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Has Google Lost Its Mojo?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the what-do-you-mean-I-don't-get-free-food dept.

Google 560

CWmike writes "Google looks as if it's on top of the world right now, holding an ever-increasing lion's share of the search market. So why do I think it's lost its mojo? Let's start with the way it treats its employees, writes Preston Gralla. Another example: Google employees, such as Sergey Solyanik, have started deserting the company. And its share price is down double that of the Dow or Nasdaq since November 2007. Even if Google has lost its mojo, why should you care? It won't make your searches any less effective, will it? Nope. But Google has its eyes on bigger things than search, notably your IT department. It's looking to displace Microsoft with hosted services like Google Apps, Gmail and Google Docs. Solyanik warns that Google's engineers care more about the 'coolness' of a service than about the service's effectiveness." Of course Google employees version of being mistreated is often laughable, and quite a shock when they look for their massage therapist at wherever they end up next.

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simple answer... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24743587)

When they decided to abuse people's right to privacy & do evil things...

Yes

Yes. (5, Funny)

Zarf (5735) | more than 6 years ago | (#24743591)

Google has lost some of it's Mojo. But the good news is that they still have plenty of Mo-Nay. They are also high on the "X does not suck as bad as Y" matrix.

Re:Yes. (4, Informative)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#24743663)

The link on TFS which refers to this [nytimes.com] page describing "the way [Google] treats its employees" only details how Google raised the charge for in-house daycare by 75%.

Parents lose big when a company downsizes or restructures their benefits. This is an indirect form of age discrimination because older folks are more likely to have families.

A company I worked for in the past restructured their benefits by changing employees more for their health and dental insurance and "offset" the losses by giving every employee a flat pay raise but after some calculation I found that employees with no dependents benefited from a good raise and only slightly higher insurance payments while those with families(who insured their families, at least) suffered net losses.

Wait a minute (1, Insightful)

XanC (644172) | more than 6 years ago | (#24743751)

Why in blazes should people who don't have kids, or who responsibly make arrangements for them to be cared for (such as *gasp* having Mom stay home and actually raise them), have to pay in the form of a lower salary for yours?

And a reduction in this silly benefit that you shouldn't have in the first place is age discrimination against you?

Re:Wait a minute (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24743875)

such as *gasp* having Mom stay home and actually raise them

Because, as we all know it is impossible to raise children if one of the parents doesn't stay at home.

Other than that, I'd say your argument is pretty solid. Employers aren't responsible for an employee's children.

Re:Wait a minute (5, Insightful)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744069)

such as *gasp* having Mom stay home and actually raise them

Because, as we all know it is impossible to raise children if one of the parents doesn't stay at home.

Other than that, I'd say your argument is pretty solid. Employers aren't responsible for an employee's children.

Yeah, technically all of you are right. What has been found is that having childcare greatly reduces the stress of workers: they don't have to worry about working late, they can visit their kid on lunch breaks if the daycare is on site, company care is just one trip, it's usually cheaper, etc...

Having company sponsored childcare doesn't mean other employees are getting paid less, is just means the stockholders are not seeing as big of a profit as they could have. If Google really had to pay less because of childcare then they wouldn't be able to get anyone good, especially the childless - they'd all go to higher paying companies, wouldn't they?

As for me, I like in house childcare because you don't get the BS (most of the time) of folks with kids having to run home every time their kid is sick; which makes my life less stressful because then I don't have to make up for them.

Re:Wait a minute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24744479)

Having company sponsored childcare doesn't mean other employees are getting paid less, is just means the stockholders are not seeing as big of a profit as they could have. If Google really had to pay less because of childcare then they wouldn't be able to get anyone good, especially the childless - they'd all go to higher paying companies, wouldn't they?

For employees without children it certainly does mean they get paid less unless the company puts that added compensation/benefit it costs them for providing that care for people with children directly onto their salary in cold hard cash.

Re:Wait a minute (1, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744023)

As someone with no children, I think it is awesome.

One thing I hate is people who use their children as an excuse to leave work early or stay back late when everyone else is. It completely undermines team dynamics. I had a coworker who used to use his wife as a proxy-child to do the same thing, that was at least comical.

That said, one thing I hate more is people bringing their screaming spawn into the office. So an on-site daycare (significantly isolated from the work areas) sounds like a freakin' great idea and I'll happily chip in.

Re:Wait a minute (0)

againjj (1132651) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744349)

So, you object to people spending less time in the office than other people on the same team? Okay. That's valid IF time spent in the office == productivity (measured in team dynamics/whatever you want). Granted that, people have all sorts of reasons to spend less time in the office, not just kids. If your workplace is one where people with certain reasons are allowed to do things detrimental to the team/company that other people aren't just because some manager arbitrarily likes the reason, then your company has serious problems. Flexibility is good, but non-productivity is supposed to have appropriate consequences.

As far as "screaming spawn", you sound, um, not sure what to say. I have had a number of coworkers bring in children, and never have any screamed. Should they be screaming, there are a couple people lacking judgment here -- the parent for not quieting the child or leaving, and the manager for not telling the parent to take a vacation/unpaid-leave day.

For the record, I have a wife and child, and have brought mine into work.

Re:Wait a minute (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744415)

If they're quiet and polite, then yes, I have no problem with them being in the office. If they're running around and yelling and, ya know, being children then that is not appropriate to an office setting.. people are trying to work.

As for spending time in the office.. no.. I'm not a big fan. I don't expect people to stay late just because everyone else is. But, in modern software engineering, its a team effort. If someone goes home because they need to pick up their kids or whatever, then either someone else is going to have to do their work - and that means it won't get done to the same level of quality - or it means that everyone will be stalled until that person is available again to work. I believe it is a failure of management to require people to work late but, frankly, it does happen and if people are not available to work when it does, then it happens more and more.

Why pick on one benefit? (5, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744097)

All these benefits are just there to attract and retain staff. It is ridiculous to pick on just one or two because they don't apply to you.

What about their laundry service? Why should they provide that? What about the people who have their own washers at home?

What about the car servicing thing? What about the people that don't have cars?

What about the bus service with Wifi? What about people who live close and don't need the bus?

By your logic all these are discrimination against people who don't need these services.

Re:Wait a minute (4, Insightful)

rtechie (244489) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744455)

Why in blazes should people who don't have kids, or who responsibly make arrangements for them to be cared for (such as *gasp* having Mom stay home and actually raise them), have to pay in the form of a lower salary for yours?

Because life isn't fair.

Because our society has determined that providing child care to working mothers benefits society as a whole and Google is simply conforming to social pressure.

Because Google wishes to attract working mothers as employees and are offering child care as an incentive. Young single workers are attracted by Google's "coolness" and don't need additional incentives.

BTW, Using child care provided by your employer is "make[ing] arrangements for [children] to be cared for".

Re:Wait a minute (5, Funny)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744473)

Why in blazes should people who don't have kids, or who responsibly make arrangements for them to be cared for ... have to pay in the form of a lower salary for yours?

Yeah! And while we're at it, why should I have to pay taxes that go to old, sick and young people I don't even know! It's unjust!

Re:Yes. (3, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#24743753)

This is an indirect form of age discrimination because older folks are more likely to have families.

Subsidized child care and similar benefits reward parents at the expense of other employees. It's hardly "age discrimination" to do less of it.

Re:Yes. (2, Insightful)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | more than 6 years ago | (#24743893)

Well, the question is really one of ethics. If I get recruited with "we have the greatest child care in the world at X dollars", and a year later the X becomes X+1000, then I'd be thinking someone lied to me to the tune of $12,000 a year.
Quite obviously not many of Google's employees were using the service anyway (1% daycare spots based on the number of employees, that number should be around 10% realistically), and they still needed to heavily subsidize it. Someone can't do their math, what's bad for business in any case.

Re:Yes. (2, Interesting)

rakslice (90330) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744123)

You've hit the nail on the head. If Google's employees are typical of those at non-unionized tech companies, when interviewing for a job they are prepared to have to negotiate for pay and benefits, and even if their job offer comes with few benefits, if they accept the job, they will be prepared to accept benefits other than vacation time at that same level for the entire time they work at the company. But what they won't do is smile and nod if their employer wants to change the rules after the game has already started.

With that said, business needs are what they are. However, Google should at least consider offering a lower quality child care option at a lower price if parents would settle for that (as I assume the lion's share of the value of on-site child care is convenience.)

Re:Yes. (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744183)

1) I was responding to Ethanol-fueled's point, which has nothing to do with what you're saying.

2) "Lied" is a bit excessive, anyway. Benefits change over time, particularly as companies grow from startups to dinosaurs. As you say, I think there's a lot of managerial cluelessness over there, which the torrent of revenue from AdWords has covered for.

Re:Yes. (4, Interesting)

NetSettler (460623) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744135)

Subsidized child care and similar benefits reward parents at the expense of other employees.

Only if there is not a compensating benefit that rewards non-parents but is of no use to parents. It really depends a lot on how the benefit package is constructed.

The interesting metric is whether a business has policies that allow its employees to "grow up". If they do not, then eventually as people get older, they will be forced at some point to say that in order to merely accommodate the ordinary and anticipatable life events, they must go to a different company or face a pay cut because the benefits they used to like are now no longer benefits.

For example, why should an employee who has a family at home shopping and fixing food be penalized because of the availability of free food at work that surely must be paid for somehow. Google has an open cafeteria, and tons of free junk food in the hallways, which people who have a life do not need. But it has been said of Google (and I am trying to be neutral about expressing an opinion myself, only observing that it's a topic worthy of discussion) that it prefers employees who are willing to work long hours and sleep under their desks to employees who want to have families and lives outside of work. Now if this were true, you might not see it as age discrimination. And it might really not be. But it's a reasonable observation to make or question to ask, given that the set of people who don't mind this kind of lifestyle is probably unevenly distributed agewise.

So if Google is offering both the daycare and the cafeteria, then maybe it's balanced. But if it's giving up the daycare expenses to focus on cafeteria expenses, then maybe there are questions to ask. Just as one example for conversation--if I knew their benefit policy, maybe something else better would present itself.

In fact, I bet whether you think this is an age issue varies by age, suggesting at least the possibility that some people who thought it wasn't an age issue changed their mind with experience, as well as the possibility that some who are quite sure it's not will eventually come to decide they were wrong.

Google offers itself as an ethical company. Here's my definition of ethical: Ethical means you continue to ask yourself hard questions and to not quite be sure you're ethical. So people will evaluate the answer to these questions differently, but the day Google thinks the questions are inappropriate to ask is the day it's lost its ethics. Ethics are an exercise in continuous choice, and everything about intent. Once choice is sacrificed, you're at best coincidentally aligned with those whose outcomes are the same, but as the result of an actual thoughtful choice. If outcome without choice can be deemed ethical, then there are rocks that may be more ethical than some people...

Re:Yes. (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744257)

Only if there is not a compensating benefit that rewards non-parents but is of no use to parents. It really depends a lot on how the benefit package is constructed.

I am quite confident that neither Google nor Ethanol-fueled's employer offered precisely offsetting benefits to non-parents at the time of their benefit changes. What would you imagine such a benefit to be, come to think of it?

Re:Yes. (4, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#24743881)

it seems like it's becoming a benefit that only older employees (ipo-millionaires) and executives (high salary, stock options) can enjoy. Sure, it's offered to everyone, but they're intentionally choosing a very expensive day-care program when a less expensive one was more than adequate. So people who would otherwise use it now go elsewhere (paying full price) while still subsidizing wealthier people who can afford it.

Re:Yes. (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744075)

I'm sure parents will have no problem finding quality daycare for the $36,000/year they were paying Google.

Re:Yes. (5, Informative)

Farmer Pete (1350093) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744095)

I can't believe you wouldn't ever, ever, ever, ever claim that a person with no dependents gets off better with a company's medical plan...People with zero dependents get screwed royally. In most companies, you have two or three payment tiers. 1 person, 2 people, 3 or more people. The cost increase from 1 to 2 doesn't even come close to covering the extra costs. The costs from 2 to 3 are the same. Don't forget to add in for if someone (gasp) has a large family. Do you have 5 kids? Guess what, you pay the same exact premium as someone with 1 kid. The no-dependents person will end up bearing a portion of the cost of other people's dependents.

I don't like the system, I understand why it has to be, but I will NOT stand and let someone try to make it look like people with no dependents are getting away with something. Even in your situation, the only difference is that the single people have been grossly overpaying for years and years, and now they are getting a slight reprieve from being over charged.

Re:Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24744409)

Whoa. You're a perfect example of what's wrong with many (not all, but many) folks with children.

I mean... if you want to have children, that's fine with me, absolutely; but don't expect everyone else to stuff money into your ass to compensate you for it. It's your choice, and it's your obligation to pay for your kids. Can't do it? Get a better job. Or maybe you shouldn't have had any in the first place, but whatever the solution, the point is that it's YOUR duty, not anyone else's.

Feel free to ask for help, but don't demand it. And when you get it, don't piss and moan about how you should receive even more.

Re:Yes. (2, Insightful)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744495)

Parents lose big when a company downsizes or restructures their benefits. This is an indirect form of age discrimination because older folks are more likely to have families.

Then by that logic it is a form of discrimination to have those benefits, like child care, that are unusable by employees who choose to not have children. But really it isn't discrimination at all in either case. For it to be discrimination the motivation would have to be centered around age, but really age is just a correlation. I realize that's it's popular to cry "it's discrimination" whenever you want the world to conform to your needs, but really the change is just about money. Sure it might cost a parent more money for daycare, but every dollar my employer spends on daycare is a loss to my stock value or equipment quality or potential for a raise. If anything the subsidizing of child care, family insurance, and other family-centric benefits is discrimination in favor of parents. So please, don't cry about discrimination when the favors done to you are scaled back. Add the difference in market value of the insurance package a family gets to your annual income and see if you still have a net loss vs the "no dependents" employees. You should come out even. The same job deserves the same annual salary + benefits total, anything else would be favoritism.

Re:Yes. (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744207)

Well as Google matures so do its employees. As they get older they find the Google culture no longer fits their needs. The projects get boring, working long hours on projects that may or may not give any fruit gets redundant and unappealing. Having to prove to the new Whippersnappers that that crazy way of doing things will not work just as they didn't work when you started working a decade ago. Things like code purity, open source, trying a new windows manager every week... start to see more trivial and has lost its spark or interest, you are happy to use a Mac, even if you are running windows your cool with that to. You focus on your job and doing a good job, but at the end of the day you want to go home with your family.
Over the years you got a lot better at your job you are 3 times more productive then those whippersnappers and when you were a whippersnapper, but the company culture reprimands you for leaving work on time. Younger managers come in straight out of business school trying to prove themselves by trying to change everything even what currently works, just because it worked for FedEx, or SAS.

No Worry (1, Insightful)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 6 years ago | (#24743599)

Unless Yahoo or MS can get their act together on search and ads Google has little to fear.

Re:No Worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24743863)

Just because Google sucks a little less than MS or Yahoo doesn't make them good.

The only think thats stopping anyone else taking them on is their size.

Mistreated? You want mistreated? (4, Interesting)

BigBadBus (653823) | more than 6 years ago | (#24743603)

Look at http://www.paullee.com/computers/index.php [paullee.com] and follow the link in the second bullet point. The f*ckers are trying legal tricks to shut me up.

Re:Mistreated? You want mistreated? (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#24743791)

That was a great write up man. BTW, you will find that this is the norm. You, as a software engineer, have to learn to manage your manager. You need to correct their expectations by giving them constant feedback. You need to say to them that you're having trouble and won't be achieving the timeline they have proscribed.. and if they casually don't proscribe a timeline, you have to make one up yourself.

Good luck in the future.

Re:Mistreated? You want mistreated? (2, Interesting)

BigBadBus (653823) | more than 6 years ago | (#24743841)

Thanks my friend. Two years on, and they're still treating me as a liar.

Paid Microsoft Shill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24743609)

Nothing to see here, move along.

Google will lose all of it's Mojo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24743641)

Google will lose all of it's Mojo in 2012, when the machines take over.

Re:Google will lose all of it's Mojo (2, Funny)

clem (5683) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744343)

Actually, since the machines are incapable of generating their own mojo, we'll all be enslaved in a virtual reality as our mojo is harvested from us.

Media Darling (3, Insightful)

bendodge (998616) | more than 6 years ago | (#24743653)

Google has been a media darling for a long time. Now that they are finally out of the whiz-bang stage, you're ready to say they're going downhill? No, they've just gotten just about all of the internet that they can, and they are now waiting (and actively pushing) for mobile internet so they can do it all over again.

I'm personally all for trying to expand the economy itself instead of making a complete monopoly (and Google can't get much stronger without becoming a monopoly).

Now we all just get to sit and wait until wireless matures and Google takes over it. I'm speculating they'll start pushing platform-neutral stuff big-time after that (which may mean overt Linux pushing). They can't compete well with MS's enterprise dominance until they've dislodged Windows, but the wireless apple is much riper at the moment.

Re:Media Darling (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24743781)

One wonders how Google helping China to field underage gymnasts by making sure their caches were all purged of copies of the real documents is going to play in the media.

Of course, the way the media fawned over the Chinese during the Olympics (Tibet?!?! Huh?), I doubt Google's going to take any heat about that.

Re:Media Darling (3, Informative)

brian1078 (230523) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744181)

One wonders how Google helping China to field underage gymnasts by making sure their caches were all purged of copies of the real documents is going to play in the media.

Anyone can request to have information removed from the google cache: http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=61062 [google.com]

I'm not saying this is how it was removed, but it is possible that there was no explicit action taken by google.

Re:Media Darling (2, Interesting)

lgw (121541) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744365)

Google enterprise products aren't stopped by the "dominance" of Windows (in the enterprise?) as much as simply missing the mark. Enterprise products are expected to plug into existing mangement frameworks, API styles, etc. Doing some new cool thing isn't useful if it doesn't cleanly interoperate with the rest of the enterprise. Google doesn't seem to get this yet.

evil? (4, Funny)

philspear (1142299) | more than 6 years ago | (#24743655)

One of the "benefits" for working at google is they'll give you up to $5000 to adopt a kid.

Clearly google is paving their own way to cheap underage chinese laborers in a few years.

Corp 2.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24743673)

Well google is a corporation after all, no?

That's a bullshit story, Sergey! (4, Funny)

Fyz (581804) | more than 6 years ago | (#24743677)

Sergey Solyanik just left because the colleagues never referred to him as the cool Sergey.

too much of a good thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24743683)

is a bad thing

Migrating flock (4, Insightful)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 6 years ago | (#24743715)

This actually reminds me of a story of the wandering engineer. They'd work for google, then move to MS because they lack quality control. The engineer would then transfer to Yahoo because MS isn't doing anything interesting. They'd then move to Google and start the cycle anew because Yahoo wasn't on the cutting edge. Maybe the novelty of working at Google, or any other place for that matter, wears off once you've been there for quite a few months and you have the qualifications to change things up. Engineers can be a fickle lot where the interesting aspects of a project outweigh how much it pays.

Re:Migrating flock (5, Funny)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 6 years ago | (#24743821)

This actually reminds me of a story of the wandering engineer. They'd work for google, then move to MS because they lack quality control.

And because MS offered a 10% higher salary than they were making at Google.

The engineer would then transfer to Yahoo because MS isn't doing anything interesting.

And because Yahoo offered a 10% higher salary than they were making at MS.

They'd then move to Google and start the cycle anew because Yahoo wasn't on the cutting edge.

And because Google offered a 10% higher salary than they were making at Yahoo.

Re:Migrating flock (2, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744103)

This guy needs to learn how to ask for a raise, apparently. Moving from job to job is such a hassle.

Re:Migrating flock (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744403)

Sadly, most large companies are structurally incapable of giving an employee a 10% raise two years in a row (or even once in some cases).

Re:Migrating flock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24744425)

Generally it's easier to get a raise by moving from job-to-job than it is within a company. I dated a girl who worked as a designer at a design firm, and staying at a company more than a year was a rarity and two years meant you were senior staff - but not getting that great a pay for it.

One of my big regrets was not leaving my old company around the time they implemented caps on raises. They kept changing direction and it was hard to invest pride in my work, but also I was still not making market salary and now the most I could get bumped was 5%. I had been hired straight out of college at $50k and was moved up to $71k after three years, but with a 5% limit... well, I'd never get what I could get on the open market, and I had little incentive to do my best (I'd killed myself for them the first three years - occasional 90hr. weeks, sleeping on the floor, no social life at all, etc.) I stayed both because it was comfortable and because coming in, I wanted it to be my one-and-only try with a start-up and I wanted to see it through. If I left with my roommate, I'd have made probably another $80-$90k over the next 5 years. I'm not going to let myself get in that kind of situation again.

Caps on raises are really terrible idea unless your company can get by without their employees working their hardest to impress them. Even without them, though, it can be tough to get an employer to realize that you can do better on the open market.

Re:Migrating flock (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744499)

You'll always get a bigger raise outside.

I don't think less of Google because of the MS boomerangers. So far not one of them showcased here has had any real interest in technology development, so they seem to belong in MS. All i see is bullshit career development. You went to school to learn engineering, do it or get out.

Now the daycare thing I have a bit more sympathy for, but on the other hand my present company offers none whatever, nor has my past employer, nor any employers I am looking at. However people may have taken their job based on that benefit, so it seems like the right thing to do is to put all new children on the new pay scale, but leave the existing children on the existing scale. Eventually the kids go to school and get out of daycare anyway.

Re:Migrating flock (4, Insightful)

Kethinov (636034) | more than 6 years ago | (#24743949)

I've lived this cycle, having worked for Yahoo!, then Google, then back to Yahoo!, and now PayPal. Personally, I don't think my migrations and wanting to change things up every now and then particularly makes me fickle. I'd rather be engaged in my work than eternally loyal to my employer. Too much loyalty isn't a good thing anyway.

So all this article has to go on... (5, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 6 years ago | (#24743727)

...is one guy who returned to Microsoft, the price of an employee service was raised, and the stock price is lower than it was at a point in the past.

I don't think that's enough to declare that Google has lost its mojo. Think of how many times Apple was "dying" according to the press. I think this author is just bored with Google and wants to cause a stir.

Re:So all this article has to go on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24744263)

It's true that this story is light on details, but if you dig into it Google has been getting more and more evil for months. In fact, I have rated them MS-like for awhile, mostly for claiming such a stupid slogan, "Do no evil" and then in essence doing it anyway. At least MS doesn't have the guts to do that.

This guy is impressed.... (3, Insightful)

budword (680846) | more than 6 years ago | (#24743729)

He's impressed with the rock solid stability of the.......office suit software ? Enterprise level word processor and spread sheets ? Setting the bar pretty low.....

Not to worry (4, Funny)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 6 years ago | (#24743743)

All they have to do is find Dr. Evil's secret volcano layer and get it back. They're frickin' Google. If they can't do it no one can.

Vacation... (4, Interesting)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 6 years ago | (#24743769)

Interesting. Looks like it starts at 15 days, and moves up to 25 days after 6 years. Their 6 year level has reached the mandatory minimum number of paid vacation days in many EU countries.

Is that mistreatment? If you've come from Eurpoe, then it may feel that way.

Re:Vacation... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24743809)

And that's why we kicked your ass about 232 years ago.

Re:Vacation... (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 6 years ago | (#24743861)

don't forget the statutory maximum number of working hours per week we enjoy too.

Re:Vacation... (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#24743937)

Remember to add 14 days for all the Amerika == Teh Gratests Federal holidays though, including Washington Day, celebrating the birthday of George Washington, born February 22nd, and celebrated in the 3rd week in January.

Re:Vacation... (2, Informative)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744105)

I wondered if the equivalent days in the UK (there are 8) were in addition to the 24 days (28 from next year) or included -- it turns out that they can be included in the mandatory 24 days. I don't know what standard practise is, but the last company I worked for gave 24 days + the 8 days anyway.

Re:Vacation... (1)

s7uar7 (746699) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744205)

It's the jobs with the largest pool of labour that are most likely to include public holidays in the yearly allowance - low paid and unskilled.

Re:Vacation... (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744111)

Unless you're a gov't employee, only half or fewer result in a day off.

Re:Vacation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24744401)

If I'm forced to take a day off, I don't count it as a vacation day when considering my job payoff.

Vacation days mean "I can choose to take a vacation for this many days when ever I so desire (when planned long enough in advance)". Not "My employee will assign this many days off for me during the year".

Re:Vacation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24744465)

Uh, I'm not sure what you're talking about.

According to This page [opm.gov] , there are 10 federally recognized holidays, a few of which aren't recognized by many businesses that I know (Columbus Day). According to my old company's list of days off, here's what we got:
* new years
* (day before/day after) new years
* MLK day (floating holiday)
* President's (Washington's Bday)
* Memorial day
* Independence day
* Labor Day
* Veteran's day
* Thanksgiving
* day after thanksgiving
* Christmas
* (day before/day after) christmas.
or 12 days total.

Compared to about 8 or so UK bank holidays, which I would assume would be roughly equivlent to federal holidays.

In my non professional estimation, it still sounds like europe (in general) is getting a lot of days off.

Again? (1)

sandysnowbeard (1297619) | more than 6 years ago | (#24743799)

I swear an article of this sort appears every so often. It ultimately amounts to geek gossip.

To paraphrase, Google was put on Earth "to show us what it's like to be really, really rich."

Re:Again? (1)

pxlmusic (1147117) | more than 6 years ago | (#24743823)

and rubbing in for the rest of us the perks they get

How Google can find its mojo again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24743801)

http://www.google.com/search?q=mojo [google.com]

Worked for me when I lost my keys, but not when I lost my virginity.

It's no mystery... (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744073)

He's where he always is, in his volcano observatory right in the middle of Townsville...

short answer: no (2, Interesting)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 6 years ago | (#24743835)

google is still an astounding success and will be until something better comes along. Think: years.

As for how it treats it's employees, maybe it's escaped your notice but we're in a recession. Expect to get *****ed on from a great height - you'll get your revenge when the next boom happens.

Google Day Care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24743837)

>> Under the new plan, parents with two kids in Google day care would most likely see their annual day care bill grow to more than $57,000 from around $33,000. Holy Cow, they need to get out of the search biz and into day care. It would be a multi-billion company! On the second though, maybe thats how they got there, not from search!

all about money (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24743873)

From Sergey Solyanik:

"I need to know that the code is useful for others, and the only way to measure the usefulness is by the amount of money that the people are willing to part with to have access to my work.

Sorry open source fanatics, your world is not for me!"

"All of them are free, and it's anyone's guess how many people would actually pay, say $5 per month to use Gmail. For me, this really does make the project less interesting if people are not willing to pay for it."

bottomline is...

Rule 1: I should earn $$$ for a project to be interesting. And I don't know the semantic difference between "open source" and "free".

Rule 2: I should earn $$$ when I'm earning even more $$$...

infant care (4, Insightful)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 6 years ago | (#24743889)

Quoting: "Parents who had been paying $1,425 a month for infant care would see their costs rise to nearly $2,500"... WTF? How much do people in the US earn? This amount of money per month, is what is almost the total monthly salary in Europe is for many people! How could you give that for just infant care?? Renting an apartment is like 400 euros per month, much cheaper than this infant care (even the so called cheap $1425 one)! How do you pay for rent, survival costs, and saving, if you have a baby and use that infant care?

Re:infant care (1)

acecamaro666 (1243364) | more than 6 years ago | (#24743995)

that is what infant care costs....and why many families have two people working. After child care costs are factored in, it turns out one spouse is making maybe 1 - 3 dollars and hour.

Re:infant care (2, Insightful)

SevenSpirits (1266138) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744277)

that is what infant care costs....and why many families have two people working.

There's something wrong with this picture.

Re:infant care (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744467)

Yes, yes there is. Quite a few American families have the lower-earning spouse making less (take home) than they pay for child care and similar services. People don't value "stay at home parent" at all these days, so parents work harder for less money to avoid the social stigma.

Re:infant care (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744013)

$1425 * 12 = $17,100.

I don't know the numbers, but I would expect that most engineers working at Google are taking home upwards of $60,000. For two parent families, the infant care is something like a $40,000 win.

Re:infant care (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744487)

Google hires fresh out of college at around $90k (it's screwing up payscales across the Valley). But your math is flawed, as it's rare for both parents to work at Google. Still, if the second parent is making $60K they clearly come out ahead.

Re:infant care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24744071)

Easy..we don't. It's not uncommon to pay $1,800 - $2,100 for a crappy place to rent. Survival costs, entertainments costs...that's what credit cards are for :) . Savings, what's that?

Re:infant care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24744081)

Engineers in the US make a lot. Heck a decent DBA will net 100k+

Re:infant care (1)

rho (6063) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744085)

This is also happening in California, which has some of the highest prices (and salaries) around. An utterly ordinary 2 bedroom, 1 bath house would sell in some places for $300,000.

Re:infant care (2, Informative)

roach2002 (77772) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744203)

In Mountain View, a 2 br, 1 ba would cost:

$400k for a condo in a crappy area
$650k for a townhouse
$800k for a standalone home.

Re:infant care (1)

Moggyboy (949119) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744141)

What the hell part of Europe do YOU live in? I lived in Ireland last year and was paying 1100 euro a month for a one-bedroom apartment, and not a spacious or luxurious one at that!

It's all relative to the cost of living, buddy.

Re:infant care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24744315)

Ditto... I live in Amsterdam where my 100 square meter apartment costs Euro 1500 a month and 3 days a week child daycare is Euro 550.

On a recent 3-month stay in L.A. I was shocked by just how *cheap* everything was!

Re:infant care (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744193)

Quoting: "Parents who had been paying $1,425 a month for infant care would see their costs rise to nearly $2,500"... WTF? How much do people in the US earn?

Yes, life in the Silicon Valley is very expensive. Of course, when we used a daycare for our kid last year, we only paid $1400/mo for full-day coverage, in the Silicon Valley... and there was no subsidy for us.

For $2500/mo, you can get a very experienced, full-service Nanny to come to your house and take care of the kid(s) for 40/hr week.

Life in other parts of the US are much cheaper (though places like Seattle, New York and Boston are probably comparably expensive).

Considering the median salary of your average Silicon Valley tech worker is about $80k, and that the average two-income couple would probably be making slightly above-average salaries (most likely have been working for 2-3 years or more), you're looking at $175-200k income. Single-income couples where a parents stays at home to care for the kid(s) aren't really target market of daycare centers.

Re:infant care (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744219)

Euros != dollars. The current rate is like 1.5/1.
People working on the SF peninsula and on the Island of Manhattan earn about twice the national average, and the prices of everything (housing, child care) are double also.

That makes your multiplier 3:1.
So now imagine paying ~400 euro for excellent child care.

Or maybe just to give you ideas of the prices:
broken down house in worst part of town: $450,000
decent house in tolerable neighborhood: $800,000
3br/2ba in good school system neighborhood: $1,200,000
rent 2br/2ba, 1200sf over train tracks: $1800 monthly
rent 2br/2ba, 1200sf nice area: $2800 monthly
Food is around $500 per person per month (depends on how you like to eat of course, this assumes mostly grocery shopping/self prep food and a purchased lunch, if you prefer a restaurant for dinner, a decent one sets you back about $30/person per meal).

single-earner income for a software engineer with 5 years experience starts at about $90,000 / year. No experience is around $60,000. 10 years $130,000.

Re:infant care (5, Insightful)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744267)

In Europe, you work to live. In America, we live to work.

There are good and bad aspects to both. Choose your poison.

Re:infant care (1)

Awptimus Prime (695459) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744371)

Well, this is for a company who is getting one of the better day care services and the employees are making over $70k a year on average.

If they require day care on this magnitude, both parents probably work, and the way the cookie tends to crumble is usually a spouse making around the same, so assume a household income of $140k a year.

Then, you get a tax deduction on each kid at the end of the year, which turns into a few thousand more dollars.

More people need to pay attention to this stuff when they make fun of the US being in recession. It's at a low and we can still afford to blow thousands a month on things we really don't _need_. ;)

Get the mojo back (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 6 years ago | (#24743899)

Invite random users onto the party plane [gmailtools.com] .

If that can't be done, launch a competitor to ebay.

Definition of Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24743903)

Search engines like Google can trace someone's online activity for as long as it lasts. To try and prevent that you have to hide and use fake identities. Isn't this evil enough, robbing you of your name?

Sergey deserves Microsoft - have fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24743921)

After starting to read the link on deserting the company and got to the "Open Source Fanatics" and stopped. The tide of employees going to or from MS does not determine what Google will turn into.

This is mostly babble.

Mistreatment (1, Insightful)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744039)

"Of course Google employees version of being mistreated is often laughable, and quite a shock when they look for their massage therapist at wherever they end up next."

Surely you're not suggesting that benefits listed on Google's website is proof that their employees couldn't possibly have any legitimate complaints? After all, even if Google does pamper its employees, unless you can point to an actual example of a "laughable" claim of mistreatment all you have is a list of perks that in no way support your statement that "Google employees version of being mistreated is often laughable".

Food (4, Informative)

quarrel (194077) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744045)

It's always all downhill once startups start cutting back on the food perks [valleywag.com] .

From the linked Valleywag article:

"
Google's food perks on the chopping block

There's no such thing as a free dinner. A worker at Google tells us the company is taking evening meals off the menu: "Google has drastically cut back their budget on the culinary program. How is it affecting campus? No more dinner. No more tea trolley. No more snack attack in the afternoon." The changes will be announced to Googlers on Monday. Workers at the Googleplex will remain amply fed, with free breakfast and lunch -- dinner will be reserved for geeks only -- but it's still a shocking cutback.

Last year, when we aired the mildest speculation about Google cutting back on free food, commenters were outraged. Google has long milked its cafeterias for their publicity value; company executives have crowed about the company's resistance to recessions and its commitment to coddling its employees. Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin even promised shareholders they'd add perks, rather than cut them.

In 2004, they wrote:

        We provide many unusual benefits for our employees, including meals free of charge ... We are careful to consider the long term advantages to the company of these benefits. Expect us to add benefits rather than pare them down over time. We believe it is easy to be penny wise and pound foolish with respect to benefits that can save employees considerable time and improve their health and productivity.

What went wrong? ...
"

--Q

Re:Food (4, Insightful)

nate nice (672391) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744209)

"What went wrong? ..."

Share holders are penny wise and pound foolish. It isn't about the longterm investment but the quarterly or annual review. Eventually, when the stock starts to lose value, you simply have to make changes (drop operating costs) to make revenues reflect a larger profit.

The good news is most companies just fire a bunch of people. Google just happens to be taking away free dinner.

I can pinpoint the exact day (2, Interesting)

jgarra23 (1109651) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744061)

When they bought that stupid 767 jet.

Do no evil? Is it only polluting when someone from the middle class does it or do all these environmental gripes apply to rich people too?

How about donating 10% of what B. Gates does to charity Goog? Do no evil?

Re:I can pinpoint the exact day (2, Interesting)

Danzigism (881294) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744451)

google.org is your answer. but there isn't one person at Google that is worth as much as Bill Gates is. yes they are a large company that makes a lot of money, particularly more than Microsoft, but the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is what raises and donates money. As individuals I should add. Respectfully. MS as a whole doesn't do much donating besides charging less for their licensing in 3rd world countries. google has given the world free access to loads of information and tools. their profit pays for their massive amounts of employees. we're comparing apples to oranges here. but i understand and agree with you to a certain degree. but to say they aren't sticking to their motto is just a little preposterous.

What I'd like Google to do (4, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744065)

While I understand that Google must increase shareholder value at all cost, I would like to see Google do the following:

Respond to Yahoo Mail's new web mail's interface. I find Yahoo Mail's scrolling calender events found at the bottom while composing email really sweet. The whole [new] interface is quite impressive.

Google should put more efforts into getting KDE 4.1 up to "standards". Right now, KDE 4.1 really needs lots of work. The Summer of Code efforts leave the situation still wanting.

Get GMail out of beta. Heck, it's been over 2 years!

Google should walk the walk...that is make ODF documents, .ogg streams searcheable from www.google.com.

What do you think?

share price argument is not correct (1)

pyrrhos (227998) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744087)

I am not a economist, but it seems to me that the share price a company that has a large price/earning ratio is largely based on expected increased future earnings. This acts like a multiplier. Its price will fluctuate more than a company with a lower p/e.
So it seems to me only natural that google's share will fall more than average when prospects are bad.

Translation Center (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24744143)

Google is nearing another major milestone: the launch of their Translation Center [http://blogoscoped.com/archive/2008-08-04-n48.html], where freelancers can exchange work. Ironically the intent is to apparently use the exchanged translations to build up their Translate machine translation system. So in essence, the translators will be contributing to the demise of their own profession.

Normal Evolution of a Publicly-Traded Company (3, Insightful)

darrylo (97569) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744151)

I don't understand the fuss. Like it or not, this seems to be the normal evolution of any "startup company" that becomes a publicly-traded company. Often, when any type of economic difficulties hit, benefits can be lost or reduced, and -- surprise, surprise -- they don't often come back. One big issue is that the investors have, of course, a lot of control, and investors want profit (think Carl Icahn, people). Management doesn't look good if they can't deliver sufficient profit, and so there's incentive to not increase benefits.

I'm not even going to touch the google services issue. Let's just say that some google services appear to be stagnating (minor tweaks don't cut it), and google is opening itself up to a competitor leapfrogging them. (Yeah, with Yahoo in not-so-good shape, Microsoft is probably the only company that could do that .... Bleah.)

This FP for G1NNA?! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24744165)

FrreBSD used to Is wiped off and

This sums it up nicely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24744171)

You think you've got a hold of it all;
You haven't got a hold at all.
When you reach the top,
Get ready to drop.
Prepare yourself for the fall.
You're going to fall.

It's almost predictable.

Crackpot conspiracy theory (1)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744317)

Ever since cuil was up, we get one of these random [attack-google!] stories every once in a while, I guess it is a coincidence, but could we try one with foundation later? I mean, "a guy deserts google => google lsot its mojo" err...

Re:Crackpot conspiracy theory (1)

twodayslate (1308313) | more than 6 years ago | (#24744449)

So true. Google has not changed much. If google was so interested in it's "coolness" they would have changed their main page by now.
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