take time off or cancel meetings for personal emergencies and the company trusts their judgment (if that is in fact the policy) and making sure people act like it's true - or making sure people show up and have extremely good excuses when they don't, if that's the policy - is management's job.


totally agree. Things like "Let’s call him Greg because his real name is just as vanilla." are just petty. Maybe it is because I have a name I hate to explain to everyone but jabs at the name your parents gave you aren't cool.

There is a lot of ascribing negative motives to other people's words and behaviors when other explanations seem possible from the description he gave to the situation.


Assuming the motives of others, especially when they’re always negative, is a huge red flag.


He wouldn't be the first designer to pick apart everyday things and question them.

But you have to remember that he was told he'd get to work on Chrome but was then assigned to G+. You have to be extremely laid-back and financially secure to roll with that punch and not put the rest of the company under a microscope (even criticizing petty culture-identity labels like 'nooglers' builds up resentment).


How is changing projects a punch? Haven't been longtime in a permanent position but there never was a project guaranteed during recruiting, only the skills and type of work.

Even if the project was guaranteed, things happen. Roll with it. Building resentment you are just hurting yourself.

Fuck, posts like these piss me off so much. There are so many candidates who would give their arm and leg to work at Google.

Heck, if i didn't have a startup I would have been happy to work even on Orkut at Google.


Bait and switch, where they try to convince you to take a lowball offer because you'll work on prestigious projects like Chrome, then turn around and put you on G+ is most definitely a punch. Just because it happens (regularly) doesn't mean you should just roll over and take it.

There could be inaccuracies here, it's a twitter rant after all, but as presented, that would demoralize a lot of people. You don't have to force your own happiness just because some people aren't getting their dream job at a dream company.


It's tempting to think of Google as a monolithic entity that "has a will" and "says things" and "makes promises," but in fact what happened was probably more like...

He didn't get the Chrome job.

His resume was "kept on file" as they say.

Months later a different job came up with a totally different team of people, and someone on that team remembered him and recommended him. (Slap of ingratitude to that guy I guess. Just one of many things this guy got wrong.)


Then reject the job offer? Would you take up the job if the salary was reduced on day one?

Some devs would roll with lower salary, some with different projects. You can still call the shots instead of going ahead and whinging publically


>Would you take up the job if the salary was reduced on day one?

I'd certainly tell people on as many public forums as possible instead of just letting someone walk all over me and also see if I could get anyone with influence to reverse the decision.

Do I sit and take it? Hell no. And you shouldn't either because you should have more self-respect.


Is this your definition of "walking all over you"? How much of a bubble is silicon valley?

I have worked in the biggest bank in Australia where subcontractors were siphoning away the source codes and customer data via mobile hotspots. I blew the whistle to data security and got fired in return. Company later paid me huge chunk of money in return for silence.

Sometimes you just gotta walk away to better deals. Life is unfair more so if you have a big ego.


>Is this your definition of "walking all over you"? How much of a bubble is silicon valley?

Yeah it is, but I don't live in the valley.

I mean, your example fits my definition too. I just have a much lower threshold that I tolerate apparently.

But lets wait for someone else to come by with a more impactful story than yours and we can reset the goal posts.


Sure. Also there was a guy complaining that free food in Google was an execuse to keep employees longer in office to make them work.


Since you’re sharing, how did you get from being fired to being offered payment for silence? You got terminated and a day/week/month later the bank reached out to you offering money just in case, or they fired you and approached them asking for “cautionary” compensation, or something in between? Not trying to make a moral judgement, I’m wondering how these escenarios play out in real life


Guessing the sequence of fired->get lawyer->send letter->settlement+non-disclosure is pretty common.


Similar to what the commenter below said except I had one more step of federal court intervening and forcing the settlement


Breaking promises is considered unethical in most cultures, not just in silicon valley. Maybe "walking all over you" is an overstatement, but an egregious thing that has happened to you doesn't make what happened to the OP less bad.

I've heard this is standard behavior for google - completely disregarding what an applicant wants to work on and putting them instead on a project chosen by the hiring committee. Considering that the range of different projects where you may end up is enormous, I agree that it sucks.


You've heard that, huh?

HC doesn't pick your job, they decide whether or not to hire you. Hence the name. At Google it's typically trivially simple to switch teams (this article notwithstanding), so teams don't recruit and hire independently like happens in many companies.

So after a hire is approved, they have to be matched up with a team. Teams decide whether or not a hire is appropriate for their team, and candidate decides whether or not team is appropriate for their interests.

If you're approved for hire but you don't like the team you're paired with, say "I'd prefer to work on X", and if X is hiring and their hiring manager thinks you're a good fit, then you can go there instead. That route is more complicated because recruiters specialize in a given area, but the whole point is for you to like your job.


Good, I assume you have first-hand knowledge of Google's hiring practices.

So, what number of teams can a typical candidate choose from? Compared to the total number of teams hiring? I guess the typical scenario is that a few teams express interest and then you can choose one of them, which is not much different from just "congratulations, this is your new team".

> At Google it's typically trivially simple to switch teams

How simple is trivially simple? Does the new team have to have sufficient budget/a vacancy? What kind of selection process is there if you are not the only one who wants to transfer to that team? What about your old team? What do you do with your responsibilities at the current project? Can you transfer immediately after you've been hired?


>So, what number of teams can a typical candidate choose from? Compared to the total number of teams hiring? I guess the typical scenario is that a few teams express interest and then you can choose one of them, which is not much different from just "congratulations, this is your new team".

Depends on a variety of factors (candidate skills, season, other people, what projects are being worked on etc.). I've seen everything from between 1, and like 8-10.

>How simple is trivially simple?

There's an internal hiring board that people post openings on. You can apply. AFAIK, the manager can pick between people. Basically all of your other questions come down to "does the hiring manager want to allow it".

>What do you do with your responsibilities at the current project?

Depends, I'd hope people handle it like reasonable humans. In my case at least, I told my manager I was interested in transferring out in the next couple months, and he told me to stick around a bit longer so that he could make sure I got promoted. I ended up not transferring out as my work got more interesting.

In general, its easier to transfer with the blessing of your current manager, but from what I've seen its not required. And there are probably long tail cases where transferring is difficult, or people do unethical things, but I'm not directly familiar with any, and I don't think they're the norm. So for most cases, transferring is trivial.

Edit: And actually, if you read the entire story (more was posted on twitter after this article went up), he was able to transfer off of the team with almost no issues, to a team he found much more interesting, but instead left to go to Dropbox. The whole transferring this was literally a nonissue once he actually tried to do it.


Exactly the same at Ibm, eBay and jp Morgan when I worked there. There were even programs to let you try out new projects before you commit to them.

All it took was the dev to say that he preferred working on a specific project. Some teams even have further internal hiring processes from the talent pool.

I am not even sure OP knows that team switching was possible and how internal recruiting works for large organizations


It is not that internal transfers are impossible, but they are never as easy as advertised. Yes, many companies have formal processes for them, but stars still have to align just right both at your old team and the new one.

> All it took was the dev to say that he preferred working on a specific project. Some teams even have further internal hiring processes from the talent pool.

I'm not sure if I read that correctly, but don't these two sentences contradict each other? Of course some positions will be more coveted than others, so additional processes are necessary to choose from all the people interested in the position. But it means that just saying "I prefer to work on X" is not nearly enough to transfer (of course it isn't).


> Would you take up the job if the salary was reduced on day one?

This is a labor law violation, because it's obvious, even to government regulators, that it's unfair to the employee. I would hope everybody would object to labor law violations on their first day of work.


I've been part of recruiting processes before where even when the applicant is applying for a specific role, if there's a better fit (as described here by the G+ manager wanting this guy), then that's usually the offer that is made. Given the time gap, the lack of details, and the author's admission to taking it and waiting, I don't think this was a surprise.


Employees like these quickly wear you down if you are leading then. I am surprised Google is not doing a personality test before recruiting.

When I was a recruiter for ibm I always made sure to check if the potential was an asshole or not before going ahead with tech. Talent can always be learned by those willing. Attitude is permanent.


You've got that backwards. Attitude can be adjusted, but only if the person is willing. Talent can't be learned--at least not by most people, and not on the timescale of an actual job to be performed.


Hm strangely I find the opposite to be true. I actually think personality is really hard to change but if you aren't good at something you can be trained.

Without the right attitude though it's hard to train someone.


I totally agree. I don't think the idea of "talent" is meaningful. For the most part, at least with software design, you can learn all this over time, but it requires you to have the right attitude (i.e. a growth mindset).

You can tell when people don't have the right attitude because they stop trying to learn things or listen to outside perspectives. That's the attitude that causes people stop learning and stop growing.


Talent only even begins to matter when you're at levels roughly 4-5 standard deviations away from the mean.


This. In college I was a lightweight rower. Despite there being thousands of people in that sport at the college level, in most years there are 0 to 1 kids with enough genetic talent to be unbeatable by everyone else who just works hard.


Then how do police forces argue that intelligence is a legitimate criteria in hiring?


How do they measure intelligence? Whatever test they give, I promise it doesn't reveal intelligence, only aptitude, knowledge, and whatever latent biases the exam preparer had.


You are entitled to your opinion but in my life as tech recruiter or even for my startup my priority has always been culture fit aka don't be an asshole. The rest is negotiable.


Completely agree! Because even if you have one amazingly talented person, if they're morale-killing and toxic to work with, any gains from their talent is negated by loss of productivity and the drama they bring to the rest of the team (as well as turnover they inspire because people just can't stand to work with them). I'd much rather work with someone pleasant, funny and smart who is trainable and tries hard but maybe is less talented than a talented jerk.


how would you check? what was your test?


I don't think it's controversial, post was unprofessional and came across very entitled and immature. It's bad for his career imho.


I find not being able to show up to your job, especially a 9am meeting you scheduled, because you were hungover to be irresponsible and unprofessional.


As long as it doesn't interfere with his work it doesn't seem necessary to judge why he wasn't there (people miss small parts of the day for different hobbies all the time). If all he needed to do was reschedule one non-urgent meeting it doesn't seem like it really matters.


Yep. Seems like a smart guy, but overwhelmed with bitterness. Also a fair amount of irony from someone complaining about fair treatment, like:

"Let’s call him Greg because his real name is just as vanilla"


The author of this article sounds insufferable to work with. Sounds like the google team all couldn't stand working with him, so while they didn't specifically fire him, they orchestrated to force him out so he would resign. After reading his self-indulgent, whiny, bitter grandstanding tirade, can't say I blame them.

Also shows a complete lack of introspection or self awareness that he'd post and promote this drivel and think it makes him look GOOD! Lol. Career suicide imo. If I was considering hiring him and googled him and came across this writing, I'd nope out so fast.


In my opinion it makes both him and Google look really bad.


I'd describe him as the second designer I'd hire. Possibly invaluable to the endeavor, but not the single source of truth.


If anyone except maybe my skip-manager scheduled a meeting for 9am, I'd say "Sorry I don't get in before 10".


"If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day, you're the asshole."

- Raylan Givens


Plenty of organizations breed assholes as an evolutionary process because they thrive more than better behaving people.


So since the author calls out many people he enjoyed working with at Google, this quote isn't all that relevant.


I agree the writing style, it's not constructive. That said, I think the main point is that his manager and some of his colleagues ganged up on him because they felt threatened, and that resulted in him being let go.

That does indicate a problem for Google if true. This is often the slow death people talk about when big company culture turns like this.

This is made stronger by the fact Google+ failed, and they're shutting it down. If i was an exec at Google I'd totally take this as a retrospective data point, and I'd explore to see how much of this attitude existed within the Plus org, if it was prevalent, it could have had a role in the failure of Plus.


>That said, I think the main point is that his manager and some of his colleagues ganged up on him because they felt threatened, and that resulted in him being let go.

>That does indicate a problem for Google if true.

I mean, if his writing is a reflection of how he behaves then why is this a problem for Google? Getting rid of toxic people in a company is a positive and not a negative.


This is assuming they are actually toxic and not a scapegoat. Can't tell that from a single post as it usually takes more than one instance for a person to blow a gasket just like that. (unless there is something really wrong)

People on bad projects like scapegoats.

Ganging up on one guy, especially new young upstart, is a sign of a dysfunctional team too.


He doesn't come across as toxic. At worst, he's not a team player. That can be a problem, but I'd argue not being able to tolerate or channel these individuals definitely is a portend of a bad corporate culture.


Totally agree.

Sounds like conflict management is not handled very well by anyone in these situations.The author certainly could have handled it better, and "Greg" should have handled it way better.

Very disappointing to hear, but at the same time these kinds of conflict are usually local and only affect a few individuals, so it is probably not very fair to describe the whole project and exec team as operating in this fashion.


Management above Greg should have seen through Gregs behavior a long time ago and acted on it.

People like Greg are poison to a workplace, IMHO.


I agree that management above Greg could have possibly identified his behavior and acted on it, but it might be reaching a bit to expect them to have done so... sometimes these individuals can be hard to identify and root out (for example I doubt that Greg would ever be so mean in front of his bosses).

Good on the author to bring this kind of stuff into the open though so that it hopefully happens less in the future. At least something went right lol!


Assuming "management above greg" are competent (not a stretch in a successful company) then they likely measure Greg on important things like effectiveness and retention. Not being mean in front of his bosses has little to do with that.


Naw, people that think they are always right and don't recognize other talented people are the poison.


To summarize some of his major complaints:

1) He accepted a salary (115K) lowered than what he thought was fair

2) Design occurred in silos, there was no unity or cohesion

3) His 2nd manager was "political" and "in love with bureaucracy"

4) An exec on a rival team tried to quash his idea

5) Managers often just wanted to slap their name on his work

6) He worked all night to satisfy an angry coworker the night his grandmother died, while coworker partied then rescheduled mtg

For No 1: if you don't think a salary is fair, don't accept it.

Nos 2-5: these happen at almost every medium-large sized company I've ever worked at. If you know a place that isn't political, bureaucratic, siloed and filled with rivals and petty managers, let me know so I can give you my resume.

For No. 6, if you feel a deadline or meeting time is unfair, say so. If you have a sick family member, say so.

He sent this email to his boss:

> "Greg, I had to work most of the night because of Jim, and he canceled our meeting because he was partying with our competitors. In my book, this is totally unacceptable. What am I supposed to do?"

It's never a good idea to send this. It's not going to help you, even if you're in the right. Canceling a meeting is not a gross injustice and if an employee parties afterhours that's his or her business.

I sympathize with the author. Sounds like a good dude. But you have to try to roll with the punches, no workplace will be perfect, I promise you.


The email was definitely a misplay, but the manager response was also pretty rough. Google’s a big place, surely there’s a non-petty solution other than telling someone that they’ve ordained their future manager — in the heated moment with that person.


No question (assuming the author represented the conversation accurately).

But you need to deal with jerks. There's lots of them out there, often in management positions.

He says this made him "very depressed" and working there was "completely and utterly ruined" -- an on over-reaction. Toxic leadership is bad but you shouldn't let it control you to this extent.


But what if a certain kind of talent is mutually exclusive to being able to deal well with this kind of situation? Honest question.


>>Nos 2-5: these happen at almost every medium-large sized company I've ever worked at. If you know a place that isn't political, bureaucratic, siloed and filled with rivals and petty managers, let me know so I can give you my resume.

This is one of the problems with the way their hiring is marketed. They are depicted to be asking hard CS and algorithm based questions, and a culture of a workplace is being sold which is based on a merit process along the lines of 'programming abilities'.

The reality in every people structure one will every work at, politics is how the world works. People optimize what's best for themselves. The bosses are often stupid, because bosses that exist never want smart people to grow up and become a competition to them. Money is always attached to hot projects, so bulk of the career growth, bonuses and other juice comes when you work there. Regardless of whatever the merits of that project are.

The same applies to projects too. Once a company has 2 - 3 cash cow projects, the executives won't let new set of rivaling products emerge and become a competition to their fiefdom. Most of the times the competition is killed in plain sight, but other times its back room political sabotage. Only a few days back some one mentioned how Google is a place where $100M revenue opportunities pop up and die all the time.

The same case with that 20% extra time projects. Who is going to let this happen? I'm pretty sure anybody who dares to do these projects will be marked to be a trouble maker by the very managers they report too.

In short once you have more than 2 layers of management at your company, politics is how thing will work. And its perfectly, OK. Because that's how world is.

What is problematic is if the people at the top, Larry Page and Sergey Brin don't know are too naive to understand that its happening in their company since years. Inability to deal with everyday politics can kill companies.


People have gotten promoted off their 20% projects.

It's not all sunshine and rainbows, but to say you understand the internal dynamics of Google and the decisions that Larry and Sergey make is certainly some kind of delusional.


> The reality in every people structure one will every work at, politics is how the world works.

> In short once you have more than 2 layers of management at your company, politics is how thing will work. And its perfectly, OK. Because that's how world is.

The problem is people see "the political system" and "politicians" and think wouldn't it be great if we could do away with that, never understanding these are just examples of normal human behavior taken to extreme levels because of the competition, scale and stakes.

Politics is always present, because it's just a word to describe human power dynamics.

Company politics becomes obvious when different people want different things, and some people exert power and influence to affect outcomes, in subtle or not so subtle ways. It's as inevitable at a small company as a big company, the only difference is that it may not be as extreme and it may take a while longer to show up.

The mistake is people considering working at a company of tens of thousands of people and thinking that somehow normal human behavior doesn't apply here.


> If you know a place that isn't political, bureaucratic, siloed and filled with rivals and petty managers, let me know so I can give you my resume.

Red Hat. It is siloed and can be (increasingly) bureaucratic, but I have never experienced rivals or petty managers and it's the least political place I've ever worked.


Could be. But just as a counter-example, here's a Glassdoor review from just 9 days ago that describes Red Hat as a "bloated company with an abusive culture": https://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Employee-Review-Red-Hat-RV...

Even if Red Hat is amazing for you it might not be for other people. No company is immune to human nature.

Again I feel for the author. Sounds like "Greg" was jerk. But it's not cosmic injustice, it's more a feature of humans working in collectives, IMHO.


Company cultures don't feel bureaucratic or political if one benefits from it.

Say one was promoted twice in an year- it's always easy to believe that it happened because you deserved it, than to believe it happened to you because the managers like you.


The Googleyness is weak with this one. Inferiority complex. Work-life balance problems (work over xmas break, late night after work). Not being able to stand for oneself (salary, reschedule meeting). Wanting everyone to like him (literally said it). Seems to dismiss other people's jobs and even names as being less important than his.

Nobody's perfect, we all have some bad things in our personalities. But it's impossible to read this and extract the value that he tries to convey that Google as a company didn't accommodate him (dismissing the design of buildings or noogler's orientation) rather than he tried too hard to be liked and perceived as valuable member.


For context the G+ team was viewed add being run in a very ungoogley way during Vic's tenure. It sounds like the OP had the misfortune to be hired into the worst run project at Google at the time.


Unfortunately in big companies no one is valuable. If someone is, the company has a problem.


I don't think valuable should be seen as black and white, although companies and employees both make that mistake in different ways.

Irreplaceable is an extreme version of valuable. Companies are right to avoid that extreme. But they shouldn't take it so far that they are allergic to admitting that employees have value. Any current employee who is right in the middle of the bell curve has value because, while they could be replaced, they are a known quantity.

From the employee side, there can be a temptation to believe that because you're not exceptional, you're not valuable. Even if you're merely average, that is OK, and you need to accept that you are a worthwhile member of the team. If mentally you can't claim the position you rightfully deserve as your own, then you believe something wrong about the world, and like any wrong information, that will corrupt your decisions about how to act.


That's the point of companies to de-risk relying on a single person. You can still be a valuable member within your team, among peers, some of which you may even call friends.


In 2014 Google paid a guy named Neal Mohan $100 to refuse the head of product job at Twitter.[0]

[0]https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.businessinsider.com/neal-mo...


$100m not $100


This is one of the most unprofessional things I've ever read. Giving callouts to people who passed you up for a hire is just... unacceptable.


Yes, very odd. I suppose it’s an attempt to suggest the employer made a mistake passing on them, but the act of calling out itself demonstrates they might have made a good call.


So true! The whole post is just completely offputting and strange. What strikes me as the most odd is that the author thinks this makes him look good. imo it just discloses that he's a nightmare coworker.


This was my impression as well , just wow, this guy seems to be so full of himself. He just constantly wants to belittle other people's work and all that snarky mentions of other companies... just wow! :O


You should read what Michael O'Church wrote about Google. Wow.


Finish reading the article. He explains it at the end.


The big tech companies are really really good at making you feel like you're exceptional and special and destined for greatness because you're good enough to work for them. But then there's the risk that they just say that then dump you in with thousands of others to churn out product.

I'm increasingly convinced that there's a ton of life experience and wisdom to be gained by working for big tech in your early 20s when you have a lot of flexibility. But when you've figured out what kind of life you want to lead, they're probably not the right fit for you.

I think it boils down to: money is easily quantifiable, happiness and freedom aren't. So people make bad life decisions based on an incomplete assessment of what will really suit them best.


Yeah that’s the biggest take from this. Lots of nice smart people mostly doing routine boring things made a little more palatable because it comes with a big name company and decent perks.

And we may have some inkling as to why Vic left (if the anecdotes are representative of behavior).


It’s just a side note, but this mention of his brief tenure at a “failing startup” rubs me the wrong way:

”In a couple of months I knocked out more work than they could have built in a year with their eng team.”

No startup deserves a designer with this kind of attitude. Your job isn’t to produce pie-in-the-sky concepts for your portfolio but to work on the product together with the engineers.


Some have written about the problems of the piece. I agree with most of the criticisms, but what is useful for the rest of us is not the problems, but figuring out what useful things we can get out of the piece.

The author's biggest work-related mistake was to sit tight when given a managed he had a bad relationship with. In most large organizations (500+ employees), your success and your failure will have a lot to do with a good relationship with your manager. It's not just performance reviews, but your technical influence that will be influenced by this. This matters with sibling teams too, as a political manager (and most bad managers are very political) will not want a report they don't like to have more influence than they do. I have seen people go from being seen as extremely productive to being called very low performers, and vice versa, in 2 months and a manager change. This kind of match, and caring about making teams cohesive, is something that most large valley companies do not really care about, and hurts them greatly, as a lot of talent is underused or downright shoved out the door.

We can learn the some things as managers too: A report we really dislike could really help the company a whole lot if they were in an environment that matches them better, and ultimately that's what we should be caring about, not making people we don't like leave, and helping people we like get promoted. Whether it is by knowing them better, or helping them move somewhere else, is far more work than just undermining them, but its ultimately the right thing to do. What we should foster instead is teamwork, and the minimization of political behavior among reports. The sly report that is always telling me what I like to hear, but playing politics all day is the bad manager of tomorrow. Companies work better when people are aligned with building the best product the company can, not maximizing the credit they get. The more energy is spent on political fights, the worse the product gets.


This isn't a story about Google+, it's a story about a disgruntled employees failing at a job as told through his own glasses filled with illusions of grandjour and sense of superiority.

That said it's still an incredibly interesting story, and I have the feeling that many managers could gain some insight into what's going on in some of those "I am gods gift to development"-type individuals who can be both a huge benefit to a project yet at the same time be toxic to work with.


Wow, on one hand - pretty interesting read in a sense that tabloids are interesting, but boy, you should never do that. It’s not just burning the bridges, it is not a very good signal to your potential employers, partners, acquirers, employees... Imagine public outcry if it went the other way: if managers hung out dirty laundry on employees who were not up to snuff.

Also, about contractors in pivotal roles. The author was relatively new to for-profit industry and it happens way more often than one may think. People who go the contractor route are usually senior and experienced enough to be confident in getting and keeping the gigs, as the barrier to getting rid of a contractor is very low.


Never write in anger. writing in sadness is ok, but writing in anger generally clouds the message. Some of this stuff is about how you work, and how others work. Its not about google, you could "feel" this way in almost any enterprise with more than 1 tier of management.


The writer seems unbalanced and I can't tell if he or the workplace is the problem, or both.

The thing that cought my eye is that he was telling his boss his coworker was home hung over, becouse he worked while his grandma died instead of visiting her. Like, who is being inconsiderate here really?


Well, he's passionate. He just didn't realize google is so big it's justanotherjob. Full of middle management machiavellis, and political deck chair shuffling.


This! Is the author immature? Yes but not out of malice. He's simply a novice to the world of people. Labeling this guy as mental, dysfunctional or having a Everest sized ego is just petty.

The key to understanding the author is at the top of the article.

He skipped college, freelanced for much of his life and worked for non-profits (whose lofty goals transcend internal politics.) As someone who recently worked to make the world a better place, he genuinely tried to help his teammates and naively believe they appreciated his help. (I bet he doesn't know how to read body language and fake smiles). They on the other hand felt he was trying to make them look bad, and use them as promotion stepping stones.

People who work with compilers for a long time have no qualms being wrong. They take feedback and improve. But for Straight A - straight out of college students and political types, being wrong is a personal insult.

Here's what I think:

Most of his co-workers had been complaining about his well meaning meddling. He couldn't be fired for making things better. The email was the excuse his boss had been looking for to get rid of him.

If he joined Google 10 years ago, he would have been a rock star.

My advice:

He should find a way to make freelancing work.

He should join a startup but freelance / consult on the side to augment his pay. Going to business school - or some management training might also do him a lot of good.

Most of all, if he gets another big job, he shouldn't help anyone unless they ask for it.

Wish him good luck.


>The writer seems unbalanced

That doesn't mean anything, and if you're trying to give it meaning, you're probably not qualified to diagnose someone over a twitter thread.

Everything, all-caps profanities and all, would be part of a normal conversation where a friend is ranting to you.


It means that he probably is not stable. There are things you do not write in public. I don't need to have a MD to notice that.

Writing in public that you wanted to assualt a coworker becouse he didn't like your design and cancelled a meeting for being "sick"/hangover is a flashing red warning light with sugar on top.

It's one thing to rant that to some freinds at a bar if you have no history of assaults. Another thing to publicly state it.

Do you want to work with him? I do not.


Ranting makes people seem unbalanced. Especially ranting on Twitter.


For me it looks that he is a human being with genuine emotions, that he’s passionate about his work and not yet a complete corporate drone.


Twitter has become our society's Rorschach test of character. This rant will earn him both detractors and admirers.


I'm sure Google+ is a dumpster fire, but reading this my only takeaway was... fuck, I hope I never work with anyone this toxic.

The hate, the vitorial, the attacks, the arrogance, the lack of accountability, paranoid, passive aggressive, complaining intensely about event trivial things...

This is the type of person I would leave a project over, no matter how exciting the work.


Yes. Probably why they forced him out of Google... because he was horrible to work with and the entire team was complaining about his lack of social awareness and poor interpersonal skills.


If your team, say on Gmail or Android, was to integrate Google+’s features then your team would be awarded a 1.5-3x multiplier on top of your yearly bonus. Your bonus was already something like 15% of your salary.

Suddenly it makes sense why we can't use + to force a word in google searches anymore.


Is that why they got rid of it? I liked using + more than putting the word in quotes, which is what you have to do now.


> Is that why they got rid of it?

Yes.

"Plus" is a dumb and lame product name.

When Jean-Marie Messier was trying to make Vivendi an important Internet company, he decided he wanted to make some kind of portal (copying Yahoo) that would be named "Vivendi Plus". He announced it at a press conference before having even secured the vivendiplus.com domain. That was in Sept. '99. It failed miserably (didn't even launch).

Ten years later when Google wanted to copy Facebook they came up with the exact same name. It failed.

I think just naming a product myBigCompany--Plus is a symptom you don't know what you're doing or where you're going. It's bad form and then it's bad luck.


It also implies that regular Google is Google-, some kind of inferior good. Never a good thing to do to your principle revenue stream.


A while back they added it again, so you can use + in your searches now.


People are being too hard on this guy here. It's true that big companies are full of politicians and jerks, and that this can be frustrating if you just want to get good work done.

There are some things you can say about the style of writing but... There is stuff here that resonates and accurately describes downsides of SV life. Just because "it's like that everywhere" doesn't mean we shouldn't aspire to better. Just because we don't like some aspect of this guy's communication style doesn't mean we should dismiss him.

If you're reading, Morgan, don't despair at all the people displaying needless aggression in this thread.


I tried reading this, but it is just stream of consciousness writing and littered with unnecessary details. It comes across as petty and the author doesn't seem to be good at communicating what he wants. For instance, he's whining about a 9am meeting with a coworker. If it's such a big deal, why didn't you ask for a later meeting?


The "coworker" seemed more like a superior. I'd also be wary of cancelling meetings with a hostile superior.


Was he? He was just mentioned as "one of the other designers on the team". Anyway, most superiors I've dealt with are open to feedback about a meeting time. If a time doesn't work for me, it's not out of the question to request an adjustment.

The author sounds like the kind of person who will just passively accept a situation instead of saying what he really thinks, leading to internalized anger and bitterness.


To me, it sounded like they all reported to Greg.


At places like Google, where peer reviews determine your bonuses and your career advancement, senior people on your team have to be handled politically. For a person coming in at a level 2, this means nearly everyone.


I've worked at a large software company with a similar review system in place and I think this attitude makes it sound like everyone is walking on egg shells and can't state what they really think for fear of offending someone in power. That's hardly the case.

If someone "below" me had a problem with my scheduling or some things I was doing, I'd like them to tell me and not just act angry later on.

People work together and generally try to be accommodating in large companies. But it does require people communicating their needs to each other and being fair. The poster sounded like he was holding a grudge against people and trying to power through things instead of having a frank discussion with other people. It sounds like they have talent, but they need work in working with others.

I get that sometimes you know your ideas are much better than other people's, but at the end of the day you need to work with others and give and take a bit.


> I think this attitude makes it sound like everyone is walking on egg shells and can't state what they really think for fear of offending someone in power. That's hardly the case.

The company has to explicitly foster an egoless culture to make fair peer reviews work, but egoless employees aren't going to present themselves well enough to get promotions. The system incentivizes politics. If you didn't see it in your team, your teammates hadn't learned to play the game yet.


Jim had seniority and apparently more clout. Just because OP wasn't directly reporting to Jim doesn't mean Jim wasn't a superior.


Hm, odd definition of superior, but I work at a place where levels are secret and titles only reflect function.


Tweet-storm stories always feel like that: disorganized, erratic, frantic, extremely unpleasant to read.


Exactly!! If a meeting time is unsuitable I just tell the other person and they almost always agree to move it. Even most manager types (resonable ones anyway) don't schedule non-critical meetings for 9am the next morning.


I think the stream-of-consciousness might be partially the fault of the format. The article is a long series of tweets, Threader is just a website that compiles them into an article.


There’s a special kind of rottenness in big orgs when the only thing they can produce is “like X but by us”.

I understand why it happens, I’ve been on a few projects like that. The problem is that it’s hard to come up with a genuine new idea that a stack of middle managers will agree on and execute.

But if you say: “Let’s make Twitter/facebook/App Store”, then the middle managers can’t really disagree with you since there’s already a successful example of that thing on the market.

There’s also no room for miscommunication, everyone already knows what Facebook looks like, we just have to copy it.

The problem is that this work is dull, uninspired, and likely to be unsuccessful. What’s the point? Why not just kill this shit before spending millions of dollars on it?


Like VisiCalc but by us. Hmmmm, sometimes it works out okay.


He’s a timid and generally kind person (running theme). But also not sure of himself. Not confident in his work. Also understandable considering it wasn’t the best. Often times he seemed anxiety stricken.

This is the point at which you begin to realize the author is a bit of a jerk.


Really? My turning point was when he called out companies for not hiring him and then said he did more work than the engineering team in 3 months


Interesting insight, but I can't help but wonder if this guy is going to regret some of the shots he took in this article.

I also stumbled upon his Twitter at the end of the article and it does more to show really how much this experience has affected him (https://twitter.com/morganknutson). Very sad.


I'm s bit sad at the end of the article. Sounds to me like a great designer, with good ideas and some genuine leadership skills. But the article itself is so full of anger and resentment that I really wonder what it would be like to work with the author. Looks like nobody has taken the time or given him the opportunity to learn how to navigate trough BS and handle it.

Saying NO, being political, negotiating. . . Not very surprising if he indeed had such bad managers.

Still, feels like wasted time and resources for everybody. I hope he is doing OK now.


Megacorps don't work to make products. They work to keep their top-dog status perpetual. One way to do this is to hire smart people and keep them locked away wasting time.

Two benefits: them not working productively at a competitor's place is one, and them losing the skills and drive to make real-world useful things after a few years is another.


Ive read other post basically making the same claim, Google is happy to create, fund, and hire for projects just to capture/retain talent and remove it from the hiring pool. Is that HN folks reading too much between lines or is it a thing?


It's not a Google thing. Every single large, successful company does this.

It is a no-brainer decision from a game theoretic point of view: these companies already have a top-of-the-line, best in the world product. Working on more products requires lots of inspiration, time and luck, and even in the best case all you get is just another amazing product. (I.e., just more of the stuff you already got.)

Using your money and fame to neutralize talent that could be used against you requires no effort or thinking at all, only money. These companies don't know what to do with their profits anyways.


I don't think it's true. I'm more inclined to believe that as companies become large the amount of politics and bureaucracy takes over to the point where the company constantly self-sabotages.


Your story is exactly why I see many capable people leaving the Valley putting all that BS behind. FAANG, those are where you find a bunch of incompetent managers, who never got to learn leadership, stealing your ideas to look good in front of their boss, draining your energy with stupid decisions a donkey wouldn't take, and unable to understand how to work with smart people.

Move on and get a new life. And before you get your next gig, go spend 10 days in a vipasanna center.


It's one thing to not be happy at Google+, which is the center of this rant. But to put targets on all of the companies you interviewed at along the way with their founders Twitter names? Incredibly bitter and salty. It's no way to strengthen your argument or to live.


Publicly criticizing people & companies you've worked with because you haven't seen eye to eye with them...

Is this the sort of person you'd want to work with or hire to work for you? If it were a company that didn't pay you or were doing something unethical etc then fair enough - blow that whistle... but as far as I can see this is just someone with a chip on their shoulder and a bruised ego who can't move on.


I would never, ever hire someone who went on a giant public character assassination of his colleagues and dumped all the day-to-day insider baseball to the world. Call-outs to people who didn't hire him. Jesus, wtf?

I don't care how dysfunctional his experience was, I don't care how much of a star he might be, I don't need that kind of worry in my life, and it's hard to imagine someone who would. Be interested to know how his career goes after this.


The run-down of companies that didn't hire him and name-checking the people involved put me off the whole damn thing before I even got to the stuff at Google. Who does that?


This is the type of person I would want to work with, and if he had an issue with me I'm pretty sure it wouldn't show up in a twitter rant because I'm the type of person that would work it out in house. There is some responsibility on those managers that they did not consider and should be held accountable for.


I would hire him because he's honest. Honest people produce better work.


Plus sucked and dropped the ball. It's obviously an account from his perspective and ego, but it fundamentally shows dysfunction and poor vision, if some middle level dude is actually doing fundamental redesign and is the only one concerned with cross-app experience.


> ... I should air my dirty laundry on how awful the project and exec team was.

No, this is never true. Airing dirty laundry almost never produces a real change in the world. It just burns bridges and often makes you look petty.


Possibly, but sometimes things do need to be said and he changed the names of the actual people he did not like so much, so maybe consider this "dry cleaned"? It definitely is useful to other people in similar circumstances and pretty much raises a point about all the pettiness that occurs in all industries. This is a human condition that needs to be addressed or this world will continue to be built by people who shouldn't be in charge.


The one thing he did, which is admirable, is that he didn't call out most people by their real names, but some of the remarks do seem a little petty. But this hopefully was a learning experience for him to not sacrifice what he wants in order to make people like him (it's a struggle I fight with).

This does sound like a failure of leadership WRT the product and internal management, but, I think we should all try to read past the memory coloring, because I'm sure other members might have a different experience. But I think the main point still holds. Google+ was created as a reaction to FB, and while there were a couple of half decent features, but I can't remember anything they created that was enough to overcome FB's network advantage and draw people away.

Either way, this article is fascinating to hear internals and understand the dynamics behind the scenes.


Engineer here. I wasn't around for G+, but it seems to be an open secret internally that G+ was one of the most poorly managed projects ever. This isn't the first time I've heard about the poorly designed incentive structures or terrible senior management described here.

I'm not going to say anything about all the other obvious caveats here, I think the other comments cover that pretty well. But because this one actually pisses me off: who cares about "partying with our competitors"? Does working at Google mean I shouldn't have friends at other companies? And above all, why the shit is your manager supposed to care about that?

For what it's worth, I've also seen people transfer in less than 3-6 months on the team they were hired into. But if you don't do anything to make it happen, it's not going to happen.


Just wanted to highlight this bit of the article about Vic Gundotra: "I remember him frequently flirting with the women on the team."

Don't be that guy.


The shot he took on Twitter is even harsher. https://twitter.com/morganknutson/status/1050609480033951744


Reading this I got the immediate impresssion that his temperament isn’t very Googley and was a cultural mismatch from the beginning. His ego is really big and doesn’t seem be able to deal with being a small fish in a big sea.


This is really ungrateful. The author is not happy because he got to work on Google+ not chrome?

Google+ for all it's short comings were business failures not tech or ux or design failure. I worked on far stupider projects at big companies and I am utterly grateful for the opportunities given to me.

Absurd blog and no matter how muchi hate Google posts like these makes me realize how ungrateful some people can be.


If I showed up at a new job to work on Project X, and they assigned me to Project Y on my first day instead, I might be pretty upset too.

The problem isn't the reassignment itself. It's the lack of communication.


It's extremely common to get project reassigned especially since he was recruited three months later.

What i guess happened was that Google found candidates for their chrome project and put him in their backlog. Later when they had one more vacancy they went thru this backlog and made offers


I agree. They just need to make this clear to him before he agrees to the job.


Job offers don't come with project guarantees. What next? A guaranteed table spot next to the window?


They apparently knew when they hired him that he'd be working on Google+ instead of Chrome, but didn't bother telling him until he showed up for orientation. That's a huge red flag to me.


I think it depends on how much leverage you have, doesn't it?

If your skillset is in huge demand, and a company needs you badly enough, they might just be willing to guarantee in writing what project you'd be working on - and maybe even give you a window seat, too.

Though if you're in demand, and want project guarantees, you'd probably be happier as a consultant - that way you're sort of always guaranteed to be working on the project you want, because completing that project is the entire reason the company hired you.


Just a personal anecdote but yep, I've seen that one for real.


If you read through the end, you see he is not happy because his Manager backstabed him and fired him (slow release as they say) because he felt threatened by him.


Frankly, if you are running around the office, making everyone feel like useless piece of crap because you are the obvious rock star, no wonder that folks get defensive.

My bet is that he wasn't fired/let go because the manager was afraid for his job (that's what the author claims and it is a pretty cheap shot to make) but because the guy's behavior was being toxic for the team. Unfortunately he couldn't see that over his ego ...


Managers never feel threatened by employees. They have no reason to do so. Once you are inside a large company, with enough motivation you can switch projects and move up the ladder.

That's how it works in life, that how it works in companies.

Complaining that he didn't get his dream project right off the bat is vanity.


I feel like I understand the author's experience, and his bitterness, I had a very similar situation myself when I was a new engineer, creating an amazing project that was really useful for everyone that got completely shot down for political reasons. For a while after, the more I stuck out with better work the more I was punished.

I learned a lot from this. It was very demotivating, painful, even humiliating, and it took me a long time to get over it (mostly). What I didn't learn is that all the people who were to blame for this were the bad guys. Here's what I did learn:

  - People are people and will do the things that people do, despite your high expectations.
  - You can often not change other people. But you can change yourself. Think of what *you* can do to improve relationships.
  - You'll rarely change someone's thinking by using logic. This, sadly, is not human nature in a political environment.
  - Work is a political environment. Even engineering.
  - You must learn what motivates, frustrates, encourages, shames and honors the people you work with.
  - Protect the people you work with, do not cause them to raise their defenses.
  - If you want something to move forward in a team you must win people over.
  - You don't win people over by making them feel threatened that you will take power from them or make them look bad.
  - If you truly care about something, having another person claim that idea as their own isn't bad, it's a great victory.
If you don't really care what gets done in your organization and are just interested in being the most well respected and successful person, and want to get there in the quickest and not deal with everyone's crap, then do what a lot of others do and just flatter and lie and job-hop around before things catch up to you and you'll be C-level in no time. You can also get there (but not for sure) through long difficult years of doing everything right. Make your choices.


Yeah..... I'm not buying into this 100%...... it sounds like typical corporate BS that he is complaining about, and it was his choice to work instead of being with his family during a serious time of ill health.

Like others have mentioned, I get the impression there are many sides to this this story, just like any other story. And yes, it does come across as extremely whiny. And also somewhat naive.

Yaaaawwwwwwn.... I'm not exactly sitting on the edge of my seat for part II.


That's what people say when they say the team and product you're on matters most. In big tech companies, your experiences can vary greatly from one team to another.

This is where the companies could do a better job with HR of making sure each employee fits well in their team and enjoys themselves, and if not, to relocate them to another team.

This is also a great lesson to learn for yourself: Don't stay on a shitty team, don't work for a failing product. Get out as soon as you can, transfer to another team, or even quit and leave the company if that's not possible.


This sounds so much like how things are done at Yandex. I guess we really copy Google at everything. I also disagree with people attacking the author, these sorts of things need to be aired out, in fact names should be named as well. Public callouts is the only way we can defeat toxic workplace culture.


It's a real shame, because I can definitely see a way for Google to do social networking in a way that would pull me away from Facebook. Basically I could connect with people and put their feeds into channels sort of like Slack (one for family, one for work, one for recruiters so I could get rid of Linkedin). But I'd have control over each channel and (this is important) people could message me in a way that worked like Gmail, but I wouldn't have to fork over my Gmail address.

For me that was the critical omission, the idea that we can be "friends" on Google+ but you have no way to message me. It never made any sense. And I'm not even that smart.


His criticisms come off as seriously naive and green if he was expecting to upend the design practice of a behemoth tech company with many competing business units and products, each with their own leaders, legacy code dependencies, and teams of designers who would poke holes in his design decisions from a UX perspective (e.g. didn't test designs with users, just made it up) and see him as a 'graphic designer' who is a glorified pixel pusher and lacks a fundamental understanding of the field of HCI and user centered design.

This is clearly evident from when he mentioned his outrage that he:

"Never would’ve imagined that I was joining a team of 50+ designers where a bunch of them had never designed before.

And I was “evaluated” at about their level? These weren’t interns, these were designers in their very first roles ever...at Google."

From any UX design professional's perspective, he comes into their world, lacking any background in UX or basic understanding of user centered design methods, and just does the visual design portion of the work, not the actual hard work that goes into understanding human behavior, being curious and testing hypotheses and validating designs with quantitative and qualitative data via UX research methods.

Dude needs to check his ego in my opinion, design is a team sport and anyone can mock up random dribbble worthy interfaces in an afternoon and think they deserve the title of designer then diss others who have a 4 year degree in fields related to understanding human behavior, not just art or graphic design (although art degrees are good if you solely focus on visual design due to color theory, typography, understanding design aesthetics, design critiquing etc.)

tl;dr

UI designer ≠ UX designer


The best bit was his take on the famed Google "adult daycare" workplace theme - essentially saying it's a clutter problem. But this guy is a dumpster fire.


I have never read a corporate butthurt story with this kind of flow--not on Medium anyway.

@morganknutson, your writing style is on point.


"They just wanted THEIR work to be used, or to be able to take credit for it. I hate that weak ass shit." My favorite part, it sucks he lost someone in the whole process...


auto-bio: a very serious person doing very serious and important things

that’s all you need to know. can stop reading right there


For anyone interested, "Emerald Sea" was the project code name for G+.


Hmmm this is interesting, but too much anger. I’m taking it with a grain of salt. This is definitely no rachelbythebay.


It's a sad story. His tweets provide the background for why he decided to write all this.


Unhinged guy does not like Google, his boss or his collegues. Why is this at the top?


i especially like how he has nothing but disdain for jack dorsey but is perfectly happy to tweet the day away


I was complaining about some of the problems in a few HN posts back then.




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