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Longtime Google Engineer Quits; Says Company Can No Longer Innovate, Is Mired in Politics, and Has Become Absolutely Competitor-Focused (medium.com) 392

Steve Yegge, a longtime Google engineer who gained popularity after his rant on Google+ went viral, wrote another rant on Wednesday, in which he announced he has left Google. His rationale behind leaving Google, in his own words: The main reason I left Google is that they can no longer innovate. They've pretty much lost that ability. I believe there are several contributing factors, of which I'll list four here. First, they're conservative: They are so focused on protecting what they've got, that they fear risk-taking and real innovation. Gatekeeping and risk aversion at Google are the norm rather the exception. Second, they are mired in politics, which is sort of inevitable with a large enough organization; the only real alternative is a dictatorship, which has its own downsides. Third, Google is arrogant. It has taken me years to understand that a company full of humble individuals can still be an arrogant company. Google has the arrogance of the "we", not the "I". Fourth, last, and probably worst of all, Google has become 100% competitor-focused rather than customer focused. They've made a weak attempt to pivot from this, with their new internal slogan "Focus on the user and all else will follow." But unfortunately it's just lip service.

You can look at Google's entire portfolio of launches over the past decade, and trace nearly all of them to copying a competitor: Google+ (Facebook), Google Cloud (AWS), Google Home (Amazon Echo), Allo (WhatsApp), Android Instant Apps (Facebook, WeChat), Google Assistant (Apple/Siri), and on and on and on. They are stuck in me-too mode and have been for years. They simply don't have innovation in their DNA any more. And it's because their eyes are fixed on their competitors, not their customers.

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Longtime Google Engineer Quits; Says Company Can No Longer Innovate, Is Mired in Politics, and Has Become Absolutely Competitor-

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  • by anthony_greer ( 2623521 ) on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @01:36PM (#55993815)

    but the user is not the customer - the advertiser is. All of those MeToo things he complains about are more ad real estate - that's what google is, an ad company, period.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @01:54PM (#55993967)

      We are Google's product. Soylent green for the ad agencies.

    • by xevioso ( 598654 ) on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @02:17PM (#55994141)

      This. It seems that the guy who left doesn't seem to understand this, or if he does, he doesn't explain how Google is no longer being innovative for people who buy or display ads. I'm a user, not a customer. And yes, as others have said, by being a user, I'm the actual product; that is, my eyeballs and clicks on ads make other folks money. Which is why I have no compunction about using ad-blocking software.

      • by lgw ( 121541 )

        he doesn't explain how Google is no longer being innovative for people who buy or display ads

        To be fair, that's all NDA stuff. Still, I expect there hasn't been much innovation on the "creepy stalking of your personal information" front either. Once they know everything about you, what's left to innovate?

      • I'm a user, not a customer. And yes, as others have said, by being a user, I'm the actual product;

        That's very black and white thinking. Ultimately there are two business directions here, and whether you consider yourself a customer or a product there is no practical difference to you for Google. They need to keep *you* happy with new products and services or they will cease to be able to sell your to advertisers.

        People who keep using the "you are the product" meme as an excuse for Google ignoring its customers fundamentally fail to realise that the product can't be sold if it isn't also a customer.

      • by swillden ( 191260 ) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @08:52PM (#55996811) Homepage Journal

        This. It seems that the guy who left doesn't seem to understand this

        Other than the relatively small part of the company that is focused on selling and delivering ads, basically nobody in Google thinks of users as the product. Everyone thinks of end users as the customer, regardless of the fact that 90% of dollars actually flow from advertisers.

        (I work for Google.)

        • Everyone thinks of end users as the customer, regardless of the fact that 90% of dollars actually flow from advertisers.

          Clearly not the people who work on G+, who have been soundly ignoring the user base since forever. "Whitespace sucks!" Here, have some more. "Disabling things in the right click menu doesn't work and is only annoying!" Disabled Save Image, so you have to save the whole page and pick the image out. "We want to see boobies!" Post boobies, get banned, maybe lose your gmail too. Inept puritans on bad crack.

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      But don't they need compelling products to attract consumers?

      The grand bargain of Google with consumers only works when people want to use your products. Search, Gmail and Android aren't going away any time soon, but don't even those products kind of have to improve over time to keep people using them?

  • by jfdavis668 ( 1414919 ) on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @01:36PM (#55993819)
    These are symptoms of becoming a large company. Size makes it difficult to change. Size must be paid for. It is easier to rely on cash cows than it is to take a risk to that may pay off later. People who manage the routine start to rise to the top. Many companies have survived the change and thrived, others run into a brick wall and it's over.
    • Most large companies get into this and never leave. I think the writing was on the wall with the alphabet thing. That was a sign that wall st. wanted more control (i.e. rape and pillage) of the investment.

      The good news is that a replacement for google doesn't seem to be on the horizon, so there's that. But the bad news for engineers and developers who want to do their jobs is that they're going to be working on increasingly incremental and micromanaged products that will often not make sense or be informed

    • by DickBreath ( 207180 ) on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @03:32PM (#55994741) Homepage
      Look at past large companies, especially monopolies. They don't keep their eye on the ball any more. They do a lot of things, but nothing really remarkably well. In 1980 IBM was considered unassailable. The microcomputers were gaining popularity. IBM released its own PC which was expected to set a new standard and crush the existing competitors. It did mostly crush most competitors except for most notably Apple. Then along came Compaq and then other PC compatibles. Along with a standard OS: MS-DOS. Once the universe of software developers could develop to a standard platform built by multiple hardware manufacturers, the whole industry became ablaze with competition. IBM attempted to regain control again in 1987 with the incompatible PS/2, but the whole rest of the industry "just said no". Think about it. As a software developer you could rework your software for the PS/2, or simply do nothing and be compatible with many millions of installed existing PCs. Hmmmmm. Which to do? Eventually IBM threw in the towel on PCs.

      In the 1990s Microsoft was considered unassailable. Open source began growing and growing. Slowly. Gaining a toehold, then a foothold then a beachhead into everything that was NOT a desktop PC. Anything that wasn't a desktop PC ran Linux and open source by the 2000's. Today here we are with Microsoft trying to embrace, mimic, and copy open source. Offering SQL Server and a counterpart for SQL Server Management Studio on Linux seems to me to be an admission that their once monopoly wasn't safe any longer. Servers everywhere run Linux and it's simply too big to ignore. Offering Windows Subsystem For Linux is also an attempt to draw developers back to Microsoft. Who would have ever thought that Microsoft would need to draw in developers to their platform. I'm not saying Microsoft is dying. But it's monopoly pricing days are surely in the past.

      A few decades ago I heard an interesting saying.

      Once a company exceeds a certain size it is run by MBAs.

      Then once it exceeds another certain size it is run by lawyers.

      Why is this? Because at some point, the company is so big that the results of failure would be unthinkable. So the company becomes risk averse. And there is the pressure of always increasing shareholder value, even if you cripple yourself in the long run. Everything becomes short term focused. Then the lawyers take this to the next level because the organization is now so big it is a target of all kinds of meritless and maybe also legitimate lawsuits.

      Even ten years ago people were saying that eventually we would see this all happen to Google.
    • A wise old business man once told me that companies are like people. They're born with lots of energy then go through growing pains as they mature, but they all eventually grow old, become set in their ways, get hardening of the arteries and pass away.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @01:37PM (#55993829)

    I heard Google HR invented thirteen new genders, five new categories of sexual assault, and TWENTY THREE ways of shaming white men in a fiel invented by white men.

    That's innovation!

  • Apple lost St. Jobs some years ago and has been doing minor "courageous" upgrades for the past few years.
    Microsoft had an initial flair for innovation back when Bill Gates was at the helm, then they too started down the path of "Me Too". Just look at Windows Phone.
    Facebook is starting down that road with their intent to compete with Twitch.tv

    Now Google is joining the club.

    I'm curious what the next big idea that gets these guys off the couch will be.

    • by jfdavis668 ( 1414919 ) on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @01:43PM (#55993893)
      Apple went without Jobs twice. During the first run, they came up with innovative things like the digital camera and the PDA. Only thing was they were too far ahead of their time. When Jobs returned, he dumped the innovative projects and started selling Macs in fancy colors. He had timing and flare, not necessarily innovation. He made people want the products. Technically, the iPhone wasn't any more innovative than what Palm had already created. But it combined the right things at the right time to make people want to buy it.
      • by Khyber ( 864651 ) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @02:06PM (#55994055) Homepage Journal

        "During the first run, they came up with innovative things like the digital camera"

        They sure as fuck did not, that goes to Kodak in the mid-1970s.

      • by martyros ( 588782 ) on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @02:16PM (#55994127)

        Technically, the iPhone wasn't any more innovative than what Palm had already created.

        Whatever. Dude, I owned a Palm back in the 90's. I also, shortly before the iPhone came out, bought my first "smartphone" -- a Symbian device -- which made me conclude that there just wasn't really any use for having a smartphone.

        The iPhone completely changed the game for smartphones. They made it actually useful. Just like they did for mp3 players back in the day.

        • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @02:38PM (#55994289) Journal

          I still don't see a use for a smartphone - I'd take a feature phone with Audible and Kindle if one existed. And Apple's MP3 players were shiny garbage - they were always the worst, from a geek perspective, and not well liked on Slashdot back in the day.

          Jobs's genius was in turning personal electronics into jewelry. Having an iPod, and later an iPhone, was a status symbol. He invented that! Didn't matter whether the actual products were any good. Pure genius.

        • The iPhone completely changed the game for smartphones. They made it actually useful.

          What, exactly, in the first iPhone made it "actually useful"?

        • Technically, the iPhone wasn't any more innovative than what Palm had already created.

          Whatever. Dude, I owned a Palm back in the 90's. I also, shortly before the iPhone came out, bought my first "smartphone" -- a Symbian device -- which made me conclude that there just wasn't really any use for having a smartphone.

          You're looking back at the first iPhone with rose-tinted glasses. With a Symbian phone of the era, you could take pictures that did not suck, which you couldn't do with the iPhone because it h

      • Apple went without Jobs twice. During the first run, they came up with innovative things like the digital camera and the PDA. Only thing was they were too far ahead of their time. When Jobs returned, he dumped the innovative projects and started selling Macs in fancy colors. He had timing and flare, not necessarily innovation. He made people want the products. Technically, the iPhone wasn't any more innovative than what Palm had already created. But it combined the right things at the right time to make people want to buy it.

        I think it was more than that, he had a talent for design, not just aesthetics, but taking a device that was fairly cumbersome (mp3 player, smartphone, desktop computer) and making into something not just functional, but actually enjoyable to use.

        I haven't used Apple products for years, but when I interact with them now I'm surprised by how hard to use they are the moment I step outside the narrow set of use-cases they've set out. I suspect that's a symptom of the loss of Jobs' influence.

      • I'm amazed that after going from 0 to billions of iPhones that some people still think the product was not revolutionary. It's like Trump denying aliens exist as the they go door to door eating your children.

        • by nomadic ( 141991 )

          Revolutionary technologically? That doesn't follow simply because a lot were sold. That would imply that only revolutionary products sell a lot.

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      Timing is a big part of innovation. To be innovative you've got to have something that can be sold to users today but nobody is making yet. What you end up when you try too hard to be innovative is making a technically impressive thing that turns out to be a dead end because not enough people want to buy it.

      For example I at one point was carrying around a Hitachi SH-G1000 [amazon.com], an early converged device what was a technical tour-de-force in its day, but utterly uncompelling to the public at large.

      I was a mobil

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @01:39PM (#55993849)
    1) Are we making money? Is it happening easily? Is it likely it will continue for a while? If "no" to any of the questions, goto #2. Otherwise end.
    2) Innovate.
    • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @01:45PM (#55993909)

      IBM was making money by the truckload while Microsoft was bumbling around with DOS. If you wait with the innovation step until it shows up in revenue, you are too late.

      • by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @01:57PM (#55993993) Homepage Journal
        Yeah, now they only have $300billion in revenue last year. Those chumps.
        • Maybe you should ask Nokia and research In Motion how they are.

        • There was once a time when IBM was raking in bucket loads of money. Within ten years of microcomputer explosion in the 1980's the PC industry was where everything was now happening and IBM mainframes were dinosaur, legacy systems. Not many years after that, IBM quit making PCs because they couldn't compete at the price level of all other PC makers.

          Don't be too quick to think it couldn't happen to Google at some point.

          Hubris is one of the first signs.
      • I didn't say it was smart. But that's how it works.
      • There was a documentary back in the very early 1990's. IIRC it was called "the machine that changed the world". It was about the explosion of the microcomputer through the 1980's.

        I remember one bit quite well:

        Someone explained, big companies never get it. They never see the next paradigm shift coming, the next disruption that will affect their comfortable business. Sometimes they realize that they can't see the paradigm shift coming. So they hire people who will see it to tell them. Then when th
    • 3) ???
      4) Profit
  • by DatbeDank ( 4580343 ) on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @01:42PM (#55993883)

    I've grown to trust Google less and less. After the Damore letter and now this, i'm seriously considering switching to an alternative email service.

    Thankfully, adblocking keeps most of their shenanigans at bay, but just the other day I discovered Google Maps Timeline. WTF is this?!

    Why, it's a complete list of every location i've been to logged by Google for the past 4 years. Google even had the audacity to post one of their little surveys next to it.

    "Does Google make it easy to control your private data?"

      Hell to the NO!

    • by Cloud K ( 125581 )

      I can vouch for Fastmail and Zoho. Both great, switched to the latter as I'm penny pinching.

    • by lgw ( 121541 )

      ve grown to trust Google less and less. After the Damore letter and now this, i'm seriously considering switching to an alternative email service.

      As I've said here before: outlook.com doesn't suck. I switched to it a few years back out of frustration with the changes to the gmail UI, and haven't regretted it. I'm not sure it's better in some objective way, beyond not sending your data to Google, but if the goal is to live a Google-free life, outlook.com is fine.

      OTOH, I've come to like duckduckgo better than google search, mostly for the handy "bangs" (try "!wa erf(x)" or "!a go the fuck to sleep").

  • by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @01:44PM (#55993895)
    For as much truth or insight as his post may contain, he still really doesn't get Google at all. Google's customers aren't the people who use Android, Google+, Google Voice, etc. Google's customers are advertisers that want to have eyeballs and ear holes to blast their ads at and they don't care about innovation, they just want something that works and Google wants to make sure that they keep those real customers of theirs by offering a rival to anything else that is being used to sell ads online. They didn't make Google+ because they wanted a better social network, they made Google+ so that if social networks became the new center of online advertising instead of web search that Google wouldn't end up out in the rain.

    Sure, they have some people researching some really cool technology, but so does Microsoft and we saw how little of that managed to gain any traction whenever they bothered to let the public catch a whiff of something. It's the same with Google and for the same reasons that it doesn't go anywhere. They just don't truly care about it as a product and load it down with bloat or other cruft to tie it in with their existing programs or services instead of letting it be something useful on its own.
  • by duke_cheetah2003 ( 862933 ) on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @01:46PM (#55993921) Homepage

    They are stuck in me-too mode and have been for years. They simply don't have innovation in their DNA any more. And it's because their eyes are fixed on their competitors, not their customers.

    Their eyes on fixed on their shareholders, not their competitors or customers. As I pointed out in another topic related to broken business models, this is EXACTLY what happens to every company. They start out nice, innovate, do good, then IPO, then this, focused on profit, on protecting their market share, etc etc. Another good idea turned to an evil entity.

    Took a lot of balls for this guy to step out and speak up about. My hat is off to you sir. Awesome.

  • by Narcocide ( 102829 ) on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @01:46PM (#55993929) Homepage

    Didn't Google start you know... a search engine? Like Netscape and Yahoo and AltaVista? Then they started a webmail service... just like Hotmail and Netscape and Yahoo before them. Oh, then they also started a online map service... just like MapQuest before them. When were they ever anything other than a "me too" company? Have they in their entire history made a single product that wasn't a dig at some other established market? I'm seriously expecting them to target Amazon or Netflix's business plan next.

    • by mark-t ( 151149 )

      They were first, as far as I know, to offer wide-scale terrestrial virtual presence* in their mapping software.

      *aka Google Street Viw

      • No, MapQuest was in existence *long* before Google and had their first web product in 1996 (two years before Google was founded).

        What Google did was make quality maps available for free, easy to use and then, listening to customers (see my post below), added Street View.

        • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@nerdfl[ ]com ['at.' in gap]> on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @02:38PM (#55994293) Journal

          If you had actually read what I wrote, you'd know that it was Street View I was actually talking about.

          I even put an asterisk beside "terrestrial virtual presence" in case you didn't know what i as talking about.

          Being able to actually see what your destination looks like from ground level before you go to an unfamiliar location is damn convenient, and has remained a significant reason why Google Maps is so preferred to many alternatives.

          On a slightly related note, I don't recall seeing a map like Google Earth by MapQuest... all I can remember them having was the standard Miller Cylindrical projection, and certainly nothing resembling an actual 3 dimensional globe.

          • You're right - Street View was the first to display street views.

            But only if you discount Street Atlas, which showed 3D representations of buildings along routes in cities going back to the early/mid 1980s (I saw a demonstration of their *"terrestrial virtual presence" technology when I was in university). And you should also discount Veredi that sued Google in 2012 for patent infringement regarding their technology showing street images at specific locations.

            Street View is a great product, but it wasn't f

          • On a slightly related note, I don't recall seeing a map like Google Earth by MapQuest... all I can remember them having was the standard Miller Cylindrical projection, and certainly nothing resembling an actual 3 dimensional globe.

            Google didn't create Google earth. It was developed by keyhole and funded with U.S. tax payer dollars.

    • by Daetrin ( 576516 )

      I'm seriously expecting them to target Amazon or Netflix's business plan next.

      Uh, you mean like the ability to buy and stream movies, TV shows, and music through Google Play? Or do you feel that doesn't count until they either offer the ability to buy physical goods directly to counter Amazon or expand their Google Play Music subscription service to include TV and movies to counter Netflix and Hulu?

    • by mycroft822 ( 822167 ) on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @02:08PM (#55994069)
      You should do some reading into the PageRank algorithm [wikipedia.org]. Yes, search engines existed before Google, but they were implemented poorly and did not scale well. There is a reason 'googling' something became synonymous with 'searching', because it worked really well. Would you call Tesla a "me too" company just because other people have been making cars for decades? I'm not trying to argue that they Google isn't a "me too" now, just that I don't think it's accurate to say they started out that way.
    • Yahoo, did not start as a search engine but as a serchabl ehumann maintained 'catalog' of the web.
      I don't recal the timing, but at some point google outclassed any other search engine by figuring what is relevant.

      Now is a super bbad searcch engine as it filters results depending on your search history and other things.

      You basicaly can only use it efficient in anonymous mode and by not being logged in and probably clearing all stored data.

      I was very longe an Altavvista fan and of MetaCrawler.com (or was it o

    • I'm seriously expecting them to target Amazon or Netflix's business plan next.

      Arguable, they've already kind of done both of those. I'm pretty sure they built in some kind of shopping interface into Google search a long time ago, and YouTube is a streaming service and you can buy access to TV Shows and Movies on it. They're nowhere near as good as Amazon or Netflix, but they're probably as close to those markets as they can get without investing heavily into warehouses and a streaming library.

      • I can find almost any movie I want to watch on Youtube, even though I may have to pay a few dollars for it. I'm not aware of any other competitor for which that is the case, although I'm sure mileage may vary depending on one's preferences.
    • by Cloud K ( 125581 )

      Hm. I'm sure they probably weren't the first, but I'd say the closest they've come to innovation is turning personal data into a currency, thereby making various services like Gmail "free" in terms of classical payment methods. The problem now of course is more and more people are wising up to it.

    • by Rob Y. ( 110975 )

      In mail and maps, at least, they innovated by changing how they worked. Docs too. Google (again, probably to protect their core ad/search business) made some pretty early bets on moving what had been desktop-centric (or realatively static web) applications into more or less fully-featured web apps. Might not seem that innovative today - but they got there early enough to dominate both web mail and web maps. Didn't dominate Docs, because Microsoft's advantage was too deeply entrenched - but they did forc

  • by mykepredko ( 40154 ) on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @01:56PM (#55993989) Homepage

    I originally started this post by asking when did Google ever innovate as I would argue that from a product/solution perspective Google has never produced anything before anybody else or entered an under-serviced market with a truly game changing product.

    It seems to me that Google's success was in its ability to listen to customers, hear their complaints and produce (or improve existing) products to address their concerns. Google's innovation comes in the form of better/simple UIs and the underlying algorithms.

    I think the ability to understand what the customer is saying/complaining about existing solutions is what has driven the innovation and growth at Google. The question is if this is still true.

    I suspect, the answer is a qualified no - like any huge company, Google reach has increased and the people with the passion/perspective/skills that made the company a success in the first place can't be a part of/don't have the expertise of the various business groups of the company, which is the cause of the innovation dilution that Mr. Yegge has experienced.

    • Comic addressing that point [penny-arcade.com].
    • by Strider- ( 39683 )

      I think the ability to understand what the customer is saying/complaining about existing solutions is what has driven the innovation and growth at Google. The question is if this is still true.

      The question is, who are the customers? For the most part, you, me, and John Q Public are the product, not the customers. In the modern era, Google is there to connect advertisers to relevant eyeballs, and to do so in a way that doesn't piss off said eyeballs.

    • I originally started this post by asking when did Google ever innovate as I would argue that from a product/solution perspective Google has never produced anything before anybody else or entered an under-serviced market with a truly game changing product.

      Microsoft spent decades queering the word "innovation" until the conversation degenerated to this level.

      Look up every time a Microsoft executive spouted the word "innovation" as one of their first-paragraph talking points. (Try not to break Google while do

  • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @02:06PM (#55994057) Journal
    I've noticed their search has been getting worse as well. Google has been using their search results to penalize sites for things other than quality: not using HTTPS, not using Google's AMP for mobile pages, etc. Those are fine things, but.....

    When you stop making "page quality" your primary focus, the search results are going to stop reflecting page quality. Even yahoo search is as good as Google now.
  • I'm pretty sure that's the entire reason that Google was rolled up under Alphabet. The larger entity can take chances, while allowing Google to entrench itself in safe business decisions. As long as that cash keeps flowing in, they can invest it in many dangerous ideas separate from the Google brand. Sounds like this individual made a good sound decision. They aren't a good fit for the culture anymore.
  • This "department" should be physically separated from the rest of the company, headed by folks who have shown creativity in software and hardware - and anything else that comes to mind - development and given the charge to think beyond what seems currently possible. In other words, innovate. Google has the money to do this it just needs the will to spend it on innovation.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @02:21PM (#55994163) Journal
    Google maps is continually improving, may be to help their driverless car, but none of the other mapping tools come even remotely close.

    Google docs is also improving and chrome browser is improving where google wants improvement. They want auto play videos, no matter what I do they sneak it in.

    They are not good in lek. ( A lek [thespruce.com] is a clearing in the forest/woodland where male pheasants gather and strut. Females choose to mate with fancy foot work strutting males, in theory. In practice, it is crowd behavior. [gatech.edu] Females pick the male picked by most females. It is an unstable system. Using robots scientists could make the females gravitate towards one, and on command, the robots to another one and the females follow suite. My sincere sympathies to the frustrated males in that experiment, would perfectly understand them going postal ;-).

    On platforms like Facebook, Twitter, the winner is whoever most of your friends and family pick, regardless of quality, price or security. It is a lek. It is very difficult to break into lek dominated apps. One can only wait for it to collapse (like myspace or geocities before that) and pick the pieces, and bide your time. Build capacity, build the technology to be ready to capitalize when the lek leader fumbles.

    In personal computers Microsoft was an early lek winner. All the companies picked Microsoft because all other companies are picking microsoft. When it stumbled, Firefox pounced, when it was fending off firefox, Google pounced and reduced the cash flow from Office apps.

    So all these me too platforms from google are simply waiting for a fumble by Facebook or Twitter or Apple.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Google maps is continually improving

      Continually improving my ass. Google Maps was much better a couple years ago before they switched to the clunky and confusing new google maps, I'm sure pushed along by UX bros and MBA types.

  • Googles goal is to amass as much data as possible for sale and their side projects (AI etc.) and in order to achieve this goal they have to replace every application every user may ever want with their own data-farming product. Making new stuff may be fun but copying existing stuff is enough to farm 99% of the user base.

  • I think this engineer has a serious lack of understanding how a large company works! First off of course they're conservative! What they're doing is obvious working because they're making money and succeeding in what they're doing. They're not going to do a risky change just as an experiment which could risk sinking the entire company. Second politics are obvious! There's no large organization that is politics free, the only way you're going to not have politics is either everyone is the same which is

  • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @02:53PM (#55994421)

    Props for the rant feedback (a good rant is always entertaining and often enlightening), but Steve has also failed to see that The Patent Wars have not merely stifled innovation. It has destroyed it altogether.

    I can try and innovate something very specific, and even if I'm somehow lucky to get my product off the ground, some overly vague patent barely related will be politically pushed into a courtroom by an army of litigators with the end goal of ass-raping the "competition".

    No shit innovation is dying. The MBAs of a world fueled by litigation get what they deserve.

  • Lets all create startups full of marketing slogans, innovative jargon and doublespeak. Then sit back and watch Google's and Microsoft's of the world rush to compete. It'll be great.

    I've numerous innovative projects on the table. Here is a small sampling:

    Internet connected toasters with a hadoop "smart counter" able to count slices of bread toasted separately from bagels or waffles. Smart AI technology automatically shares information with all of your Facebook "friends".
    --
    Light bulbs with cameras and int

  • From one of the links in TFS:

    But in the U.S., people love to hate on Uber because “their drivers are slave labor.” The driver has to pay for a car, maintain the car, insure it, pay for fuel, clean it, etc., so on the whole Uber is viewed as somewhat predatory. I honestly don’t know how much of this is truth vs. perception. But given that millions of drivers are opting in, and given that people are generally pretty clever about optimizing their income, the economics would seem to be at worst a moral gray area in the States and Europe, and more likely a pretty good deal for most drivers.

    It's a pretty big and highly questionable assumption that people are good at optimizing their income. If he did just a little math on being a ride-sharing driver, he'd see that it amounts to something like a reverse mortgage against your car. You're not making money, you're just extracting bits of it over time against something you own.

  • I've been saying this for a while, but this:

    they are mired in politics, which is sort of inevitable with a large enough organization;

    is wrong. It's inevitable in a large organization with weak leadership. Strong leadership creates predicatability of accepted behavior. Weak leadership necessitates community bonds which can only result from politics.

  • by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 ) on Wednesday January 24, 2018 @06:55PM (#55996223) Journal

    They even Me Too'd Me Too from Microsoft!

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