An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

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October 11, 2007

From Google to Facebook

"On Friday July 13th, 2007 I resigned from Google in search of new challenges and risks. This was a hard decision to come to and I have been seriously thinking about it for the last few months. In the end I decided (with support from my wife) that I am at the point in my career where I can make risky decisions." [two months later...] "I'm now at facebook and love it! Well I've been here for 2 months now. I have the same kind of excitement about work that I had early on at Google. I can get lots and lots done and the only thing slowing me down is how quickly I can go. What we will do in the coming years is really exciting!" (Pedram Keyani, who left orkut for Facebook)

"A couple of months ago, after three years as a Google product manager, I decided to leave for Facebook. I am writing this note to spread Good News to all the friends I haven't already overwhelmed with my enthusiasm: Facebook really is That company. Which company? That one. That company that shows up once in a very long while -- the Google of yesterday, the Microsoft of long ago. (...) That company that's on the cusp of Changing The World, that's still small enough where each employee has a huge impact on the organization, where you think about working now and again, and where you know you'll kick yourself in three years if you don't jump on the bandwagon now, even after someone had told you that it was rolling toward the promised land." (Justin Rosenstein, ex-Googler)

Now the news is that Benjamin Ling, who worked on Google Checkout and Google SMS, left Google for Facebook. "Ling will be heading the Facebook platform, the software architecture upon which the popular social network is built."

While Facebook's recent growth influenced Google's plans in the social space, it's hard to move fast when you're expanding in so many directions. Organizational inertia can begin to set in, making new product launches more difficult. "People will say, 'That doesn't live up to Google's standards,'" says Mayer. "But, ultimately, Google's reputation becomes a burden," explained Marissa Mayer in a Business Week article from 2005. And Facebook could be just the right place for recreating the initial excitement of working for a company with big goals and challenging projects.

{ Screenshot from a Facebook ad posted by Valleywag. }


  1. Man! How can you leave Google for Facebook? Facebook is like Microsoft to's cluttered, it's plainly stupid, it's teen's obviously a problem at Google!

  2. Ex-Googler: "... and the only thing slowing me down is how quickly I can go."

    That's a polite implication that at Google, other things slow some people down. What might that be?

  3. I think these moves are mostly for financial incentives. Most of these Googlers could probably retire on what they have already made. Now they are rolling the dice for higher stakes. The tech world seems to be looking very hard for "the next big thing" and Facebook seems to have convinced a lot of journalists and bloggers that they are it.

    Yesterday I read that Facebook was destined to succeed because its founder was a lot like Bill Gates.

    Excuse me? Do we really want to go down that road again? I think not.

    If Facebook is going to succeed (long term) it will need to do so in the style of Google, not in the style of Microsoft. Already Facebook pages are heavy with animated and annoying ads. The system becons you with anoying e-mail messages to come onto Facebook because something has happened that needs your attention.

    For those who want to do messaging with Facebook, let's see the company give each user thier own e-mail address, allow web or POP reading of mail. Allow forwarding of those messages to Gmail and allow users of other e-mail systems to send messages into Facebook without having to sign on to see their own hideous "home page".

    I think the vast majority of Facebook users (like the Myspace users they seem to be emulating) don't have a clue.

    Of course that doesn't mean the company won't be a success. Our clean Gmail-like interfaces of today may go the way of Cable TV, with so much of the bandwidth dedicated to advertising, both explicit and subliminal, that there is hardly anything left over for actual user data.

    Facebook won't be the first to try and make money appealing to 'tards with "oooh, something shiny!"

  4. FaceBook is going through an exciting period; no doubt about it, and Good Luck to them.

    But long after FaceBook has gone the way of all fads, Google will still be their - Google the search engine and Google the innovative corporation.

    Besides, having jumped ship for oodles of cash, these folk have to sound enthusiastic, don't they?

    And if FaceBook needs to poach from Orkut, perhaps that tells us something ...

  5. What happens if Google buys Facebook, will these folks be dissed? ;)

  6. I m fully agree with the global village... google faceboo meme combat same fight.. just go head use and explore them spend your time and organize your life what ever you will do whatever you wil get you will be on an amasing and a bit too much fucking NET!
    thanks for beiin gthere and well down all of you change our life!
    there is a before and anafter to google like there is one with facebook and with all our stupid milf!! ;)

  7. to: Philipp Lenssen
    I think yes

  8. A couple things:

    1) You are going from a company that has become 100% essential to almost any task people perform on a daily basis, to a company where you can poke people.

    2) If you worked that long at Google then you are already rich. I estimate you made at least 3 million. And even if you "only" made 1 million -- why do you need more? When is it enough?

  9. When a company like Google can provide a good service, and whether a senior staff (who might have got rich) left for more excitement are 2 different things.

    It is quite common and natural that senior staffs leave a company which gave them excitement or whatever, but not now.

  10. Google already has an established based of users, and is growing at a very scary rate already. Facebook is just a phenomenon - amassing so many users in such a short time. I guess for me Google is based on solid business practice, and sells an essential commodity - information. Facebook however, sells "social networking" and user interaction with its' endless apps, which is by it's very nature, a bit faddish. While Facebook is an advertisers dream, I guess user interest in it, as with other social networking platforms can and possibly will slowly die out.

  11. Facebook recently is becoming more and more like MySpace; cluttered, full of anoying add-ons, and no way to disable them. However, the core fundamentals its based on is a very worthy idea.

    But in the long run, google is going to take over the world, because they are so damn good at everything they ever make... google earth anyone?

  12. Facebook offers entertainment value to users and rather seems to focus on more value to the advertizers with those cute-n-novel but eventually annoying-n- useless 'applications' - while Google (that still remains the opening door to the world of Internet and Information-finding) focuses on offering higher real value to the users automatic value to advertizers.

    Facebook application invites from friends have begun to annoy me like disguised and subtly enforced spam

  13. I find it telling t hat this blog is hosted on a Google-owned blog.

    Whether FaceBook will survive remains to be seen.

    But it sure is fun seeing how evil Google can get! The bigger Google gets the more people will hate it, another Microsoft in the making.

    Google -- the company you love to hate even while you still use their products.

  14. I found some anti-ethical behavior in many functions of the facebook platform...