Oh I've lived it too, but I've also lived through a venture capital funding as well and believe me the pressure to provide a return on investment is equally intense. Don't think that the investors have handed Google $35 MM and then forgot about the investment. The minute you take on outside capital you no longer have control so essentially there is no difference between a venture funded privately held company and a public one. The pressure is on either way to perform (or to provide the VC's an exit strategy whose number one preferred method of liquidation is an IPO). Greed by Google is not a factor here.