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A Former Googler Writes About How Google Changed

9:10 am on Dec 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Why I Left Google [blogs.msdn.com]

I think this personal blog post by a former googler reveals quite a lot about what is happening at google, including search.

[edited by: tedster at 10:31 pm (utc) on Dec 8, 2012]
[edit reason] moved from another thread [/edit]

5:29 pm on Dec 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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As far as I know FB already have Search but they haven't promoted it and they use Bing search result...
I think they are planning to buy Bings "adsense" too and if they do I think I will switch my AdCEDNTS to FB/Bing instead

That doesn't take into account the mindset of people on Facebook. In my experience within my niche, the average customer spend from a Facebook referal is about 1/6th that of a Google referal.

Now right now, that seems logical to me: people are on social networks primarily to socialise, not to buy (although I should add the volume and cost of clicks my ads got seemed way better than on Adwords) so really, any commercial stuff is the online equivalent of cold-calling.

So IMO it will depend on how Facebook positions it's search engine and whether they can convince people to actually & purposefully go to FB to do search.
5:40 pm on Dec 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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There is incredible value in encouraging employee creativity and an escape from groupthink.

My sincerest apologies for taking this thread on a wee bit of a detour but that statement is VERY important for all of us as a collective group of IT workers.

I know I can mention them by name because they are very well known and popular. That statement by diberry is the mainstream philosophy at 37Signals, (SevenCubed sort of) the successful web apps folks. It's discussed in Susan Cain's book "Quiet". I highly recommended it to any and all logic minded web workers.

It will help you understand why you feel uncomfortable when shoved into "group think" sessions.

By the way they named their company after 37 signals (seven cubed) that were detected from space! The mothership hasn't abandoned us :p
6:08 pm on Dec 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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People work differently during time that is defined as their own, to get creative and do what THEY want and not necessarily what will impress the top brass. Some astounding ideas can come from this type of free time - stuff the top brass never would have thought of. They can't "get them to work on it anyway" if they don't think of it.


My work is good and high quality when someone tells me exactly what they want or what they need me to do ... It's best and 'way beyond' when they give me the freedom to 'play' and be creative and explore different directions we haven't discussed before when I get into a project and see something I could do different that's more or innovative or pushes the limits or whatever.

Sure, new algo's would be developed, but if someone like Panda has an idea but not the freedom to chase it and develop it and think it through if whomever his boss is doesn't 'get it' or can't 'grasp it' without seeing it's possible and how it could be implemented, then it could easily get 'nixed' as a nice suggestion but not important today.

The freedom they gave their employees is part of what made them what they are today, it didn't take away from it...

As far as paying 1000s of employees for it, it's relatively small when you think about someone like Panda working for Bing instead and not having ownership of the piece of the algo he dreamed up, isn't it? How much do you think it would cost to buy that part of the algo away from Bing or find a workaround for the patents I'm sure sprang from it, if they could even buy it...

Maybe it's easier to understand this way:
How much would they have lost if Panda pitched his idea and got 'shot down' from developing it for Google, so he went and explored it on his own at home then pitched it to Bing and they liked it? It only takes a very limited number of things like that happening coming from 20% time to make the expense a very good long-term investment.

ADDED: When I look around at the great ideas that were 'chased' (UPS, Google, Microsoft, Nike, Apple, etc.) I don't see them springing from 'doing what the boss said' I see them coming from people being innovative while chasing their dreams and crazy ideas.

With 20% time Google had ownership of those ideas, because they allowed people to chase them and dream on the clock, but when 20% time ended they gave up that ownership by forcing people to go home and dream on their own...

[edited by: TheMadScientist at 6:31 pm (utc) on Dec 10, 2012]

6:14 pm on Dec 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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So IMO it will depend on how Facebook positions it's search engine and whether they can convince people to actually & purposefully go to FB to do search.

IMO, the people are already on Facebook. Anybody using Facebook knows the search function now is for finding people so when they want to search the web, they go to Google or Bing or their preferred search engine.

All they have to do is tactfully place a check box to search for Friends or Things, and they now have just reduced the number of people leaving to search for stuff other than friends.
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