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Has Google Lost Its Mojo? 560

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the what-do-you-mean-I-don't-get-free-food dept.
CWmike writes "Google looks as if it's on top of the world right now, holding an ever-increasing lion's share of the search market. So why do I think it's lost its mojo? Let's start with the way it treats its employees, writes Preston Gralla. Another example: Google employees, such as Sergey Solyanik, have started deserting the company. And its share price is down double that of the Dow or Nasdaq since November 2007. Even if Google has lost its mojo, why should you care? It won't make your searches any less effective, will it? Nope. But Google has its eyes on bigger things than search, notably your IT department. It's looking to displace Microsoft with hosted services like Google Apps, Gmail and Google Docs. Solyanik warns that Google's engineers care more about the 'coolness' of a service than about the service's effectiveness." Of course Google employees version of being mistreated is often laughable, and quite a shock when they look for their massage therapist at wherever they end up next.
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Has Google Lost Its Mojo?

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  • Yes. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Zarf (5735) on Monday August 25, 2008 @06:22PM (#24743591) Journal

    Google has lost some of it's Mojo. But the good news is that they still have plenty of Mo-Nay. They are also high on the "X does not suck as bad as Y" matrix.

    • Re:Yes. (Score:4, Informative)

      by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Monday August 25, 2008 @06:27PM (#24743663) Homepage Journal
      The link on TFS which refers to this [nytimes.com] page describing "the way [Google] treats its employees" only details how Google raised the charge for in-house daycare by 75%.

      Parents lose big when a company downsizes or restructures their benefits. This is an indirect form of age discrimination because older folks are more likely to have families.

      A company I worked for in the past restructured their benefits by changing employees more for their health and dental insurance and "offset" the losses by giving every employee a flat pay raise but after some calculation I found that employees with no dependents benefited from a good raise and only slightly higher insurance payments while those with families(who insured their families, at least) suffered net losses.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Otter (3800)

        This is an indirect form of age discrimination because older folks are more likely to have families.

        Subsidized child care and similar benefits reward parents at the expense of other employees. It's hardly "age discrimination" to do less of it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mapsjanhere (1130359)
          Well, the question is really one of ethics. If I get recruited with "we have the greatest child care in the world at X dollars", and a year later the X becomes X+1000, then I'd be thinking someone lied to me to the tune of $12,000 a year.
          Quite obviously not many of Google's employees were using the service anyway (1% daycare spots based on the number of employees, that number should be around 10% realistically), and they still needed to heavily subsidize it. Someone can't do their math, what's bad for bu
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by rakslice (90330)

            You've hit the nail on the head. If Google's employees are typical of those at non-unionized tech companies, when interviewing for a job they are prepared to have to negotiate for pay and benefits, and even if their job offer comes with few benefits, if they accept the job, they will be prepared to accept benefits other than vacation time at that same level for the entire time they work at the company. But what they won't do is smile and nod if their employer wants to change the rules after the game has a

        • Re:Yes. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by NetSettler (460623) * <kent-slashdot@nhplace.com> on Monday August 25, 2008 @07:11PM (#24744135) Homepage Journal

          Subsidized child care and similar benefits reward parents at the expense of other employees.

          Only if there is not a compensating benefit that rewards non-parents but is of no use to parents. It really depends a lot on how the benefit package is constructed.

          The interesting metric is whether a business has policies that allow its employees to "grow up". If they do not, then eventually as people get older, they will be forced at some point to say that in order to merely accommodate the ordinary and anticipatable life events, they must go to a different company or face a pay cut because the benefits they used to like are now no longer benefits.

          For example, why should an employee who has a family at home shopping and fixing food be penalized because of the availability of free food at work that surely must be paid for somehow. Google has an open cafeteria, and tons of free junk food in the hallways, which people who have a life do not need. But it has been said of Google (and I am trying to be neutral about expressing an opinion myself, only observing that it's a topic worthy of discussion) that it prefers employees who are willing to work long hours and sleep under their desks to employees who want to have families and lives outside of work. Now if this were true, you might not see it as age discrimination. And it might really not be. But it's a reasonable observation to make or question to ask, given that the set of people who don't mind this kind of lifestyle is probably unevenly distributed agewise.

          So if Google is offering both the daycare and the cafeteria, then maybe it's balanced. But if it's giving up the daycare expenses to focus on cafeteria expenses, then maybe there are questions to ask. Just as one example for conversation--if I knew their benefit policy, maybe something else better would present itself.

          In fact, I bet whether you think this is an age issue varies by age, suggesting at least the possibility that some people who thought it wasn't an age issue changed their mind with experience, as well as the possibility that some who are quite sure it's not will eventually come to decide they were wrong.

          Google offers itself as an ethical company. Here's my definition of ethical: Ethical means you continue to ask yourself hard questions and to not quite be sure you're ethical. So people will evaluate the answer to these questions differently, but the day Google thinks the questions are inappropriate to ask is the day it's lost its ethics. Ethics are an exercise in continuous choice, and everything about intent. Once choice is sacrificed, you're at best coincidentally aligned with those whose outcomes are the same, but as the result of an actual thoughtful choice. If outcome without choice can be deemed ethical, then there are rocks that may be more ethical than some people...

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Xaria (630117)

            A well thought-out comment.

            Here's an example from the other side. My husband's work offers free alcoholic drinks (they have an entire fridge full) on Friday afternoons. The single workers often hang around on Friday night for games of table tennis and go through a heap of wine and beer. My husband has a wife and kids who need him at home, so he misses out. Do I say this is unfair, that $20 worth of alcohol is going to his workmates every week but not him? No! Because on the other hand, he has a boss who und

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by bnenning (58349)

            Google has an open cafeteria, and tons of free junk food in the hallways, which people who have a life do not need.

            Gratuitous insult aside, employees with families still need to eat, and their spouses are probably not delivering meals to their offices. Free food is a far more egalitarian benefit than subsidized daycare.

            But it's a reasonable observation to make or question to ask, given that the set of people who don't mind this kind of lifestyle is probably unevenly distributed agewise.

            The set of IT worker

      • Re:Yes. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by larry bagina (561269) on Monday August 25, 2008 @06:44PM (#24743881) Journal
        it seems like it's becoming a benefit that only older employees (ipo-millionaires) and executives (high salary, stock options) can enjoy. Sure, it's offered to everyone, but they're intentionally choosing a very expensive day-care program when a less expensive one was more than adequate. So people who would otherwise use it now go elsewhere (paying full price) while still subsidizing wealthier people who can afford it.
      • Re:Yes. (Score:5, Informative)

        by Farmer Pete (1350093) on Monday August 25, 2008 @07:07PM (#24744095)
        I can't believe you wouldn't ever, ever, ever, ever claim that a person with no dependents gets off better with a company's medical plan...People with zero dependents get screwed royally. In most companies, you have two or three payment tiers. 1 person, 2 people, 3 or more people. The cost increase from 1 to 2 doesn't even come close to covering the extra costs. The costs from 2 to 3 are the same. Don't forget to add in for if someone (gasp) has a large family. Do you have 5 kids? Guess what, you pay the same exact premium as someone with 1 kid. The no-dependents person will end up bearing a portion of the cost of other people's dependents.

        I don't like the system, I understand why it has to be, but I will NOT stand and let someone try to make it look like people with no dependents are getting away with something. Even in your situation, the only difference is that the single people have been grossly overpaying for years and years, and now they are getting a slight reprieve from being over charged.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Parents lose big when a company downsizes or restructures their benefits. This is an indirect form of age discrimination because older folks are more likely to have families.

        Then by that logic it is a form of discrimination to have those benefits, like child care, that are unusable by employees who choose to not have children. But really it isn't discrimination at all in either case. For it to be discrimination the motivation would have to be centered around age, but really age is just a correlation. I
    • Re:Yes. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jellomizer (103300) on Monday August 25, 2008 @07:17PM (#24744207)

      Well as Google matures so do its employees. As they get older they find the Google culture no longer fits their needs. The projects get boring, working long hours on projects that may or may not give any fruit gets redundant and unappealing. Having to prove to the new Whippersnappers that that crazy way of doing things will not work just as they didn't work when you started working a decade ago. Things like code purity, open source, trying a new windows manager every week... start to see more trivial and has lost its spark or interest, you are happy to use a Mac, even if you are running windows your cool with that to. You focus on your job and doing a good job, but at the end of the day you want to go home with your family.
      Over the years you got a lot better at your job you are 3 times more productive then those whippersnappers and when you were a whippersnapper, but the company culture reprimands you for leaving work on time. Younger managers come in straight out of business school trying to prove themselves by trying to change everything even what currently works, just because it worked for FedEx, or SAS.

    • Re:Yes. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 25, 2008 @07:39PM (#24744501)

      Google has lost some of it's Mojo

      Speaking as a Googler, "some" is an understatement. The best and brightest have been exiting Google at the earliest for months, leaving behind the political climbers, backbiters and the just plain incompetent. Now Google mainly runs on interns, everybody else is too "smart" to do the grunt work like coding, debugging, or much at all beyond getting face time. The reason for this is simple: narcissistic managers whose main talent is claiming credit for the work of their subordinates while punishing anyone who shows initiative, and thus possibly could get promoted. These days at Google, showing skill and dedication is a great way to get a bad review from your manager. Eric and friends seem blissfully unaware of the developing train wreck.

      • Re:Yes. (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @01:30AM (#24747793)
        As a fellow Googler, I feel compelled to give an alternate perspective.

        Every day at work I'm given the opportunity to work with some of the most brilliant, passionate people in my industry solving problems no one has solved, at scales most can only dream of.

        All of the managers that I've worked closely with (on up the chain*) are experts in their field, and are very protective of Google's egalitarian culture. If I wasn't prepared for promotion in one cycle, my manager was dedicated to giving me the resources I needed to be ready when the next one came around. Furthermore, a negative review from a manager is hardly damning since promotion is driven primarily by reviews from peers your own choosing. We're very fortunate to have nearly complete control over the promotion case we present. If your peers and manager don't support you for promotion, you're probably doing something wrong.

        If you think executive management is overlooking some systemic rot within the company, your stock options (and mine) would thank you for bringing up such problems at the multitude of confidential forums provided to you in lieu public ones. I've found senior VPs within engineering (such as Alan) to be extremely responsive and down to earth. If that doesn't work, it's hard to be ignored when you take a mic at TGIF. If you really work at Google, you should know that the greatest fulcrum for change is the effort you're willing to expend. If you see a problem, fix it. After all, you have a vested interest in the success of the company.

        I don't know that the few people leaving for "greener pastures" are a significant cause for alarm. The people that define Google's culture and are responsible for its success aren't here for the fringe benefits; they're here because they love doing what they do alongside smart people they can learn from, who fancy a cold beer and engaging conversation on the balcony (and maybe flying finger darts, or a game of pool) to break up a particularly challenging day of work.

        [1] Did you know Eric co-wrote Lex?

        ~G
      • Re:Yes. (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @02:19AM (#24748027)

        Speaking as a Googler, "some" is an understatement. The best and brightest have been exiting Google at the earliest for months, leaving behind the political climbers, backbiters and the just plain incompetent.

        If Jeff or Sanjay left, you might have a point. Otherwise it really comes across like you're either not in engineering or you don't know what you're talking about. It's true that the people who only wanted money or publicity have now left, along with some genuinely good engineers, but I can't say I really worry that much. Mostly, the "famous" ones next projects have demonstated just how awesome they were (Cuil anyone?). It's true that we have also lost some good people hired in recent years (~the last two), since stock compensation and the "startup feel" isn't what it used to be. There's only so much you can do about that though. That said, I have never worked with a better group of people, and I even have several coworkers who could retire tomorrow if they wanted to -- yet they choose to keep working. That says a lot to me.

        That isn't to say things might not change. However the only exodus I've seen is the "startup people" who would leave any company after it is no longer a startup. Anyone who has ever worked in the SF Bay Area knows the type of person I'm talking about. A company does have to grow up, so you can't keep everyone.

        Now Google mainly runs on interns, everybody else is too "smart" to do the grunt work like coding, debugging, or much at all beyond getting face time.

        I don't think you work at Google, unless you are on some sort of crazy-ass side project that is going to die. We've never had more than 10% interns in our group, and it's the ye-olde-developers who debug most problems. The idea of interns debugging other's code is almost laughable given the company's devotion to TDD.

        The reason for this is simple: narcissistic managers whose main talent is claiming credit for the work of their subordinates while punishing anyone who shows initiative, and thus possibly could get promoted. These days at Google, showing skill and dedication is a great way to get a bad review from your manager.

        How does your manager cause you to get bad peer reviews (which is the #1 thing promotion committees will look at)? Maybe if you're getting a bad review from your manager *and* your co-workers, you might want to take a look in the mirror and read some of that feedback.

        But you knew how promotions work, right?

        Eric and friends seem blissfully unaware of the developing train wreck.

        I feel sorry for your group/project/office or whatever, but your experience doesn't reflect any of the groups I've worked with any time recently. Maybe you should request a transfer or a change in managers.

        But you know you could do that, right? Or maybe you didn't since you're making shit up.

      • Re:Yes. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @06:46AM (#24749341) Journal

        JWZ identified the turning point for Netscape, where the decline started, as the point at which they started hiring people who wanted to work there because it was a great place to work, rather than people who wanted to work there to make it a great place. I interviewed at Google about a year ago[1] and I made a point of asking my interviewers why they wanted to work at Google. All five told me that they were there because it was such a great place to work. Looking around, it was hard to disagree with this (it really did seem like a great place to work), but it was sad to see that this was the main reason people went there. I only got to talk to half a dozen people, so maybe I got a skewed perspective (although, I believe, the interview process is meant to select a good cross section of the workplace for each interviewee).

        [1] I'd really recommend this to anyone, by the way. I didn't get in, but the mental work-out from the interview was incredible, and I spent much of the next two months implementing ideas I came up with during the interview (and got a journal paper out of one of them).

  • by BigBadBus (653823) on Monday August 25, 2008 @06:22PM (#24743603) Homepage
    Look at http://www.paullee.com/computers/index.php [paullee.com] and follow the link in the second bullet point. The f*ckers are trying legal tricks to shut me up.
  • Media Darling (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bendodge (998616) <bendodge@nOSPam.bsgprogrammers.com> on Monday August 25, 2008 @06:26PM (#24743653) Homepage Journal

    Google has been a media darling for a long time. Now that they are finally out of the whiz-bang stage, you're ready to say they're going downhill? No, they've just gotten just about all of the internet that they can, and they are now waiting (and actively pushing) for mobile internet so they can do it all over again.

    I'm personally all for trying to expand the economy itself instead of making a complete monopoly (and Google can't get much stronger without becoming a monopoly).

    Now we all just get to sit and wait until wireless matures and Google takes over it. I'm speculating they'll start pushing platform-neutral stuff big-time after that (which may mean overt Linux pushing). They can't compete well with MS's enterprise dominance until they've dislodged Windows, but the wireless apple is much riper at the moment.

    • Re:Media Darling (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 25, 2008 @06:35PM (#24743781)

      One wonders how Google helping China to field underage gymnasts by making sure their caches were all purged of copies of the real documents is going to play in the media.

      Of course, the way the media fawned over the Chinese during the Olympics (Tibet?!?! Huh?), I doubt Google's going to take any heat about that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by lgw (121541)

      Google enterprise products aren't stopped by the "dominance" of Windows (in the enterprise?) as much as simply missing the mark. Enterprise products are expected to plug into existing mangement frameworks, API styles, etc. Doing some new cool thing isn't useful if it doesn't cleanly interoperate with the rest of the enterprise. Google doesn't seem to get this yet.

  • evil? (Score:5, Funny)

    by philspear (1142299) on Monday August 25, 2008 @06:26PM (#24743655)

    One of the "benefits" for working at google is they'll give you up to $5000 to adopt a kid.

    Clearly google is paving their own way to cheap underage chinese laborers in a few years.

  • by Fyz (581804) on Monday August 25, 2008 @06:28PM (#24743677)
    Sergey Solyanik just left because the colleagues never referred to him as the cool Sergey.
  • Migrating flock (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DeadDecoy (877617) on Monday August 25, 2008 @06:30PM (#24743715)
    This actually reminds me of a story of the wandering engineer. They'd work for google, then move to MS because they lack quality control. The engineer would then transfer to Yahoo because MS isn't doing anything interesting. They'd then move to Google and start the cycle anew because Yahoo wasn't on the cutting edge. Maybe the novelty of working at Google, or any other place for that matter, wears off once you've been there for quite a few months and you have the qualifications to change things up. Engineers can be a fickle lot where the interesting aspects of a project outweigh how much it pays.
    • by poot_rootbeer (188613) on Monday August 25, 2008 @06:39PM (#24743821)

      This actually reminds me of a story of the wandering engineer. They'd work for google, then move to MS because they lack quality control.

      And because MS offered a 10% higher salary than they were making at Google.

      The engineer would then transfer to Yahoo because MS isn't doing anything interesting.

      And because Yahoo offered a 10% higher salary than they were making at MS.

      They'd then move to Google and start the cycle anew because Yahoo wasn't on the cutting edge.

      And because Google offered a 10% higher salary than they were making at Yahoo.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Surt (22457)

        This guy needs to learn how to ask for a raise, apparently. Moving from job to job is such a hassle.

      • by Wee (17189) on Monday August 25, 2008 @08:34PM (#24745149)

        You think Google would offer a higher salary? Not if your just a normal engineer guy. They'll give you what they want to give you, and you better be grateful you're getting the offer in the first place, buddy.

        I made probably about 20-25% less than my similarly-employed friends. Google likes to say that it compensates in other ways. I calculated that the free food alone was worth about $8000 per year to me. The yearly bonuses were beyond generous. I negotiated a good stock grant when I was hired. But the actual pay pretty much sucks, and they're cutting back in all sorts of ways. I saw it happening starting in late 2006, and it kept on rolling. They'll cut back on perks and then try to convince everyone they have the best thing going regardless, especially with regards to recruiting (keep pushing that 20% project myth, guys...). A certain TGIF is a good example (TGIF is a big gathering in Charlie's Cafe every Friday at 4:30, where Larry and/or Sergey and/or Eric talk about company issues and take questions).

        During the QA portion, a guy got up and asked about our health care plan. Apparently, it wasn't as good as Microsoft's, yet in a then-recent magazine article, Eric said that we had the best benefits in the world and was really talking up the perks - even as they were routinely being scaled back. So this guy was comparing notes with his MS buddy and our health plan wasn't all that great (the dental in particular was worse than some government jobs I've had). Eric said he'd look at it and get back to us. (One of the things I really liked about working there was that sort of transparency and openness.)

        Couple weeks later, same guy gets up to ask about what they found out. Eric says they did the numbers, and it was going to cost a few 10s of millions more per year to implement a comparable health plan. So, no dice. The crowd generally grumbled, and Eric was quick to pipe up with "But just think, by working here, you get to change the world!"

        Was shortly after that I gave serious thought about examining my options. I'm not sure if/how that influenced my decision to leave, but some kool-aid you should never drink.

        No, the only way to get more money at Google is to work 80 hours a week or sleep with someone important. Leaving and coming back won't do it, unless you're a high-flier and they're trying to headhunt you back for some particular reason.

        -B

    • Re:Migrating flock (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kethinov (636034) on Monday August 25, 2008 @06:53PM (#24743949) Homepage Journal

      I've lived this cycle, having worked for Yahoo!, then Google, then back to Yahoo!, and now PayPal. Personally, I don't think my migrations and wanting to change things up every now and then particularly makes me fickle. I'd rather be engaged in my work than eternally loyal to my employer. Too much loyalty isn't a good thing anyway.

  • by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Monday August 25, 2008 @06:31PM (#24743727)

    ...is one guy who returned to Microsoft, the price of an employee service was raised, and the stock price is lower than it was at a point in the past.

    I don't think that's enough to declare that Google has lost its mojo. Think of how many times Apple was "dying" according to the press. I think this author is just bored with Google and wants to cause a stir.

  • by budword (680846) on Monday August 25, 2008 @06:31PM (#24743729)
    He's impressed with the rock solid stability of the.......office suit software ? Enterprise level word processor and spread sheets ? Setting the bar pretty low.....
  • by garett_spencley (193892) on Monday August 25, 2008 @06:32PM (#24743743) Journal

    All they have to do is find Dr. Evil's secret volcano layer and get it back. They're frickin' Google. If they can't do it no one can.

  • Vacation... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by serviscope_minor (664417) on Monday August 25, 2008 @06:34PM (#24743769) Journal

    Interesting. Looks like it starts at 15 days, and moves up to 25 days after 6 years. Their 6 year level has reached the mandatory minimum number of paid vacation days in many EU countries.

    Is that mistreatment? If you've come from Eurpoe, then it may feel that way.

  • short answer: no (Score:3, Interesting)

    by petes_PoV (912422) on Monday August 25, 2008 @06:40PM (#24743835)
    google is still an astounding success and will be until something better comes along. Think: years.

    As for how it treats it's employees, maybe it's escaped your notice but we're in a recession. Expect to get *****ed on from a great height - you'll get your revenge when the next boom happens.

  • infant care (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord Lode (1290856) on Monday August 25, 2008 @06:46PM (#24743889)
    Quoting: "Parents who had been paying $1,425 a month for infant care would see their costs rise to nearly $2,500"... WTF? How much do people in the US earn? This amount of money per month, is what is almost the total monthly salary in Europe is for many people! How could you give that for just infant care?? Renting an apartment is like 400 euros per month, much cheaper than this infant care (even the so called cheap $1425 one)! How do you pay for rent, survival costs, and saving, if you have a baby and use that infant care?
    • Re:infant care (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Un pobre guey (593801) on Monday August 25, 2008 @07:22PM (#24744267) Homepage
      In Europe, you work to live. In America, we live to work.

      There are good and bad aspects to both. Choose your poison.

  • Food (Score:5, Informative)

    by quarrel (194077) on Monday August 25, 2008 @07:01PM (#24744045)

    It's always all downhill once startups start cutting back on the food perks [valleywag.com].

    From the linked Valleywag article:

    "
    Google's food perks on the chopping block

    There's no such thing as a free dinner. A worker at Google tells us the company is taking evening meals off the menu: "Google has drastically cut back their budget on the culinary program. How is it affecting campus? No more dinner. No more tea trolley. No more snack attack in the afternoon." The changes will be announced to Googlers on Monday. Workers at the Googleplex will remain amply fed, with free breakfast and lunch -- dinner will be reserved for geeks only -- but it's still a shocking cutback.

    Last year, when we aired the mildest speculation about Google cutting back on free food, commenters were outraged. Google has long milked its cafeterias for their publicity value; company executives have crowed about the company's resistance to recessions and its commitment to coddling its employees. Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin even promised shareholders they'd add perks, rather than cut them.

    In 2004, they wrote:

            We provide many unusual benefits for our employees, including meals free of charge ... We are careful to consider the long term advantages to the company of these benefits. Expect us to add benefits rather than pare them down over time. We believe it is easy to be penny wise and pound foolish with respect to benefits that can save employees considerable time and improve their health and productivity.

    What went wrong? ...
    "

    --Q

    • Re:Food (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nate nice (672391) on Monday August 25, 2008 @07:17PM (#24744209) Journal

      "What went wrong? ..."

      Share holders are penny wise and pound foolish. It isn't about the longterm investment but the quarterly or annual review. Eventually, when the stock starts to lose value, you simply have to make changes (drop operating costs) to make revenues reflect a larger profit.

      The good news is most companies just fire a bunch of people. Google just happens to be taking away free dinner.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BlueBoxSW.com (745855)

      Dinner for Geeks only? For once it pays to be in that population.

      The real problem is Click Fraud. One of these days their advertising program is going to have to cut out click fraud, and their profits will drop by 75%.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by blamanj (253811)

      They've already posted a correction. Google is still feeding their employees.

      http://valleywag.com/5041464/dinner-saved-for-googles-geeks [valleywag.com]

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Monday August 25, 2008 @07:02PM (#24744065)

    While I understand that Google must increase shareholder value at all cost, I would like to see Google do the following:

    Respond to Yahoo Mail's new web mail's interface. I find Yahoo Mail's scrolling calender events found at the bottom while composing email really sweet. The whole [new] interface is quite impressive.

    Google should put more efforts into getting KDE 4.1 up to "standards". Right now, KDE 4.1 really needs lots of work. The Summer of Code efforts leave the situation still wanting.

    Get GMail out of beta. Heck, it's been over 2 years!

    Google should walk the walk...that is make ODF documents, .ogg streams searcheable from www.google.com.

    What do you think?

  • by darrylo (97569) on Monday August 25, 2008 @07:13PM (#24744151)

    I don't understand the fuss. Like it or not, this seems to be the normal evolution of any "startup company" that becomes a publicly-traded company. Often, when any type of economic difficulties hit, benefits can be lost or reduced, and -- surprise, surprise -- they don't often come back. One big issue is that the investors have, of course, a lot of control, and investors want profit (think Carl Icahn, people). Management doesn't look good if they can't deliver sufficient profit, and so there's incentive to not increase benefits.

    I'm not even going to touch the google services issue. Let's just say that some google services appear to be stagnating (minor tweaks don't cut it), and google is opening itself up to a competitor leapfrogging them. (Yeah, with Yahoo in not-so-good shape, Microsoft is probably the only company that could do that .... Bleah.)

  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Monday August 25, 2008 @07:57PM (#24744715)
    ... the only direction is down.
  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Monday August 25, 2008 @08:01PM (#24744769)
    Parents who expect to get day care for their kids as a free ride really piss me off. Why should the childless pay for somebody else's kids, so that the parents can have a cushy job?

    I realize this is an unpopular view with some, but if you can't afford to have kids (and raise them, and school them) then you shouldn't be having kids. And if I worked at Google, I would be damned if I would want to pay for YOUR kids, so you can have a job at Google. That is not the way life works.

    What ever happened to those particular values of the 50s, when one parent would say to the other, "Well, Johnny is 3 now, and you just got a raise... maybe we can afford to have another kid!"

    I am with Sergey... I am not very sympathetic. They want the very best day care -- to the tune of $37,000 a year! -- then they can pay for it.

    Day care is NOT like public education, in which everybody has a stake. It is the duty of the parents to care for their kids until they get to school age. If they cannot, they should put the kids up for adoption. It is not ethical to expect the public (or their co-workers) to subsidize their children.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Eli Gottlieb (917758)

      It is not ethical to expect the public (or their co-workers) to subsidize their children.

      18 years from now, do you want there to be a civilization, or not?

  • by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Monday August 25, 2008 @09:47PM (#24745915) Homepage

    I had heard that Google had some pretty comprehensive benefits, designed to ease the transition from Mom's basement to corporate life, but this is just silly.

    According to their benefits page, Google offers not only free lunches, massages and car washes, but also "AD&D insurance".

    Because when your eleventh level cleric gets killed by a lich, you really need that coverage to help you deal with the loss.

  • by east coast (590680) on Monday August 25, 2008 @10:01PM (#24746051)
    It's looking to displace Microsoft with hosted services like Google Apps, Gmail and Google Docs.

    You know, I hate to tell people this but most people really don't have a hard-on to see MS die. For the most part, in the professional world, people are going to use what works best in their environment regardless of branding or cost (within reasonable limits of course). It's pretty poor when you support "the other guy" because you hate someone else so much that you simply can not stand to see them succeed. In real life when you put that attitude into action you'll find that you waste a lot of good time and money on trying to sink the other guys ship when you could have done it by improving yourself and not only defeat them but also come off with a better product. What's the saying? There's no revenge as sweet as success? Spending resources to beat on someone else is counter productive and, frankly, petty.
  • by macraig (621737) <mark DOT a DOT craig AT gmail DOT com> on Monday August 25, 2008 @10:29PM (#24746297)

    From the Google employee benefits page:

    - Life and AD&D Insurance

    Hey, does this mean, if I croak from playing too much AD&D and the resulting malnutrition and poor hygiene, that they'll pay my family a big fat payout to enshrine me and my platinum-plated D-10 dice?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by markov_chain (202465)

      It means if your level 10 cleric dies, you get to start your new campaign with 1 million gold coins.

  • This is it?? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mccabem (44513) on Monday August 25, 2008 @10:37PM (#24746397)

    A disgruntled employee and stock price? Tell me again how stock price is correlated with performance? Ditto for disgruntled employee?

    I'm not arguing that Google hasn't turned evil/lost its mojo/whatever - I'm willing to consider it. But are you serious these are the "arguments agaist"???

    And for the last time: Benefits are a luxury. Your pay is your pay. Duh...don't let em sell you the sizzle!

    Heh...on that note I'm not mad I RTFA'd, but I will say they poured more thought into the headline than the article. Sizzle in deed.

    -Matt

  • by gelfling (6534) on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @12:30AM (#24747365) Homepage Journal

    I'll work for them. Tomorrow. Contact me Google.

  • by twostix (1277166) on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @12:36AM (#24747411)

    Sorry, to all you childless bachelors out there, but my loyalty lies 110% to my son and family not to you or anybody else outside my family, I already have precious little time with him as is, I don't care if you or management or *anyone else* thinks I'm a team player or not, truly. I do my contracted work, take my pay then I'm outta there.

    It does go both ways as well. People without kids bitch that people with kids leave when their child is sick (you know, to be *parents*) or whatever, but then people without kids want to work their lives away, then expect us to as well? Sorry if your to spineless to stand up to your boss that's YOUR problem, no one elses. Otherwise you enjoy doing it, and well if you expect me to work late and have my boy miss out on seeing his old man before bed because you have nothing better to do than work for an extra few hours you can fuck right off.

    The worst thing here, is that the 90% of people complaining about "people with kids" statistically, in a a few years when they grow up will BE "people with kids". Then will understand, not through a selfish hypocritical flip-flop, but because when that little tacker comes along you have *no choice* as your brain changes and with it your priorities, whether you like it or not.

    And we *people with kids* were all just like you once, I even used to bitch about *people with kids*, just like you.

    Ironically all the people without kids bitching here will then bitch about how people don't, you know, "be a parent" to their kids in the multitude of other stories regarding kids. Well I'll tell ya it's a little hard when you all expect us to forget about them for 8-12 hours a day and see them awake for twenty minutes, because we know how much your going to cry because you choose to marry your job/company and we treat it like a means to an end and leave on time.

    So much juvenile idiocy in this thread.

  • Of course it has (Score:3, Interesting)

    by melted (227442) on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @02:32AM (#24748071) Homepage

    It is now huge (read, you have to play political games to get ahead), its share price is not going anywhere (read, there's no potential to get rich quick) and it is "blessed" with a workforce in which they have cultivated a sense of entitlement (read, once you take anything away, no matter how small the perk, the response will be swift, merciless and disproportionate).

    Frankly, based on what I hear from ex-Googlers, if I wanted to work for a big company, I'd rather go to Microsoft instead. There's more structure there, wider variety of projects, and rules for promotion although not set in stone and not always followed, are better defined.

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