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Co Founder of Google Maps quits for Facebook

 10:06 pm on Oct 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

Lars Rasmussen, the Sydney-based co-founder of Google Maps has spoken publicly for the first time about why he quit his job and joined the growing band of high profile Googlers who have switched allegiances to Facebook. [smh.com.au...]

Why ........



 11:31 pm on Oct 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

and for those that don't this might be interesting :

In 2003, Lars and his brother, Jens, co-founded Where 2 Technologies, a mapping-related startup in Sydney, Australia. This company was bought by Google in October 2004, to create the popular, free, browser-based software, Google Maps

in the news article he says :

It feels to me that Facebook may be a sort of once in a decade type of company," Rasmussen said in a telephone interview last night, explaining how he decided to end his six-year tenure at Google after a "compelling personal pitch" from Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg


 3:02 pm on Nov 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

They can hit it big twice in a decade, that's why. While it may be more than money, money can't hurt either.


 3:54 pm on Nov 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

Last year Google designer Douglas Bowman famously quit, complaining in a blog post that the company had become obsessed by data and minutiae.

"I had a recent debate over whether a border should be 3, 4, or 5 pixels wide, and was asked to prove my case. I can't operate in an environment like that," Bowman complained.

Man, I can relate...


 5:27 pm on Nov 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

Rasmussen was also one of the initiators of Google Wave. The best way to lose a committed employee is to first botch the launch and then kill his pet project prematurely.


 6:17 pm on Nov 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

"compelling personal pitch"

"We'll pay you more and give you more freedom."


 8:45 pm on Nov 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

"We'll pay you more and give you more freedom."

Plus you get to say you worked for Google and Facebook. Professional life becomes easier after that for the top engineers, money will not be an issue if they ever need funding.


 9:22 pm on Nov 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think creative freedom would be the driver.

Money would be consequential otherwise he wouldn't have elected to live in Sydney which is much more egalitarian than other places in the world. The fact that he complains about moving to the Valley says this.

But the desire to work amongst a smaller team also stood out. Google seems to be way too restricitve and impersonal according to him, seemingly growing into a mega corporate with an indication of a fair degree of business inertia in non core areas. A classic super growth company i guess.

Interestingly, another senior person quit in Sydney as well which was separately reported - there were similar reasons given : [smh.com.au...]


 12:45 am on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

Good move.

Facebook is where people are and Google just points the finger that way. I'd rather design products for a site that has actual content/members too.


 12:47 am on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

Guess the last minute move to keep him, by making the map a sticky floaty tribute to his work did not pan out as expected.


 7:48 am on Nov 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

Absolutely about freedom I imagine.

Just think how different his working life must be - from having total freedom to get on with his maps project as he saw fit - not having to prove anything to anyone. Going with his gut feel when he had one, but otherwise just getting on making a great product.

Cut to: having people breathing down your neck the whole time, being data crazed control freaks. I can only imagine that the pitch from Mark Zuckerberg didn't have to be that compelling at all to convince him to get outta there.

Maybe they'll let him start up a new wave...


 12:26 am on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Surprisingly within the same week, Kate Vale, the first employee of Google Australia and now head of YouTube Australia also handed in her resignation.

She sighted pretty much the same reasons as Lars saying it isn't the same as when she started working for them from the comforts of her lounge room as the sole employee.

I guess more people means more road blocks in making decisions.

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