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Google Wave Creator Quits, Joins Facebook 191

srimadman found an interview with Wave creator Lars Rasmussen where he talks about his recent decision to join Facebook, leaving Google behind. Apparently getting personally pitched by Zuckerberg helped. He says, "I've got a job description of 'come hang out with us for a while and we'll see what happens,' which is a pretty exciting thing." The article talks about Big vs Small companies, and notes that about 20% of Facebook's staff are former Googlers.
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Google Wave Creator Quits, Joins Facebook

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  • by sakura the mc ( 795726 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @08:46AM (#34087690)

    so he goes from a company that doesnt give a shit about user privacy to another that doesnt give a shit about user privacy.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 01, 2010 @08:49AM (#34087700)

      Are you kidding? User privacy (or the lack thereof) is their main revenue stream!

      • by blahbooboo ( 839709 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @09:17AM (#34087982)

        Are you kidding? User privacy (or the lack thereof) is their main revenue stream!

        I stopped putting anything of consequence on Facebook (including pictures) over a year ago. After seeing how much Facebook changed since I joined when Facebook was still a closed edu community (a LOT better back then too) and the endless crazy privacy settings I stopped using it. Privacy is now simple, there is absolutely nothing on facebook that I care about anymore. For example, if someone tags me in a photo, I immediately un-tag the photo.

        By now, if you keep posting things about yourself on Facebook that you're concerned about it's you're own fault. Privacy is easy now for me on Facebook.

        • by Conspiracy_Of_Doves ( 236787 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @09:25AM (#34088066)

          If there was *ever* anything you cared about on facebook, then you still have something to worry about. You might not be able to see it any more, but it's still there.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by definate ( 876684 )

          I just use a pseudonym, based on a famous person with a similar name. People can tag me all they want. I also lock down the profile so that no applications can access my data, and I don't keep any personal data on there. I lastly have different privileges for different groups of people, some don't get access to any tagged photos, photos I upload, or wall posts. No one gets to see which friends I have, that they don't also have.

          I just use it more as a way to keep in contact with certain friends.

          There's ways

          • There's still cross site cookies, and no setting in facebook or outside of will fix the fact that you're tracked via facebook off of facebook. So while you've done "what you can", it doesn't do quite as much as you'd hope it does.

            I welcome a facebook replacement as long as it's something that doesn't make as much a mock of privacy as facebook.

            • Overall it reduces your exposure, and besides instances like that, it makes it so someone just researching you, will have trouble finding more information. Someone who is using sophisticated methods like you're mentioning, is either going to be a business working with them, and less nefarious than you'd think, or someone who really desperately wants your information. The latter, has many different options, Facebook being the easiest. Though, since you're not keeping any usable information in it, it's not a

            • What about using the "Private Browsing" mode of modern browsers? If you only do Facebook through that, no other sites should know about your facebook account, right?
          • That's pretty much how I treat Facebook. No apps are allowed access to personal data, I don't have friends and the only thing I post is stuff that I don't give a rat about.

        • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @09:40AM (#34088214)

          I stopped putting anything of consequence on Facebook (including pictures) over a year ago.

          Too late! I've seen the pictures. I don't know who I feel more sorry for, you, your sister, or the dog.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          A problem my wife (elem school teacher) ran into and she doesn't even have a facebook account, is people posting pics of her or that include her to their facebook pages. She nor I have any idea it is even out there since it isn't tagged and then all of a sudden someone will mention a picture they saw of her on fb. We then have to track down the person and ask them to remove the pic. Her school is crazy about any photos of the teachers online and a few have been fired for something as simple as a photo of th

          • Sounds like her workplace just wants her not to exist outside the school building. That’s completely reasonable... just get her one of those invisibility cloaks.

          • My solution to all these privacy problems is very simple, I don't use FB. Period. I have no presence on it and I feel *relatively* confident they don't have any personal data on me.
            • by bberens ( 965711 )
              You clearly did not read the GP's post which was about OTHER PEOPLE posting pictures of his wife. (redtube?)
            • by s73v3r ( 963317 )

              That only works if you don't have any friends/acquaintances that use Facebook. As the OP said, his wife doesn't even have a Facebook account, and yet people are tagging photos identifying her in them.

        • Do you really believe untagging a picture results in a DELETE FROM... rather than a UPDATE TABLE ... SET public='false'?

    • by trickyD1ck ( 1313117 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @09:00AM (#34087796)
      And why would these companies care, when users themselves don't?
      • Care or no care, it's not like you have a choice anymore. All you need is some friend who joins the "hand over your privacy" club and you're in too!

      • I have a friend who's a software engineer and was gleefully using Google's location feature that sends pings everywhere you go. Now, this is someone who *should* know better. Everyone else is much worse. From celebrities and athletes tweeting information they shouldn't to Google's Total Information Awareness, I think this is the new norm.

    • They don't give a shit about the privacy of users who consider their personal information so private they plaster it all over the Internet.

  • Google What Now? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @08:57AM (#34087756) Homepage
    Seriously, can anyone explain to me in words of two syllables or fewer what Google Wave is/was (other than a Firefly reference) or why I should have bothered to find out for myself?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      Google's version of Facebook - only they put a "business" spin on it.
      • I don't think there was much similar to Facebook in Google Wave.

        Wave was interesting (to me, at least) because it offered collaboration and sharing in real-time, in a way that would've been much more powerful than what I've seen in current collaboration tools (e.g., SharePoint) -- if it had worked well as advertised. The problem I always saw with Wave was that the damn thing was slow. I mean, dear God was it slow, sometimes! If you can type faster than the text can be rendered in an application (by seve

      • Not really. It's more like what you get when you put email, wikis, and IM in a blender and set it to puree.

        Really, the Firefly reference was intentional, and similar to their goal -- a combined communications "thing" that's kinda like e-mail, but multimedia and capable of being real-time.

        It seems like everyone calls everything Google has done recently their "version of Facebook." Wave was, profiles were, even Buzz is, apparently. =p

        • It seems like everyone calls everything Google has done recently their "version of Facebook."

          This has become a tech media plague, really. Just because Facebook is wildly popular doesn't mean that any site that aspires to have more than 2 members that can talk to each other is a "version of Facebook".

      • Wave was nothing like Facebook, nor was it intended to be. Their social networkign serves are Orkut, and now Google Buzz.

        Wave was... something else. Something really exciting, where you could do anything. Sort of like

      • by geekoid ( 135745 )

        no, it was NOTHING like facebook. Why do people make that comparison? In fact, I think that comparison is its downfall. Set the expectations wrong.

    • by aicrules ( 819392 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @08:59AM (#34087784)
    • by markhb ( 11721 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @09:01AM (#34087804) Journal

      It was the missing link between "Steal underpants" and "PROFIT!!!"

    • Re:Google What Now? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <[enderandrew] [at] []> on Monday November 01, 2010 @09:03AM (#34087820) Homepage Journal

      Email + IM/Chat + Wiki Functionality all rolled into one.

      • Wow. The people on it must have gotten nothing done.

        • Re:Google What Now? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <[enderandrew] [at] []> on Monday November 01, 2010 @09:36AM (#34088176) Homepage Journal

          Supposedly Google used it internally for meetings.

          Someone would create a wave of the meeting agenda and invite the people who were going to attend.

          As the meeting went along, everyone could edit the wave in realtime collobaterion. The agenda evolved into the meeting notes.

          And if you missed the meeting, you can re-play the wave and see the steps of every comment and note as it went along.

          The failure of wave as I see it isn't that it couldn't provide killer new features, or a failure to boost productivity.

          The problem was that if I want to email or IM someone, I can do so through Gmail and every contact I need is there. With Wave, only so many people had it, so I couldn't colloberate with the people I needed to.

    • Re:Google What Now? (Score:5, Informative)

      by hodet ( 620484 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @09:08AM (#34087886)
      From the demo I saw (I never actually tried it), it looked to me like an online collaboration tool for groups. You could chat with the whole group, launch shared screens for collaboration etc etc. You could add and remove users from the wave as you go. It tried to blend all kinds of things into one platform hosted on a central server. Google were never really able to convince people why they need this tool (myself included). I remember after looking at the demo, thinking how painful it might have been to actually use in the real world.
      • google should have marketed it as an IM which had additional features, or as a facebook replacement with same. Instead they tried to advertise all it could do and confused people. I was only confused as to why I should use it when no one else would, and I was right.

        • by jimicus ( 737525 )

          Thing is, it wasn't an IM tool as such because you had to expressly set up a wave and invite people to join.

          I looked into it myself - and while it was a very nifty bit of AJAX, I really thought it was a solution looking for a problem which didn't exist.

        • by slim ( 1652 )

          google should have marketed it as an IM which had additional features, or as a facebook replacement with same. Instead they tried to advertise all it could do and confused people.

          But it was really neither of those things. It was nothing like Facebook. IM was a secondary feature.

          It was a BBS with Etherpad-like collaborative editing; which could segue into an IM-like realtime experience if two users happened to be on the same Wave at the same time. ... and it had a plugin architecture that so that you could communicate using more than just text. (sketches, maps, polls etc.)

      • Real world experience? I found this tool was excellent as a collaboration tool for software development and project management. It's great for tracking changes, and documenting implementation details.

        I for one, and many of my colleagues will be sad to see Google Wave pass on.

      • by Raenex ( 947668 )


        5 syllables. You just crashed the parent poster's brain.

      • by slim ( 1652 )

        I remember after looking at the demo, thinking how painful it might have been to actually use in the real world.

        The difficult bit was "Hey we'll use Wave... Oh you're not on Wave? I'll have to send you an invite, and then we can wait a few days, and maybe you'll get an invite, and then you'll get a signup link from Google, and then we can start using it..." multiplied by as many people you wanted to collaborate with.

        Once you were on, it was easy and pretty self-explanatory.

        It was a threaded BBS, much like the Slashdot comments system; and you could use it exactly that way. ... except that if someone else was typing a

    • Re:Google What Now? (Score:5, Informative)

      by tapo ( 855172 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @09:12AM (#34087924) Homepage

      "Real-time message board for projects."

      A few friends of mine have been using Wave for developing a game and game toolset, and its a weird mixture of wiki, message board, and group whiteboard, they usually discuss the latest project milestone on Skype while having running meeting minutes in a Wave. If someone can't make the meeting, they come along later and comment. There's long waves about everything from programming standards, to models and art assets, to release notes.

      It's been so damn useful for project development that Google is planning to ship "Wave in a Box" so small teams like ours can deploy it on our own server, even after Google kills official support. And we will, we can't go back to wiki, it seems so damn archaic at this point.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hey! ( 33014 )

        Gosh, I remember having to explain what "email" was to people. Their reaction: "Why would I send some kind of computer message? If I'm in a rush, I'll phone. If I'm not, I'll send a letter. If I'm in a rush and they need a record, I'll fax." Hell, when radio was introduced people thought of it as wireless telegraphy. You could locate a telegraph office anywhere without running wires. Speaking of telegraph offices, many people imagined that we'd be going to the telegraph office to pick up written messages

    • by alen ( 225700 )

      it was slow, deathly slow. and a resource hog. with public waves Google Chrome would eat up over 500MB of RAM.

      it was like email, IM, internet forums, newsgroups all rolled into one and google would keep track of typos so they would know everything you did

    • by jon3k ( 691256 )
      Sure, I can try anyway -- it's a communication tool that attempts to combine the best of IRC, instant messaging, e-mail and web forums into one streamlined interface.

      Personally I think it failed because it was overly ambitious and was overly compromised. It was too clunky for real time communication and didn't offer enough new features for it to supplant e-mail. It was a _very_ interesting exercise and something that needs to happen. I don't know about you, but I spend all day logged into IRC (and IM
    • canceled

    • by Gulthek ( 12570 )

      It's a video, but a very well done post-mortem tutorial on what Google Wave was and why it was (potentially) awesome. []

      "Google Wave: You Don't Deserve It"

    • Was was an implementation of the protocol-one, operational transformation (OT) and protobuf projects developed as an extension of XMPP The demo app was fairly dire however the protocol is excellent for collaborative editing of data. We use it for M2M stuff with autonomous agents and it is great.
    • Real-time collaboration. Sorry about collaboration being 3 syllables over your limit.
    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      Long time real collaboration with apps.

      Google wave was awesome.

    • by slim ( 1652 )

      Wave was a bit like Etherpad. OK that's three syllables.

      But never mind, imagine Etherpad -- you are typing into a text area; so is someone else on another browser; you can see each other's edits. The document is persistent. If nobody else is there, you can still work on it. If others are working on it, you needn't stop.

      Now imagine that as well as that, you can "reply" to a text window by creating a new one below it. Just like this Slashdot reply. That reply is also group-editable.

      Now imagine that it's rich

  • "I think if you were to ask me two or three years ago if Facebook was going to be this big, I wouldn't have picked it. And I have a great deal to learn there from Mark and his team," he said.
    And a great deal of cash to earn, hey Mark is a 24-year old billionaire and they need me.
    WAVEs goodbye...
    • by Kilrah_il ( 1692978 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @09:17AM (#34087986)

      Wow, you found out that a top Google programmer is being hired by another company for money. Oh, and he agreed to switch companies because he is being paid big bucks. Yep, you sure deserve the Insightful mod.

      Most people here dream about doing a good enough job to be hired by one of the top companies and being paid big bucks for it, but when we see someone with a proven track record getting paid for it: Sellout!

    • by AnonymousClown ( 1788472 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @09:18AM (#34087992)

      Mark is a 24-year old billionaire...

      If he invented some incredible green energy break through, I'd be thinking way to go!
      If he found a way to eliminate much of the poverty and sickness in the Third World, I'd say way to go kid! You deserve every penny!
      If he came up with some sort of medical breakthrough that eliminate breast and ovarian or prostate cancer, I'd be really happy for him.

      No, he didn't.

      He became an instant billionaire by selling what is basically personal web pages that broadcast updates automatically.

      Tesla did more for humanity and he died penniless.

      Excuse me, I'm having an attack of mumbling "Bullshit!"

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        That website helped me connect and stay in touch with people that I normally would not contact as I'm not a 'phone' person and they are not 'letter' people.

        It's been of use to me. If you can create something which becomes useful to millions of people, you don't see THAT as being worth some money?

        Granted, I think people are insane in setting the potential value so high, but it's certainly worth several million. (In general, I think that advertising expendatures have become a self fulfilling prophecy. Jus

  • by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <[enderandrew] [at] []> on Monday November 01, 2010 @09:04AM (#34087846) Homepage Journal

    Google has the company policy where 10% of every employee's hours are to be spent on projects of their choosing. They're known for providing their employees tons of flexibility to explore new ideas.

    Lars is suggesting he is jumping ship to Facebook so he can have the freedom to see what happens. I'm sure it has absolutely nothing to do with money.

    • And if in addition to the great opportunity he gets money for it, what's the problem?
      He is a good programmer and Facebook thinks he is worth the amount they pay him. He, OTOH, gets a good salary (I presume it is more than what he got at Google) and an interesting job - seems like a Win-Win situation.
      Correct me if I am wrong, but it is not such a rare occasion that programmers move from one company to another in the IT business.

      • I'm not faulting or judging him. I'm just saying that money probably played a larger factor for his leaving than the story he gave.

    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

      Not money yet.
      Google already gone public Lars probably got a bunch of stock options from Google but those are going to get harder to come by now.
      Facebook has yet to go public. Lars is getting a bunch of stock options and when Facebook goes public $$$$$.
      I wonder if anybody has gone from Yahoo to Google to Facebook. If so they are probably well past set for life at this point in time.

      • Except if it is proven that Paul Ceglia owns 84% of Facebook. Zuckerberg is handing out stock after a judge said he couldn't distribute or sell company assets. What if a judge rules the stock Zuckerberg gave you, he didn't have a right to hand out?

        • by alen ( 225700 )

          too many interests to lose facebook. and Paul may have screwed himself by waiting so long to collect on such a small debt. he may walk away with nothing just because he waited so long.

    • Re:Money is nice (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Macka ( 9388 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @09:55AM (#34088406)

      A colleague of mine used to work at Google and told me there is considerable pressure put on you to come up with something concrete and constructive from that 10%. It's not a free time to just dick about with whatever takes your fancy, it has to be for the betterment of Google.

    • It's 20%, not 10%.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by houghi ( 78078 )

      You make it sound if the money part is a bad thing.
      What if this is not OR/OR but AND/AND? AND he can work on a project that he is passionate about AND he earns more money.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 01, 2010 @09:05AM (#34087858)

    We get to do evil now! Yeah!

  • I'm surprised Google killed Wave when they haven't killed many other long-standing projects they have going that are much less popular with users and, as a result, much less lucrative. I think it was a clash of heads between Rasmussen and the top over what his priorities should be. They probably wanted something that would be as instantly popular as Maps. Wave did have potential especially if they marketed it alongside Google Apps for Business, but it's definitely not going to drive the kind people who u

    • by jimicus ( 737525 )

      Wave did have potential especially if they marketed it alongside Google Apps for Business, but it's definitely not going to drive the kind people who use Facebook to start switching in droves to using Wave instead -- that's a bit unrealistic. If that's what Lars was looking for, everyone's probably better off with him at Facebook.

      They did. You could enable Wave for your domain quite easily.

      We tried it and rapidly concluded it was a lookgran product.

  • If you notice Google becoming less evil in the coming months, this will be why--they're all going to facebook. :-)

  • Loyalty (Score:3, Insightful)

    by slasho81 ( 455509 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @10:10AM (#34088600)
    The value of loyalty is completely gone in today's organizations. No loyalty to the company; No loyalty to the employees, and no loyalty between employees. I'm not advocating blind loyalty, but when people change companies every couple of years for a slight bump in salary, or a shinier title, or just so they don't appear "stagnant", it's a problem. And it's a problem first and foremost for the employees themselves.
    • Re:Loyalty (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Chowderbags ( 847952 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @10:53AM (#34089232)
      What do you expect when businesses stopped being loyal to their employees? There used to be things like pension plans and long term job security. Now companies might match some portion of your 401k and at a slight downturn in the economy they might lay off hundreds or thousands so that their numbers look a little bit better. If they're willing to toss workers overboard for slight profit, workers are well within reason to toss their company overboard for their own slight profit. Give people a good reason to stay and you'll get loyal employees, otherwise you get what coming to you.
    • Re:Loyalty (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Matt Perry ( 793115 ) <> on Monday November 01, 2010 @11:44AM (#34090020)

      The value of loyalty is completely gone in today's organizations.

      It should have never been there in the first place. Employment is a business transaction for both the employee and the employer. Employees have long fantasized that it wasn't, but are now waking up. Why shouldn't both parties attempt to maximize their returns? For the business this usually means getting what they are paying for. For the employee it might mean better pay or benefits, or it could be for more intangible returns such as achieving personal goals, helping others, working on interesting things, that shiny new title, etc.

      • Re:Loyalty (Score:5, Insightful)

        by slasho81 ( 455509 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @12:00PM (#34090302)
        You are either an economics major or under 25.

        Employment is more than just business in the real world. It's a social activity and organizations are social structures rather than ideal friction reducing "infrastructure" that some academics think they are.

        The economics revolve around society and not the other way round.
        • Re:Loyalty (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Matt Perry ( 793115 ) <> on Monday November 01, 2010 @12:58PM (#34091180)

          You are either an economics major or under 25.

          Wrong on both counts. It's been more than 30 years since I was under 25.

          Employment is more than just business in the real world. It's a social activity and organizations are social structures rather than ideal friction reducing "infrastructure" that some academics think they are.

          It may be a social activity for the employee but it's most certainly not for the employer. Businesses are all about business transactions either by design or due to legal obligations imposed by government.

          In any case, we are discussing loyalty between employer and employee. A business is not a person and employment is not a marriage. Expecting to stay with an employer out of loyalty is absurd. Ultimately, the relationship between employee and employer is one of cost and benefit. Are both parties deriving benefit? If so, there's no reason to change anything. But needs and desires change. The business may change direction which could lead to redundancy in employees. The desires or needs of the employee may change which might facilitate them leaving for another business.

          Speaking for myself, I have been thinking of making a career change within the next five years. I am creeping up on retirement age anyway, but have a desire to work with a non-profit for which I have been volunteering over the last several years. It would mean less pay but far more job satisfaction. At my age, with a paid off house, plenty of retirement savings and a vested pension, I am willing to make that sort of change because the benefit of accomplishment and happiness outweighs my financial desires. I can assure you that the situation was reversed when I began my career 30 years ago.

          Should I stay with my company out of some misguided sense of loyalty? Am I arrogant enough to think that this company can't continue to function without me? Of course not. I am replaceable and I know that. I have a lot of company knowledge in my head but others can cover for me and a replacement can be trained. I will do what is best for me and, if I leave, make the transition happen in a responsible manner for all concerned.

          I suspect that Lars is in much the same situation. He created something interesting and sold it to Google. I imagine that he's quite financially secure. Now he has other priorities and wants to pursue those things that interest him and this opportunity is what he decided to pursue. Should he be loyal to Google? If so, for what reason? The company will survive without him. There are plenty of smart people at Google with many more clamoring to get in. Meanwhile, Lars only has one life and I can't fault him for wanting to live it.

          Maybe this is one of those things that can only be understood with age. As you become more financially secure and the kids grow older and leave home, your priorities change. You'll experience it some day, I'm sure.

  • A small bet (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wonkavader ( 605434 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @10:13AM (#34088638)

    I will bet anyone an imaginary nickel that he's there for just about exactly one year.

  • skimming the top most evil people at Google.

  • Exciting (Score:3, Funny)

    by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @12:30PM (#34090820) Homepage

    ...'come hang out with us for a while and we'll see what happens,' which is a pretty exciting thing.

    A deal with the devil? How exciting! What could possibly go wrong?

  • Wait... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Red_Chaos1 ( 95148 ) on Monday November 01, 2010 @01:48PM (#34091894)

    So "about 20%" of Facebook is made up of people who went from "Do no evil" to "Sucks to be you." I guess it's better they aren't at Google anymore, but now I have to wonder how many other people still work at Google that just don't give a fuck.

"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982