Google Engineer Lambasts His Employer

Google Engineer Lambasts His Employer

Steve Yegge, a well known blogger and Google engineer posted a 4,550 word rant which is now ringing all around the Internet. The post was mistakenly published for public view instead of “Friends” circle on Google+.

Later he removed it, but now this post is considered by many as the best article about architecture and management of IT. The main gist of his post was very simple. He conveys that Google+ will not succeed as it is not a platform for which third-party developers can create products. It is simply the product itself.

Initially he pointed out the flaws in recruiting process of Amazon, but praised their pub system versioned-Library system. He mentioned that Google still lagged in these aspects.

While Yegge does not have a lot of good things to say about Jeff Bezos, who works as the CEO for Amazon, he was not really sure how Bezos got the idea of accessibility for a product. He points out that Google does not do well in platforms. He criticizes the Google+ for launching the product without the API.

Google Engineer Steve’s Rant

He exclaimed that Google+ was a pathetic afterthought. In his post he wrote” We don`t understand platforms. We don`t “get” platforms. Some of you do, but you are the minority. This has become painfully clear to me over the past six years.

I was kind of hoping that competitive pressures from Microsoft and Amazon and more recently from Facebook would make us wake up collectively and do universal services. Not in some sort of ad-hoc or half assessed way, but more or less in the same way Amazon did it: all at once for real, no cheating, and treating us as our top priority from now on”

A product is useless without a Platform, or more precisely it will be replaced by an equalized platform-ized product. Yette stated that Google+ is a Knee jerk reaction and the reason for the phenomenal success of Facebook is because it allowed other people to do their work. According to him Platform is accessibility.

Google Plus: Just A Product, Not A Platform

He also said that a killer application is required for a platform to be instant success. He said “Its not just them. It’s everyone. The problem is that we are a product company through and through.

We built a successful product with a broad appeal-our search-that is wild success has biased us” For a long time I`ve been positive with Google+ but I found Yegge`s arguments were true. This product was launched without an API. Google is trying to control every aspect of Google+.

Yette considers Google as his home. He clearly said this as a reason in the post when Facebook wanted to hire him. Finally he said “ I`m not saying it’s too late for us, but the longer we wait, the closer we get to being Too late”

Overall his post was awesome. Amazingly nothing happened to him at Google. He was not fired for his act. He calls it as “the great-granddaddy of all reply-all screws up history”.

7 thoughts on “Google Engineer Lambasts His Employer”

  1. If I was the CEO of Google or perhaps even VP I would be talking with this guy about his ideas and opinions. Obviously he loves the company and loves what he’s doing. What I gather from this is he’s not happy with management and their inability to create a product that is equivalent to facebook.

    It reminds me of an old 90’s movie in fact where the CEO hired a new guy to come in and analyze the position in the company to see who they could let go. The one guy demonstrated lack of care and internet for his job and for this he got a raise and was allowed to create programs within the company that would encourage employee feedback and innovativeness.

    My point is perhaps Google is from the top down company now and what made it successful is from the bottom up. If the company disregards this and doesn’t pay attention to the real concern here they might be last year’s news in no time.

  2. i agree only 50% of the fact… ok developers cannot “create” anything…but its all about the users ….in fact i get all my friends’ updates through G+… rather than FB’s random posts.. :/ so i prefer G+ now-a-days…..i think its better noot to have apps like “shitville” in G+…. 🙂

  3. I think Google+ will appeal to a certain set of users but for it to truly take off you need provide an API. But they are attracting more users by tying Google+ to their other products. But it has yet to give me a good reason to leave Facebook.


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