Why I Left Google

James Whittaker:

The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate. The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus. [...] Suddenly, 20% meant half-assed. Google Labs was shut down. App Engine fees were raised. APIs that had been free for years were deprecated or provided for a fee. As the trappings of entrepreneurship were dismantled, derisive talk of the "old Google" and its feeble attempts at competing with Facebook surfaced to justify a "new Google" that promised "more wood behind fewer arrows." The days of old Google hiring smart people and empowering them to invent the future was gone. The new Google knew beyond doubt what the future should look like. Employees had gotten it wrong and corporate intervention would set it right again. If you read anything this week, read this. When I tell people that I dislike Google as a company and have made the decision to quit using their products, they often ask me why. This is why. On the outside it has been apparent to me, as well as other folks, that these changes have been happening at Google in the last 3-4 years beginning with Google's backstabbing Apple and releasing Android. Whittaker's posts reinforces, from someone who has been on the inside, what I've seen happening from the outside perspective.