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the Google culture — which is more prone to eventually jumping ship and creating a startup.

That's funny because I've always considered Google a place where great people disappear and never come out except for a small number who start a company only to be aquihired by Google.

I could be wrong about that as well.

That's sort of Google's reputation in machine learning: if you're tired of the lower salaries and grant-chasing of academia (or just don't like teaching), or have had enough of the uncertainty of a startup, Google is a comfortable place to go, with a large and stable salary, good access to data & compute time, good benefits, etc. Seems more common for people to try out academia and/or startups first and then go to Google later, rather than the other way around. I haven't done any kind of proper count or survey, though.

I know or have met a ton of ex-Googlers, only a few ended up on the startup path.

Any workplace can get old after a while for all kinds of reasons. Or perhaps they just couldn't figure out how to navigate the internal politics to end up on teams doing world-changing stuff (let's be honest, the vast majority of engineering going on at google is pretty boring maintenance and bug fixing like anywhere else).

Apparently that's not true as their average tenure is only 1.1 years, at least according to


Highly misleading, for a number of potential reasons a) Google was undergoing tremendous growth at the time, so many employees had 0 or low tenure, b) they had just purchased Motorola and their 20k employees, who knows how that factored in, c) it doesn't say they exclude temporary contract workers of which Google has quite a lot, d) it's only employees they were able to survey, which is likely to have selection bias towards people switching jobs. A much better measure of employee loyalty would be attrition rate, and average tenure of people leaving (but that data would still be skewed by some of the biases I mentioned). From my observations the attrition rate at Google is extraordinarily low. Very few people I've worked with have left the company.

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