It’s a matter of nature versus nurture, at the heart of things. We’ve heard lots of stories lately about Google losing some very high profile employees to other, younger companies. Erick Tseng, Lars Rasmussen, Joshua Schachter, Omar Hamoui and many others have abandoned the Googleplex for a number of different reasons. The fact is, though, that the majority of departures from Google come down to a simple fact:
Looking at the A-list of departures, what we see are names that are responsible for some huge projects in their own rights. When many of them came to Google, it was the scrappy upstart that was fighting for a place in Silicon Valley and the Internet as a whole. Now, some 12 years later, it’s a well-established name that has become a verb in its own right.
That’s the fact that technology businesses on the whole end up fighting against every day. While many are decrying the downturn of Google, the fact on the whole seems to be a lot more simple. Does the exodus to Facebook really hold that much mystery? Not from where we’re sitting.
Looking at Facebook, the company is pushing in new directions with new products. Even those products which aren’t necessarily new are being driven in directions that Google simply isn’t in line to go. Google, for all of its innovation, is still a search company that is funded by advertising revenue. While these two things were hugely exciting a decade ago, they’re simply not the “hot” topics of the Internet business today.
There are things to bear in mind, however. Given the global economy of the past couple of years, many people are likely seeing Google’s success and generosity in a completely different light than they would have just five years ago. While the promises of pre-IPO shares and new toys can be a shiny attention-getter, there is a lot to be said for the security that an established company holds.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that Google has 23 times the number of employees of Facebook. While losing talent to any business that is within the same space can be painful, we’d caution those who are crying for Google’s failure. After all, a $1.4 bn increase for a single quarter of revenue still holds a lot of weight.