Slightly more organized info in the intro bullets.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the CEO and President, respectively, of Alphabet, have decided to leave these roles. They will continue their involvement as co-founders, shareholders and members of Alphabet’s Board of Directors.
But a half-decade later, it's still 99.9% Google, so just double-up the Google guy to lead both tiers. Same as it ever was.
No, the idea was that they were high risk speculative efforts and that it didn't make sense to have their branding mixed up with Google, which is a stable, established industry leader.
In this case, I dont see anything else coming out of non-Google alphabet of meaningful significance, and this org change kind of highlights that.
In my personal opinion, the Google founders probably still DO have some radical plans, but I bet with the increased scrutiny in Congress and abroad they are thinking the Google vrand is more of a liability than an asset.
No, separating branding and separating management are substantively different ideas, not a matter of semantics.
> All major corporations have highly speculative projects that they aren't certain will succeed. With (relatively) minor investments most don't form an umbrella corporation to distinguish them.
That doesn't support your argument that it's a semantic distinction, it instead seems to be an unrelated argument with some implicit premises that argues that most corporations wouldn't have done what Google did to separate Alphabet in similar circumstances, which may or may not be true but is irrelevant to what the point was of Google doing it.
Some companies like Chevron and Texas Instruments have even committed in writing to "returning 100% of all cash flow in perpetuity" to buybacks and dividends. So yes, they have legal contracts saying they won't agree to invest in future growth or investments or research no matter how much money they make, they are so committed to this buyback first model.
Google is a true leader in the buyback wars, they were the first company to commit to $25B in buybacks per quarter, which used to be a shockingly large number for these programs. Lots of other companies have followed that pattern since.
YouTube. But in general I agree with you.
I have both Netflix and HBO-Now as well, but I'm thinking about canceling them, as 90% of my viewing time is spent on YouTube.
By making a group of companies, you can have many CEO's, more directors, more VP's, etc. and therefore keep hold of more smart people who are after external recognition more than money.
I doubt Einstein cared very much what was on his business card. Patrick Bateman certainly did.
- : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annus_Mirabilis_papers
There's only one CEO per company, so if you want more CEOs you need more companies. Being CEO of Waymo probably isn't that different from being Manager of the Autonomous Cars Division or whatever, but it sounds more impressive.
Usually, but not always. When I was at Intel, they had two CEOs. They called it "two in a box" for some odd reason.
The image of Patrick Bateman was more important to Patrick Bateman than Einstein or his accomplishments.
Sure, there are also people who couldn't care less what their title is, but I can't help but feel that most people would find the possibility of a 'better' title at least moderately motivating.
Can you break out revenue in a single company? Sure. But you can also easily do it with the structure Alphabet adopted. And, this structure also lends itself to easier valuations of entire units, useful if acquisition of a unit is something being considered.
This isn't entirely true. A major consideration was fear of anti-trust litigation. If all of these are the same company/orgs/departments, then you could reasonably say that this "search company" is far too powerful. If there's a search company and a youtube company and a self-driving car company (etc.) then you can make a (specious) argument that you're not vertically and horizontally a monopoly.
Congress is already whispering about the Ascension deal and how it affects the Fitbit buyout with regards to them intervening.
Google might not respect the desire for an open internet without ads and no single large player.
But i believe they fully respect their users privacy, comply with most of the law around privacy already, and have the strong desire to fully comply with it in the future.
Maybe I'm naive that way. But painting them as not respecting privacy at all is a bit blunt and not nuanced enough.
They are a huge company with thousands of teams pursuing their own agendas and made up of people of varying degree of scruples and viewpoints with regards to privacy.
I've worked for large companies that handle sensitive user data, and they all have at least some teams of people trying to figure out how they can respect the letter of privacy laws just enough, while ignoring the spirit of those laws, in order to profit from the personal data they hold, regardless of the potential side effects or long-term impact on the data subject.
Google is probably no different.
I'm not trying to say larger companies are innocent. Saying they don't respect privacy insinuates to me that they intentionally violate the law, and i don't think that that's true.
Technology moves faster than the law, we all know this.. What we need are ethical companies who not only respect the law but also respect the data owners.
We need a company with a motto like "don't be evil" or something like that.. if only, right? ;-)
The data shows they do not.
Google Is Fined $57 Million Under Europe’s Data Privacy Law: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/21/technology/google-europe-...
Google Is Fined $170 Million for Violating Children’s Privacy on YouTube: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/04/technology/google-youtube...
There is even a Wikipedia page about Google VS users privacy
Privacy concerns regarding Google: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privacy_concerns_regarding_Goo...
There's a case to be made that Google is trying to do the right thing.
Google of course cares a lot that your data doesn't get into the hands of other companies, after all, it's THEIR data. That's were their care ends.
They're still fundamentally one org sharing data with itself. If anything, I would think the company segregation would make it more complicated and difficult, wrt logistics, legality, and internal politics.
The lack of direction, apart from the bigger projects is noticeable.
This is often inherent in the organizational structure of big companies. To the extent that there are visionaries in a big company, they're usually not anywhere on the executive team, or even anywhere that the CEO comes in direct contact with. If they were, they'd clash with the CEO's vision, which first of all would be confusing and inefficient for the organization and second is a power contest the CEO would win. So if the board wants to appoint a visionary from within, they usually need to reach several levels down in the org hierarchy, to someone who's run an innovative division semi-independently but been protected from overall company politics. If they elevate this person to CEO, everyone above them in the org chart will quit, as they've now been passed over for the top job.
Maybe they should just rename the whole thing to "AdWords" then...
Sure, I wouldn't disappear completely, but I'd work on low-stress things where I have a lot of free time and don't have so much responsibility under me.
Or children ;) John Lennon famously quit music for 5 years to raise his second child, after failing his first marriage.
I guess only time will tell how much I like this arrangement, but I'm pretty optimistic about it, and am tired of hearing the usual "oh but you'll be bored and want to work again" tropes. There's a lot more to life than work...
I am both cautious enough of Google that I've started avoiding using some of their products, and still have an opinion on how they should organize themselves that has very little to do with those feelings.
I was sort of hoping Alphabet would be a spot they could stick all of the projects that aren't going to make a billion a year. I think it still makes sense to maintain projects that 'only' clear $20+ million a year in another division. That would cover a lot of projects that are getting cancelled and causing them serious PR problems (like accusations of being a group of spoiled man-children who can't be relied upon to stick with anything for longer than four years).
Basically there's a lot of space to make money and products that they won't touch, and I don't think it has anything to do with Wall Street. It's just an artificial limitation they've imposed upon themselves.
By now even companies like Tesla and Volvo can do most of what any one can do. And they actually have usable cars.
Google inventing AGI will be a great deal though.
Las Vegas (Aptiv), Pittsburgh (Aptiv, Aurora, Ford, Uber ATG), Dearborn MI (Ford), Miami (Ford), Washington (Ford). There's also a retirement community in Florida that Voyage is testing in.
Flagstaff, AZ (pop. ~70,000, and double that in the metro area) has colder average lows than NYC during the winter, and several times more snow.
It's the closest major(-ish) town to the Grand Canyon, which is about 75 miles away.
Self driving cars is indeed a cool technical problem to solve if you asked an engineer, but if you asked society what it needed I doubt self driving cars would be the answer.
I think some of the reasons could be they no longer see a risk of anti Monopoly regulation targeting them so they don't need to keep everything so divided. they genuinely want to give Sundar a go. They need a process to gradually fade out The original founders, but also importantly ensure those founders isolate their risk from any future missteps the companies take, and vice versa.
maybe the two co-founders were simply getting in the way.
Personally I feel most strongly about Google, because I really believed the marketing back in the day. Took me a long time to get disillusioned, and when I did I felt all the worse for having been a supporter for so long.
Facebook is different. It's pretty hard to avoid using Facebook without being an outcast in a way, if all your friends and family are on there and they use it to communicate, schedule events, etc. There's also Facebook Marketplace which seems to have taken over for Craigslist for selling stuff locally. I'm one of those people who has an account there, but never actually posts anything, but I keep it because I have a few people who insist on using it to communicate; I've met lots of people like this.
Twitter just isn't like this at all. I think it's dumb, but it's easy to ignore.
For a while after Bill Gates stepped down as CEO, there was this awkward tension where Steve Balmer was CEO, but people still treated Bill like he was the one in control -- because he was.
Page and Brin, combined, are currently the majority shareholders of alphabet. Each controls 27% of the voting power ( 54% combined ). They are still in charge. They just won't be involved in the day-to-day operation of the company. Sundar will still report to Page/Brin and the board of directors.
Founders: Bring your whole selves to work.
That one guy: what a relief, because I’m literally an unpopular-party member.
Everybody: no. Leave that part at home.
Guy: my rights are being trampled by a popular-party conspiracy!
Other person: my unique identity is the most important aspect of large-scale software development. Anyone who disagrees must be fired.
Everyone: that doesn’t seem all that relevant, actually.
Person: my rights are being trampled by a majority identity conspiracy!
The fact that it got flagged shows I'm definitely not alone in this thinking.
It is impossible for anonymous readers to open dead comments.
If it is not, please explain me how to do it
greesil wrote: "now that it's flagged I can't even re read it"
I replied: "You can read flagged/dead comments by turning on 'showdead' on your profile/settings page."
You then replied: "False: you can't if you're browsing the site anonymously."
Now ask yourself, who was the "you" I addressed in my comment? Obviously greesil, and by extension other logged-in users like yourself.
I wasn't talking to, or talking about, anonymous readers. I never said they could read dead comments. They don't have profile pages! The discussion had nothing to do with anonymous readers until you brought them up out of the blue and incorrectly called my comment "false".
Anyway, I had to login with my phone to comment and read the dead comment, at work I go through a corporate firewall that strips all the unnecessary headers, so I can't stay logged in on HN and I can't read dead comments.
So maybe that you should have been an "I".
I'm not an anonymous reader, but during the day I'm forced to be one.
BTW anonymous readers are probably not an irrelevant number, they still are users and they still count.
Your answer was not entirely wrong, but it was incomplete, hence not true or false.
Don't take it personally.
It's like assuming that everybody speaks a perfect English, it's false.
Not even native English speakers are immune to errors.
Assuming good faith, hyperbole is at worst intellectually lazy. It is, however, sometimes a useful rhetorical device.
Snark, on the other hand, is directly disrespectful of the content it is replying to. This signals that the snarker is not going to discuss the subject in good faith and disincentivizes further discussion.
Instead you present incontrovertible evidence that proves your point.
But this article isn't evidence of Google having a liberal orthodoxy. It supports instead the claim that Google is a politically charged workplace, and that diversity advocates working at Google were facing harassment.
I simply noticed that it took literally a single search on Google to get to know about it.
Not trying to defend the OP.
> But this article isn't evidence of Google having a liberal orthodoxy
Or the opposite, if literally members of unpopular party work there and have that kind of power.
It supports the poster thesis (phrased in a provocative way) that this kind of issues are not unknown at Google, either one way or the other.
I guess the part of the original comment (now dead) that says (quoting)
> That one guy: what a relief, because I’m literally a Nazi.
> Everybody: no. Leave that part at home.
> Guy: my rights are being trampled by a liberal conspiracy!
is exposed here https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/google-sued-bias-clai...
It is also plausible.
Burying the head in the sand to avoid getting political is part of the problem, not of the solution.
Bill Gates is probably a good example to look to. He also stayed on the board (as chair) and remained a large shareholder, and was looked up to as the cofounder. So I'd imagine “like Bill Gates but with less active interest and involvement”.
They're 100% still in control of direction and people will always treat them as the boss (esp voting power), but the dynamic will not have nearly as much friction.
Bill was simply playing politics.
If the two of them leave (have fun sipping pina coladas on the beach!) I am not sure (from the outside) what difference will be made. This may sound like great corporate succession planning - but I feel without a goal there will be little to stop business plans that boil down to "squeeze every dollar from everyone everywhere"
(Was there a glimmer of light in "unbiased free information to all" - is that a mission for the new decade?)
Edit: Just to emphasise - I hope they have fun spending their billions.
That page is awful with a hood that keeps flapping around up and down and text that is trying to be true to italics for quotes instead of lots of diacritics and ends up looking badly diseased. Then the letter sidesteps into a memo, which is equally odd and awkward. It's all a bit odd.
S and B (in my very opinionated ... opinion) did create a great thing in Google. I can't fault people trying to make a living and running with the ball to the point where the playing field is not just paved with gold but it nearly redefines what the concept of gold is.
I think they should have retired before "do no evil" was ditched. That would have cemented their status as internet demi-gods. Instead I think their legacy will be
<i>wierdos whot spy on you</i>
LOL. I agree with a lot of your points but this one really hit home. On this one, the spying, I always wondered how odd or awkward it had to be internally to push new methods, techniques, or initiatives for "improving user experience" (I.e., spying). I interviewed for some Technical Solutions Engineer role at Google a long time ago. I really wanted the job but when asked a couple questions about how I'd technically achieve some goal related to spying on users and I always found myself hesitating, looking at the interviewer, and thinking, "is it ethically okay if I say this?" I can't imagine how the work environment transitioned at Google over the years from "do no evil" to actively fostering spying on users. I have to imagine it happened because there were few if any laws around user privacy while Google was up and coming. But I know Google has good internal controls for privacy, but I have to imagine there were many unethical or borderline conversations in the name of better spying on users data. I'm still trying to get away from Gmail because I know everything I send/receive is parses but the struggle is real. This is in addition to Chrome and an Android phone, not to mention Google search results. What's the risk of all this spying? In sum, what is at risk is the loss of free will. People who don't care because "they have nothing to hide" cannot see the forest for the trees. Then again, I need to make some changes myself. As an ancient Chinese proverb says, "To know, and not to do, is in fact not to know."
There's the spying, but then there are also the numerous instances where Google simply terminated someone's account for completely random reasons that their automated system picked up. And you literally cannot ever get a human to talk to you at that company unless you manage to create a social media circus. Just semi-recently a bunch of people got permanently banned (that includes gmail, gdrive, everything) because they spammed emotes on a YouTube stream (something that is fairly commonplace on Twitch, at most you'll get a small timeout on that stream). I think most of them got unbanned eventually, but it took like a week and the streamer trying to raise awareness on social media. If something like this happens to you and you're alone, your account is just dust.
Using gmail or google drive isn't just giving Google your data to look at, it also means that everything you don't have a local backup for might be completely inaccessible to you on a whim, forever.
Googler, opinions are my own.
So looking for evidence of ethics in an interview is just looking for a smooth talking hypocrite, even if you think you really want to.
> And remember… don’t be evil, and if you see something that you think isn’t right – speak up!
The problem was that it was moved from near the top to being near the bottom (though it's own paragraph). Sadly there were lots of very inaccurate headlines like this:
> Google Removes 'Don't Be Evil' Clause From Its Code of Conduct
The problem with the phrase is that it is very relative depending on your meaning of evil. It's a shifting over time and varies by person.
At the same time it provides a good guiding principle for Google as a whole. You need to think about users in different parts of the world with different ideas of what is good and evil, and try to cater to all of them. It's a really hard problem.
That code have conduct I linked tries to explain how evil is defined and give more concrete principles to follow.
From my experience, no one tries to be evil within Google, and we try to do right by our users. But when you're dealing with products like YouTube and Search with massive amounts of user-generated data, suggesting good answers that satisfy everyone and doesn't generate news headlines is impossible. We do what we can, but when you have billion user products, some people are always going to be pissed at you.
The problem with this narrative (which has been the official line for almost 7-8 years now) is it doesn't cause exaptation or adaptation. It is good enough to hold on to, if the goal is stagnation (which is what has happened with Search - you can point at things like wolframalpha, alpha go, stackexchange, quora, wikipedia, elasticsearch etc etc and ask why if the goal was to organize the worlds info, these things failed to develop internally - Similarly with Youtube - why did they missed being netflix or twitch, how did they not become the default platform for disney). The answer is the Scale has worked against that goal. So you stagnate.
The initial goal was to scale globally. That goal was achieved. After that new goals had to be defined. That did not happen because its hard to define achievable goals at that scale. The only default goal was empire defense - i.e. hold on to scale by hook or crook. For what? Well no great answer to that has been found. Which is hinting that global scale is counter productive to innovation whether technical or moral.
Its kind of like a football team winning the game and then staying on the pitch. Not playing any new games or restarting play. Then saying but guys we won leave us alone now.
I don't blame Google. But I expect Google to lead not to react and be defensive. And to do that the narrative requires honesty.
I'd say not Global Scale per se, but achieving own goals without further goals to work towards. I.E you've achieved everything there is to achieve, what can do you do more?
Bill Gates reinvented himself by tackling humanitarian causes. Googlers set up further missions, e.g. self driving cars or health improvement, but those seem unimpressive comparing to world dominance.
And I agree that I've never known any individual Googler to be evil, or intend to be evil (Although I've seen questionable decision making at times).
But whilst no one Googler is evil, the larger body that is "Google" has turned slightly further towards evil (In my personal definition of the word evil).
It's still nowhere near what I would consider true evil, I would probably go back to Google one day if the opportunity presents itself. But I would argue the Google I see today is less "good" than the Google I saw 5 years ago.
Implementing censored search for an oppressive regime or providing research to killer drone programs is quite a different ball than "pissing off a few users".
Megacorps are only driven by one goal: growth. And Google has certainly proven that a lot is flying under the radar way on the wrong side of the good vs. evil dichtonomy.
To me, the minuta having to be written down was a symptom of the complexity making the simplistic and guiding principle don't be evil useless, which I think mainly was caused by scale and the way the ad industry and personal data practices everywhere have evolved. No need to dig in there, but basically, I think that the fact it's still there doesn't really say much. This isn't to say the problems and scale of Google are easy, for the record. Also not impossible either of course.
Curious, in your 100% personal opinion, do you disagree that the company has more or less "deprecated" it?
You don't need to define evil for us. Small children know evil when they see it. People are quite capable of gleaning a person's or group of people's intent from their actions.
When you start needing to define what evil is, you've lost the debate entirely.
Evil to most people is obvious. But where money is concerned few "Googler" could do the right thing even if they wanted out of fear of biting the hand that feeds six-figure salaries in exchange for obstinate servitude.
How does this fit in the narrative, when the ones speaking up (right or wrong, that's not the issue here) are being fired?
It would be nice to see a focused mission from El Goog. From the outside it feels like they incubate a bunch of random semi-competing products which are arbitrarily terminated or boosted. There's a lot of talent that could be marshaled.
The company mission is just one of the Sillicon Valley tropes, another one is the idea of "changing the world".
Having a mission might be useful for focus and clarity in thinking but if it's taken as something more than that, it's just an artificial constraint. If you can use the company capital more effectively in a completely different market, you should do that, regardless the mission.
I feel that the mission is often constructed backwards from the products. I.e. at Google they looked at their products and came up with a broad description of the user need (organizing the world's information).
It's "Do No Evil," ethos/mission was important and having one & sticking to it is equally important vs. swiping it under the carpet for the sake of profits. Further it's mission was important to all the women and men they inspired to start up and to get into tech. Yet once they brushed their mission under the rug & focused on money many who they inspired became shocked to learn that many times they do 'Evil," prompting disenchantment. You can see that disenchantment with Google everyday here on Hacker News with the various negative stories and comments about Google. Something I bet if you go back more then five or six years you'd never see here.
Maybe you think of it this way because of how much its abused. At its core, I do sincerely believe (still) that Silicon Valley does represent a unique force of change in this world unlike any we've seen before.
Semiconductors and then Software: it has changed the world (for better or worse, that's another question).
All their 'random' stuff makes sense in that context.
Injecting Google intro the interface for brick and mortar businesses is why Maps and Android exist.
There's nothing wrong with its stock price and revenue and I'm sure from that angle a lot of financial people are pretty happy with the status quo of just milking that cow perpetually. However, looking at it from the technical angle, I see a company that is asleep at the wheel and showing a distinct lack of vision, leadership, and direction across the board of its product portfolio. Perhaps a bit like MS under Balmer ramming out increasingly less popular iterations of windows and office. MS turned things around under Nadella. Google perhaps hasn't sunken far enough that it needs that kind of leadership change yet but it seems in my eyes to be going down that same path slowly.
IMHO all the money making units worth mentioning in Google have their origin in a brief period of the early 2000s perhaps up to the 2006-2008 time frame (i.e. the Android launch) when it was smaller, more creative, nimble, and definitely more capable of translating vision into execution. That includes things like google docs, hangouts, maps, photos, youtube, gmail, android, chrome, google cloud and of course the big money maker ads.
A lot of other stuff launched in the years since has simply failed to get traction or got killed early. This has actually become a meme on HN and elsewhere where people openly wonder when they will kill X at the moment of the announcement where X is a long list of stuff Google tried and failed to deliver or just walked away from despite internal and external enthusiasm (e.g Google Inbox). The list of stuff that they announced in the last decade or so that actually didn't get killed is worryingly short.
There actually is very little of significance that I can name that emerged out of Google in the recent decade that is worthy of being added to that list and only some stuff under the Alphabet umbrella that comes close (i.e. Waymo would be the main success story there that has yet to prove itself as a long term money maker).
In other words, I think of Sundar as a caretaker, not a leader. He's greasing the wheels of the money printing machine that is ads but maybe not really the best for coming up with the next big thing. Maybe now is a good moment to start looking for a real leader to replace the founders that clearly just announced their permanent retirement from the industry and any other meaningful involvement with tech (tu un-sugar coat this announcement).
But does any huge successful company that ends up having a second act really do that, go and find a visionary* to rejuvenate the company? With Nadella, wasn't it more like, Microsoft did a lot of random things, and when one of them was particularly successful, then the leader of it (cloud, Azure) rose to the top? Not that they picked him and then he decided the direction of the company.
*Jobs isn't really what I mean, because he was the original visionary, not a replacement.
Google is in a much better shape than MS just a few short years ago when they replaced Balmer (certainly financially). But yet I'm calling out that now is a good moment to prevent Google from going down that path any further. Sundar is in my view simply not the type of leader Google needs to prevent that.
Google at the same time seems to struggle to convince developers that they need to drop their fancy languages for a bastardized and outdated thing called Dart that basically can only be explained as a ginormous not invented here syndrome combined with sunk cost fallacy. Just a minor example of things Google tries that have an obvious ticking clock in terms of them killing it in favor of something else. Also what's up with having 3 operating systems for devices and dragging out picking one out for half a decade? That's Conway's law in action right there.
For the web, they thought the browser was key to the web and would be what would hold all the APIs because the browser was like the OS for the web. The most valuable thing about the web ended being the graphs and connections you can create through data rather than the browser, which is why Facebook, Google, and Amazon had the most success because of the internet.
For mobile, they released Windows Mobile in 2000 but it was just a slimmed down version of Windows on the desktop. They didn't understand that mobile required a completely new UX experience and just tried to fit what they knew (desktop UX) into mobile.
They viewed both opportunities through the lens of the desktop, which makes sense, that's what made them so successful. But because of their success, they weren't capable of looking at the opportunities with fresh eyes.
They, like Apple and Microsoft, also need some consumer experience advocates, who take a step back and ask how the consumers entire experience is across the whole suite. All of them have products that are often less than the sum of their parts.
Or just fixing the search engine that they do have. It really has become shockingly poor.
Internet search existed before Google, but they came up with a newer and much better way of implementing it. Internet email existed before Gmail, but they vastly improved the offering. The iPhone already existed, but they came up with an alternative in Android. Same story repeats with GSuite, Chrome, Chrome OS.
YouTube was sort of new, but it was an acquisition, so I don't know if it counts.
When they do have ideas for innovative products, they fail to deliver.
I forgot about the Chromecast, that's a good point.
Stadia is close to being new, though there have been similar efforts for some time now. However, it is by no means successful so far, most reviews I have seen from the gaming press have seen it as impressive, but ultimately not a great way of playing games, and Microsoft's offering is likely to quickly outshine it by sheer force of games catalog.
Stadia is at best an incremental improvement to PS Now or OnLive afaik. Other companies, notably MSFT and Sony, have been developing this same stuff for years, and Nvidia even has their own version I think.
A good example would be if Google's Stadia succeeds. Even though there have been attempts in the past (e.g. OnLive), the mind-share is so low that they are almost irrelevant. If Stadia gets anywhere near console-level market penetration, I would consider it an innovative product that Google created. I don't expect it to succeed, though, based on the track record.
I think that's way overstating it. Long before iPhone people were asking for more software features out of their phones. Browsing, email, music, etc.
Even the touchscreen and the development model were things tried in the past with many attempts by various companies to make the PDA a success.
Apple did exactly what you say. They took a few ideas whose time had come, ideas that just happened to be in their wheel house from the work they did on iPod and presented them better than anyone had before.
(yes of course they and I would get bored of a life of endless luxury - but I would like to at least try it and see how long I can hold out ;-)
Why spend their own money on a risky capital intensive venture when their cash engine let them do it unopposed?
He feels ... reserved and safe.
Maybe that is what Google needs at this moment
That still feels like at least a 100yr mission.
They got sued, prevailed in court, but by then the 10 year battle sapped energy out of the project. With antitrust and other scrutiny, I doubt Google will attempt other massive forms of digitization that need it like academic journals. My personal opinion.
Meh (time for my socialist side to come out) they could try and do the Bill Gates Foundation thing. Don’t be cynical — it is making some much needed positive change!
Money = Power = Responsibility (with wisdom).
Exponentially true if you are a super billionaire.
> Charlie Ayers: Sergey’s the Google playboy. He was known for getting his fingers caught in the cookie jar with employees that worked for the company in the masseuse room. He got around.
Heather Cairns: And we didn’t have locks, so you can’t help it if you walk in on people if there’s no lock. Remember, we’re a bunch of twentysomethings except for me—ancient at 35, so there’s some hormones and they’re raging.
Charlie Ayers: H.R. told me that Sergey’s response to it was, “Why not? They’re my employees.” But you don’t have employees for fucking! That’s not what the job is.
If your theory is correct, we should see Drummond retire soon as well. I expect it...
I strongly disagree. Alphabet is an unfocused company which seems to treat product releases as experiments that can be killed at any time without warning. There's a culture that incentivizes more experiments rather than better products.
The aimlessness is obvious in the frequent and baffling product renaming, reorganizations (like Nest joining Google), duplicated/overlapping products, and killing of acquired products.
A smart CEO knows how to focus, build on early success (rather than abandon), and tell a coherent brand story.
I think this can be... interesting? Trying to give more power and autonomy to individual teams is nice (there were some efforts that tried explicitly to map things to some kind of free market model). Sometimes higher-ups would be like "hey we're all gonna migrate to technology X" but individual teams were like "lol nah the new thing sucks" and keep using it and nothing really ever happened. But I think that attitude also kinda opened the door for a large political/influence market. And there's not _real_ market pressures on individual teams that I think tend to keep the actual free market a little closer to ground truth.
This all reminds me of a critique I'd heard of flat organizations, which is that all groups of people are going to have power structures, and by not formalizing them, all you're doing is allowing them to opaquely evolve in strange ways on their own.
I really wish that someone could study internal Google politics and actually understand it and map it all out.
If they canceled a "ton of bullshit projects" and still ended up with a time when Hangouts, Hangouts Chat, Hangouts Meet, Allo, Duo, Messages, and Voice are all actively used but somehow still missing important fixes/features, then he utterly failed.
No one gets credit for the things they didn't release when the things they did release are still baffling and often result in a betrayal of their loyal users.
Chrome OS and Android are a worse version of ios and macos.
I don't. He's allowed Google to become many of the things he's long stated he was opposed to. Either he never had his stated values in the first place, or he's turned his back on them in later years.
Friendly amendment: reins
Personally, I think Sundar has been a pretty good CEO and probably a better businessman for this size of organization but I'm still not sure whether this leadership change will work better for Google though. Due to Alphabet's structure, Larry and Sergey will keep majority voting stocks but they will be away from most of the details in the company. Can they still make good business decisions without such details?
Has he though? I get the sense that he’s really Balmering it up in that he inherited a super successful company, and didn’t do much with it except not screw up.
The two big growth areas- social and cloud- are dead or a distant and growing third.
Google hasn’t done much new or exciting through his whole term. So no new products, the 2016 election and congressional testimony debacle, randomly firing different people with no sound reasoning.
It would be neat if someone could establish a vision beyond “10% growth forever through lots of rent seeking.” Maybe a company has to go through their Ballmer to get to their Nadella.
Maybe they can somehow convince Jeff Dean to be CEO and just write an AI that generally maximizes profit.
Discord feels more like the odd one out because it is a realtime river, not sorted or ranked like reddit. That sort of content rearranging is what makes modern social networks different from forms and chat.
Just because you have an algorithm that determines what should flow to the top of the main page, doesn't make it a social network.
I still have a Sony Google TV, it works great as a TV but the android OS is no longer supported, so there are no more OTA updates. It's a shame because it seems like if they had thought about it they might have wondered what happens when they no longer support the product.
There was a time when Google questioned the value of managers and managers had to prove their value to the engineers. Maybe it's time to question their value again.
> ... Going forward, Sundar will be the CEO of both Google and Alphabet. ...
Not knowing the internals of Google, it seems as if this is the announcement that Page and Brin are stepping down. Is this correct?
If so, what an incredibly subtle way to announce a high-profile pair of resignations.
I wouldn't really call it "incredibly subtle" - most similar announcements are wrapped in a bunch of corporate language as well. This is a pretty standard way to announce this sort of thing.
I mean, neither of them even tried the ol' "I'm stepping down to spend time with my family" thing.
It looks like an attempt to try to distance themselves, their personal images, and their assets before it gets too ugly. I would certainly do so unless my personal financial analysts told me otherwise.
They typically take years, often over a decade. I'm talking about the entire process, not just the litigation (which is the easiest and fastest part). With Microsoft, it took 19 years from start to end.
At least at the operational level. I'm sure Sundar has had much contact with them. But regular Googlers certainly have not.
>Today, in 2019, if the company was a person, it would be a young adult of 21 and it would be time to leave the roost. While it has been a tremendous privilege to be deeply involved in the day-to-day management of the company for so long, we believe it’s time to assume the role of proud parents—offering advice and love, but not daily nagging!
By that yardstick, Google was in its young adolescence when it IPO'd (seems reasonable), was an idealistic young adult when I joined in 2009 (also reasonable), is now hitting a midlife crisis, and will die sometime around 2040.
Now that Google Is Evil (tm), we don't seem to appreciate that behavior as much as we did in the past.