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Google Tries Not To Be a Black Hole of Brilliance

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the so-that's-why-they-won't-hire-me dept.

Businesses 322

theodp writes "Google says it's declined to pursue awesome job prospects to avoid an over-concentration of brilliance at the search giant. Speaking at the Supernova conference, Google VP Bradley Horowitz said the company intentionally leaves some brainpower outside its walls: 'I recently had a discussion with an engineer at Google and I pointed out a handful of people that I thought were fruitful in the industry and I proposed that we should hire these people,' said Horowitz. 'But [the engineer] stopped me and said: "These people are actually important to have outside of Google. They're very Google people that have the right philosophies around these things, and it's important that we not hire these guys. It's better for the ecosystem to have an honest industry, as opposed to aggregating all this talent at Google."'"

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322 comments

I'm so good (5, Funny)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 4 years ago | (#30312902)

Google won't even talk to me. Have an ordinary day you undermensch!

What a coincidence (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30312972)

That's the same reason Walmart gave me for turning me away.

Re:I'm so good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30312996)

> untermensch

Fixed.

Re:I'm so good (1)

simoncpu was here (1601629) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313206)

I believe ze correct word iz unzermensch.

Re:I'm so good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30313410)

Unt I believe ze korrekt vort ist untermensh.

Re:I'm so good (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313640)

Nein, ze correctich vort vas untermensch.

(Ja, I know those should be spelled with a vay instead of a fau, but then the English speakers wouldn’t get it. And no, I don’t speak German... I just took a semester of it. Enough to learn a few words like “unter” and “mensch” and to learn the pronunciation of the alphabet.)

Re:I'm so good (2, Funny)

Kratisto (1080113) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313012)

They're obviously trying to avoid establishing a brilliance event horizon, and subsequently, losing brilliance through hawking radiation.

Obligatory Google is awesome thread of the week (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30312904)

Obligatory Google is awesome thread of the week....

Re:Obligatory Google is awesome thread of the week (5, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313000)

Compared to the rest of the IT industry, its not that hard to be awesome. Its just that our expectation have been lowered so much we think a company that delivers something useful and dont engage in illegal practices are freaking awesome!

The gall of not engaging in putting most work into extinguishing the competition! Making actual working products? What do they think they are? God?

Re:Obligatory Google is awesome thread of the week (2, Interesting)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313076)

and dont engage in illegal practices

brian reid would have a different view from you, I think.

http://news.zdnet.com/2100-3513_22-137384.html [zdnet.com]
http://public.getlegal.com/articles/cultural-fit [getlegal.com]
http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9792046-7.html [cnet.com]

from what I've read of the case, it sure seemed illegal to me. I've been in that situation before, myself (age discrimination) and it SUCKS. very shameful for google to do that.

google has done evil and they have lost all their 'shine' when they pull crap like this.

read that and then tell me google is 'all wonderful'.

(sigh)

Re:Obligatory Google is awesome thread of the week (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313380)

google has done evil and they have lost all their 'shine' when they pull crap like this.

I was never drinking enough of the Google kool-aid to actually believe they were any different from any other for-profit corporation, but I'm not so sure that the specific case you linked proves much of anything. It was tossed out by the lower court, allowed to go through during the first appeal and has since been appealed to the California Supreme Court. If he's having that much trouble pursing his claim in California of all places then I'd question whether or not his case has any merit.

Re:Obligatory Google is awesome thread of the week (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30313458)

Counter:
If your role evolves but you do not, do you feel that your company should continue to employ you?

Example 1:
Company employs machinists to perform routine repairs to aging equipment. The equipment is replaced with "off the shelf components". Do you continue to employ machinists?

Example 2:
Company employs Lotus Notes developer to manage documentation & mail portal. The company shifts to a software as a service agreement, moving mail and documentation off-site. Do you continue to employ lotus notes developers?

Some companies will work with employees to provide training or alternate responsibilities. But if the role disappears or is no longer relevant, do you continue to pay someone to do nothing?

Most companies expect that employees will manage their own careers. If an employee isn't able to adapt to new roles or responsibilities they are replaced. It's a tough world out there.

Re:Obligatory Google is awesome thread of the week (4, Interesting)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313742)

In this society most careers revolve around seniority. Wages, benefit time, retirement, etc... they are all based primarily on seniority at most companies. Your hypothetical machinist probably started out a young man (or woman) with a healthy body a small apartment and few responsibilities.

Now, after faithfully giving 15-20 years of their life to bettering your company you would just cut them off to go start over somewhere else? Most likely with a family to feed, a mortgage doctors bills to take care of their now older body, etc...

I don't believe in paying someone to do something which no longer has a purpose but I think a company could at least inform the employee as soon as they think they might be moving in a new direction, plus a chance to fill a different position. Now.. if they cannot or will not learn to perform a new task... then sure, go ahead and can them.

Re:Obligatory Google is awesome thread of the week (3, Insightful)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313746)

That seems pretty fucking minor even ignoring that the case went nowhere. As in it may have effected dozens of people whoopedeedoo. I'm pretty sure if they shrunk the logo on the homepage by 1 pixel it would have more of an impact on the world. They are better than other companies where it has an impact.

Re:Obligatory Google is awesome thread of the week (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30313250)

that's a rather large understatement.

how about compared to any company in any branch, ever?

go ahead, can you easily think of another company that has generated so much goodwill in its consumers and rightfully so?

Re:Obligatory Google is awesome thread of the week (1)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313566)

In what religion does God not either have no competitors to speak of or has/will/is completely destroying them?
Does Google think it's BETTER than God?

Re:Obligatory Google is awesome thread of the week (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30313590)

I found this posted by a google employee:

Google is not utopia
        I'm a current employee, african-american female and 45. No blatent protected group discrimination against me, but like Brian Reid once blackballed I cannot find another position at the Googleplex to move too. I feel I'm being squeezed out, my manager is retaliating after I gave her a critical performance review.

        I'm currently on stress disability. It started in January when her boss solicited me for feedback on my manager. I'd only been at Google two months. My manager, in my opinion, had definite personality and performance issues. The deadline had passed and I was asked for feedback as an after thought.

        I submitted the review without critical comments. I was emailed by my boss' boss to resubmit with these comments and I was assured confidentiality and any feedback given would be anonymous. Based on this I sent in the review advising that she has me doing and incredible amount of her personal business (set up her 401K, call the dealership about her car warranty, set up ob-gyn appts., schedule her for traffic school etc. etc.). Plus, she moved her desk next to mine with her dog. I would sit and try to talk to her and her dog is licking me. UGH! I can't stress the frustration in trying to communicate with her, she's absolutely dizzy about some things.

        I digress. My manager's boss called me to her office and advised that she would have to give my manager the feedback and could not disguise it. The review and feedback was not kept confidential. After many twists and turns I asked that I be allowed to give the feedback in my own way and terms. They said yes. I had no intention of going there until I received a call from the HR Director advising that my boss is asking questions. She sees all the meetings in my calendar where I've been meeting with her manager and if I don't give the feedback today then my boss' boss certainly would.

        I was forced to give my manager the feedback. Her boss didn't like the way that I did it via email. Then I had to apologize to my boss for hurting her feelings.

        And, it gets weirder still.

Re:Obligatory Google is awesome thread of the week (3, Informative)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313790)

Making actual working products? What do they think they are? God?

Wait, wait, wait, you think God makes products that work? Obviously you've never been in love ....

It's Become a Theological Dilemma (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313168)

Obligatory Google is awesome thread of the week....

Google has become so awesome that even the best and brightest aren't good enough to work there. The Google campus is vacant and empty, everyone gone home after being let go for failing to be awesome enough. And yet, money magically keeps rolling in ... to whom though? Nobody.

This was apparent in the latest recruitment meeting at my alma mater where a Google server was given 30 minutes to recruit an auditorium full of computer science majors. Well, the Microsoft, HP, Oracle, etc reps gave long speeches and only gave the Google server five minutes to give its speech. It rolled down one end of the stage and leaned over the crowd, silent. It rolled down the other end of the stage and leaned over the crowd, silent. It spent the next few minutes in a monolithic standstill while the whole room waited on bated breath, edge of their seats, dying to know what awesome numbers were being computed and crunched inside the career giver.

The server turned around and shot a laser out at the curtain behind it ... burning in binary these words, "I scanned everyone's DNA in this room and decided it was not worth my time as only 0.1483 of you are worthy of working for Google."

Let me tell you, I have never seen a recruitment booth so full of applicants.

Good one ... parody? (1)

handy_vandal (606174) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313274)

Good post.

Is this a parody of some text that I don't recognize?

Re:Good one ... parody? (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313408)

Stately, plump eldavojohn came down from the stairhead to his mom's basement, bearing a bowl of frito lays on which a slim jim and a twizzler lay crossed. A yellowed mooninites shirt, unwashed, was sustained gently behind him on the mild air duct gust. He sat down at his computer monitor and read the Slashdot response to his post:

—Good post.

Halted, he peered down the glowing LCD monitor and read further:

—Is this a parody of some text that I don't recognize?

Solemnly he leaned forward and set his fingers to the keyboard ...

Warning! Warning! (4, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313770)

Hey! Who gave the English major a Slashdot account? We already have grammar nazis. We already have people making car analogies. We already have legions of frist psots, in soviet russias, and overlord welcoming posters willing to fix that for ya. We don't need literati here, filling the threads with... entertaining prose.

Hmmm...

Welcome to Slashdot, Friend!

Re:Warning! Warning! (1)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313856)

We already have grammar nazis. We already have people making car analogies. We already have legions of frist psots, in soviet russias, and overlord welcoming posters willing to fix that for ya.

you must not be new here.

Re:Obligatory Google is awesome thread of the week (0, Offtopic)

Smivs (1197859) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313808)

I wonder if the good folk at Redmond are this enlightened. I suspect not!

Re:Obligatory Google is awesome thread of the week (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313890)

You think so? wait till gets to homepage the Google DNS [blogspot.com] story, and there you will have a bit more to complain.

Google - Hater (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30312938)

Sooooo arrogant, this will be their fall. Google philosophy? What does that mean, rip off merchants with adword costs?

Re:Google - Hater (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30313592)

Many of the advertisements that were shown on my site from Adsense were of companies that I know to be scams. Some other websites that I know of are in this constant battle of filtering out the scam artists: many debt management companies, debt "negotiators", some of the "business opportunities", and many many more!

I've had low, very low, traffic websites were I never got up to the $100 threshold for Google to send me money for ads that were clicked on - so I was never paid, the merchants, of course were charged for the ads, so that means Google had a 100% gross profit on those ads that were on my site. Now, I wonder how many sites were like mine?

Evidently, they do hire idiots (1, Interesting)

mbone (558574) | more than 4 years ago | (#30312964)

Like that VP.

If he worked for my company, I would fire him. A VP should know when to keep his or her mouth shut.

Re:Evidently, they do hire idiots (3, Insightful)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313052)

For reinforcing how confident he is in his company and its talent that they don't have to horde every last engineer? Yeah, sucks to have that in a VP. It would be so much better to have a VP afraid to say anything, who has no confidence in his own workforce, and who thinks that if he doesn't have every last talented engineer it means ZOMG DOOM!

The reason so many people have issues with Google isn't because they do things differently, it's because they do things differently and are more successful than those doing it the old way.

Re:Evidently, they do hire idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30313298)

Protip: the person to whom you replied doesn't own a company.

Almost always when someone uses the "if that person worked for me..." line they don't have anyone working for them, because if they did they'd know actual real life situations are far more complex than can be explained in paragraph sized story.

Re:Evidently, they do hire idiots (2, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313402)

That is the public version...
The real reason. Such people are too expensive and we don't want to pay his salary. Better off with people with less skills who can be trained then get the best at a high cost who will only have a disproportional benefit vs cost to the company.

Re:Evidently, they do hire idiots (2, Insightful)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313404)

So you'd fire someone for expressing an opinion with which you disagree? You use -1, Overrated a lot, don't you?

Re:Evidently, they do hire idiots (5, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313492)

One thing to consider is that by leaving talent at software companies, the software where their products are used is improved, thus still allowing them to improve their users' experiences with Google. This philosophy of leaving talent at other technology companies is essentially a recognition by Google that they're in a symbiotic relationship with other tech companies (namely, OS creators, browser creators, programming language creators and maintainers, hardware creators....), and they're reacting accordingly by not leeching from the companies that allow them to succeed. It really doesn't matter whether Microsoft likes the fact that Google beats them at the internet advertising game, Google enhances Microsoft users' experiences too.

Another angle to look at this whole thing from is that Google doesn't want to take all the talent from other web advertising companies (Yahoo, Microsoft, etc.) because they don't want to kill off every one of their competitors. In the case of these companies, it's a defense mechanism against being caught in antitrust lawsuits and monopoly status

It's actually remarkably smart for Google to point this out, because if their supporters (the non-web companies) realize the nature of the relationship between themselves and Google, things will just become sweeter between them, and make it much easier for them both to succeed since they won't be fighting each other over resources that they help each other acquire.

Re:Evidently, they do hire idiots (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313672)

Google cannot make money from within itself. They rely on having an outside world that people will search for and purchase products from, and if there were no brilliant people working for the world outside of Google, then Google would not have its current market, and certainly not its dominance in the search market. Google is not going to win by doing all the innovation on the web; Google wins when someone is looking for an innovative website, searches Google for it, and clicks on a sponsored research (which is hopefully what they were really looking for).

uh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30312980)

an engineer told the VP that? #googleisbackwards

Excuses Excuses (4, Funny)

sonnejw0 (1114901) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313002)

Sounds like someone's upset that they didn't get hired by Google... made up a story about being "too Google for Google". Now they can feel like a secret agent for Google while they work tech support for Dell.

Re:Excuses Excuses (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30313252)

Good reply sonnejw0, LoL . "Support for Dell"... so funny. Have a good day.

Re:Excuses Excuses (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30313472)

If you live in SF you get to know a lot of Google people.

Generally they meet the typical CS reputation for being socially clueless: I've had dates and friends recount going out w/Google employees, and almost all the stories can be summarized as the guy being a big spender with no taste (simply get whatever's expensive) and that faux-Asperger's lack of empathy and understanding that a lot of nerds have.

More industry-specific, though, they have a reputation for being dicks to work with in collaboration (with outside firms).

Oddly enough, in my seven years in Seattle I'd never heard similar things on either front concerning Microsoft employees. I might be wrong, but I think MS employees tend to be better integrated into the local community.

(Never applied to Google myself, as I have no desire to deal with a protracted hiring process. At least one person did 19 interviews with Google for a single position and didn't get the job. Not worth it. Not to mention that they, apparently unwittingly, heavily bias the process to favor recent grad/PhD graduates rather than people who've been working in the field doing things other than research.)

Huh? (3, Insightful)

rwv (1636355) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313014)

It sounds like by "not pursuing" top talent, Google is actively letting the top talent go wherever they want. I think if these guys applied for jobs at Google, they'd get hired.

It comes down to economics. If you say "We've got to hire John Doe" then the price you're willing to pay for John Doe to join your staff goes way up. Whereas if John Doe applies and gets hired to traditional way... he's more inclined to expect a normal market driven salary.

Re:Huh? (4, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313090)

I think that's definitely a big part of it. It's also convenient for a company to be able to point out to their curent employees that there are other competent people out there who could replace them, so keep your expectations in check.

Re:Huh? (1)

bmearns (1691628) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313766)

At the risk of not being cynical enough, it is conceivable (if unlikely) that being on top gives them the luxury of actually benefiting from competition. Having someone challenge you can be the push you need to kick it into high gear, especially if you're monstrous enough to not actually be in any real danger from the competition.

Or maybe this VP just doesn't feel like dealing with the pressure of having more engineers under him*.

* - That's what she said.

Now I feel so much better... (1)

pedantic bore (740196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313024)

... that they didn't offer me a job.

But I would have been even happier to have gotten the stock options and work elsewhere. If it made things better for Google, a few stock options would seem like a reasonable form of recognition.

black hole? nahh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30313030)

Well, so long as they continue producing and improving upon products that are available for my use, I'd consider that as light escaping/NOT black hole behaviour.

Re:black hole? nahh (1, Troll)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313698)

Yep, Microsoft Research is the real black hole in the industry. They have tons of supposedly brilliant people, and the only thing they can make is the total joke that is SongSmith.

puhlease indeed (1, Insightful)

sneakyimp (1161443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313040)

What a self-congratulatory, onanistic piece of gloat that is!

What the engineer was really saying was "please don't hire someone to be my boss".

Re:puhlease indeed (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313286)

What a self-congratulatory, onanistic piece of gloat that is!

Yeah. It may be a true story, but telling it in public makes him sound like a dick.

The biggest problem with Black Holes of Brilliance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30313058)

The smart guys in the parking lot get killed off by all the super-intelligent hawking radiation and your black hole evaporates.

Good to know (4, Funny)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313074)

Programmers rejected by Google can now tell their friends: "I didn't get the job. I must be too good for them."

Job Security (1, Interesting)

jmyers (208878) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313100)

"But [the engineer] stopped me and said: 'These people are actually important to have outside of Google..."

It sounds to me like this guy is trying to protect his job. "Uh.. don't hire him, we need him outside of Google..yeah that's the ticket". I read between the lines that this guy doesn't want anyone smarter than he is too close to his job.

Re:Job Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30313258)

I read it the exact same way. I've met plenty of other engineers who care far more for their own job security than for the good of the company. Can't say I blame them in most cases as the company usually cares far more about their stock price than the good of their employees.

Academia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30313124)

Consider that much of that talent is in academia where it is doing the most for Google -> Training the next generation.

This sounds like astroturfing... (2, Insightful)

Vyse of Arcadia (1220278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313132)

..but he's got a point. It really is better if a lot of these brilliant people go to work for other companies or, better yet, form their own.

Think of it this way: Would you want EA/Microsoft/Nintendo/whatever to have all of the best gaming talent?

And with this statement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30313174)

The Internet just got a little dumber. I want my 15 seconds back.

Re:And with this statement (1)

denmarkw00t (892627) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313572)

You're right! After reading your statement I feel some of my brain cells dying - maybe I can work at Google now!

good grief (1, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313178)

Pure arrogance. Like they could ever get even a majority of talent in their field. Google does almost nothing in a wide spectrum of cutting edge computer engineering. And plenty of people would rather have the prestige (and lighter schedule) you get in academia.

Re:good grief (1)

eggnoglatte (1047660) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313490)

Lighter schedule? In academia? You are kidding, right?

Re:good grief (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313648)

Lighter schedule? In academia? You are kidding, right?

Nope. Once you get out of the grad student box you have more free time than the majority of employees in high-tech companies.

Maybe... (3, Insightful)

evil_aar0n (1001515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313214)

Maybe the uber-geek just didn't want the competition within his own group. Even geeks can be territorial.

Re:Maybe... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30313528)

I think this is probably more on the mark than most of the other comments. When you start aggregating all the top talent in the one area, you're not going to be able to take full advantage of it. For example programmer X proposes scenario 1 and programmer y proposes scenario 2 - both are great programmers and both are great ideas - which one gets worked on and which one gets dumped? Both could have been great open source projects or great business ideas, but even google can only pursue so many things.

This programmer may not have wanted to be the one who had his ideas usurped by another.

Fun with faux-altruism (3, Funny)

cmsjr (1515283) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313220)

I am so impressed with Google's approach on this that I am immediately adopting it. From now on, anything personally advantageous that I don't do, well obviously, that was for the good of the geecosystem.

Pardon me now, I have to go read some Ayn Rand.

Google Business (1)

afortaleza (791264) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313296)

Is Google now in the business of trying to save the world ? "We're not hiring this guy for the good of the ecosystem", oh come on, this is ridiculous ! Who do they think they are ?

He's right, and you know it (5, Insightful)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313300)

People have accused Microsoft of stifling innovation by snapping up so many freshly minted PhD's for Microsoft Research. They get a lot of hate, some of which can be found on this Slashdot article [slashdot.org] .

Google is wary of the these issues, as they are in the same position [slashdot.org] .

So we have evidence of them recognizing this, and choosing to do the "not evil" thing, and yet, for all their consideration for the health of the industry, a bunch of envious whiners use it to accuse them of arrogance.

Re:He's right, and you know it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30313692)

Even if it is arrogance. There's nothing wrong with that. They've earned the right to be arrogant.

Re:He's right, and you know it (-1, Flamebait)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313754)

for all their consideration for the health of the industry,

modded insightful?

you must be new here. they are a CORPORATION, amazingly greedy and working ONLY for their own self interests.

(I'm about to vomit from your comment, it made me that sick)

No, it's corporate propaganda. (1)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313826)

I don't believe them.

We have a VP putting this statement and we're supposed to take at face value? It sounds like propaganda to me.

This is corporate America, a corporation listed on the stock market who has a fiduciary responsibility to their stockholders. Profit comes first. Google is on top of their game right now, well sort of, there's all the Chinese stuff going on, and they can afford to be oh so generous; if in fact, they are actually doing what they say. Speaking of the Chinese and Google [wikipedia.org] isn't it funny that when their revenues are threatened, they bend over in a heartbeat?

This whole thing stinks of BS to me.

Not Generosity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30313308)

Rather, an over-concentration of "brilliant" types does not necessarily lead to better performance for the company. Enron, for example, was very focused on hiring the "best and brightest" but it stunted their company's culture and ultimately... well, we all know how that ended. Projects and companies really need a diverse set of individuals to work best: innovators, idea people, implementers, perfectionists, leaders, communicators, idealists, pragmatists, etc, etc. Too much of a concentration of any type tends to lead to problems. If Google simply filled itself with "brilliant" people they would probably all probably be self-absorbed in their own ideas and ego. There would be none of the support personalities necessary to really bring ideas to fruition.

Oh great, I wasn't hired ! (2, Funny)

thrill12 (711899) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313344)

Can only imagine the job interview you hoped for so long at Google:
So erm, what do you think of me. I scored all the tests perfectly, I really would like to know if I am hired (so I can end my 2 year period of unemployment)

(Google interviewer)Well, erm.., see we think Google needs the best of the best. And you are certainly just that. We want to hire you, because of your pure brilliance. We think you really fit the company and would offer you a contract right away. Except, ... we won't. You are simply too brilliant, and hiring you would mean hundreds of small companies could not reap the benefits of having you as an employee ! That's why we want you to go out there and help those other companies with your genius ! Yes, this is the best decision we ever made at Google: not hiring brilliant people because they would do so much better at other companies!

So erm... this is a good thing - you not hiring me ? Wow thanks !...goes home...

Hi honey, how did the job interview go ? Hope you were finally hired, we are shit out of cash !
Oh, I got some really good news!
(Yes ! He got the job, finally I can buy shit again !)
I wasn't hired ! Isn't that great ? I can go on and be unemployed so other companies can hire my brilliant mind ! That's what the Google interviewers said to me, isn't that great ?
Err... honey... why are you packing your suitcase and leaving me ? Don't you love this great news ? Honey.... ?

Suffice to say, brilliant minds can also flourish at the basements of their parents...

Re:Oh great, I wasn't hired ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30313548)

Haha! It's funny because women are only interested in buying things! So true!

Sexist... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30313812)

... who says it's a woman ? Could just as well have been a gay couple.

They shoudl fund them (4, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313376)

Seriously, Google SHOULD consider the idea of funding a number of these folks in small start-ups to force competition. Basically, HONEST competition is GREAT for the industry and for Google. The problem comes in when you have a monopoly that uses their weight and money to buy out established competitors and try hard to create a small oligolopoly, or an illegal monopoly (typically tied to a set of closed products like an OS and a office suite).

In fact, if GM REALLY wanted to excel, they would break themselves up, and have the divisions compete. The problem with the situation for GM, Chrysler and Ford was that it was too few CEO's and worse, they were incestuous (had to come up through the industry). Heck, rather than sell volvo, saturn, and hummer to China, they would be better off rolling them into one company, giving them a CEO from outside of the industry, and then allowing them to compete against others, esp GM itself. It will mean that the company would have to shrink, but, within 4 years they would be ready for IPO, or would be bankrupt.

Technically, the hard part is done. (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313384)

Google doesn't need that many more smart technical people. What they could use some people who could figure out something other than ads that people would actually pay for. Their track record in actual products is awful. The overpriced "Google Search Appliance" [cmswatch.com] isn't doing well. They do corporate hosted mailboxes, but that's Postini, which they bought.

Google is really an ad agency. That's where the money comes from.

Re:Technically, the hard part is done. (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313536)

I wouldn't even say ad agency, so much as "newspaper or tv channel" - after all, you're buying ads for google searches, not just ads from google (although they do advertise on other sites, too). The products don't have to be particularly good, just shiny and new enough that people continue using google, rather than go to another service (like Bing). As long as they keep innovating and creating new things (nobody ever said they had to be any good), people will continue to go there, which drives ad revenue.

Re:Technically, the hard part is done. (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313732)

Yes and no. Google AdSense is a way to add ads to any web page, and Google makes a lot of profit on those things. If the search engine were to suddenly disappear tomorrow, Google would be seriously hurting, but they'd still be selling a lot of ads.

Re:Technically, the hard part is done. (2, Interesting)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313710)

Google is really an ad agency. That's where the money comes from.

100% spot on! so many people can't see this. they are blinded by shiny things.

google is a new age ADVERTISING COMPANY. ie, doubleclick. didn't we hate DC a few years ago? don't we hate ad banners and crap like that?

google's ONLY real product is selling eyeballs to advertisers. all else is just window dressing.

while everyone in the world seems to want to work for google, I don't. I don't want to empower MORE advertising on the internet! (seriously)

last time I checked google's MAIN product (search) they had exactly the same results from bing or yahoo. their differentiation is now gone, completely.

google will fade away and downsize. massively. its not IF but WHEN. been there long enough in the valley to see this a few times over. you watch.

remix for google. (1)

stimpleton (732392) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313396)

A remix of this video [youtube.com] could include the line in the chorus "I'm too sexy for google"?

The original was released in 1991, well before Google became so pervassive.

It is time.

Did anybody else think of Asimov? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313422)

This vaguely reminded me of the Foundation series... all of the knowledge and brainpower ends up concentrated in one small movement while the rest of humanity is left to their superstition and pseudo-science.

Okay, maybe it’s a stretch, but it’s still an interesting comparison.

Brave New World (3, Insightful)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313442)

Reminds of the experiement in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World where they put a whole bunch of Alphas together and it was a disaster. I guess every organization needs some betas and epsilons.

Misleading headline (as usual) (5, Interesting)

Salamander (33735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313462)

At first I thought this sounded like the very definition of hubris on Google's part, but then I read TFA. Nobody really said anything about leaving the rest of the industry starved for talent. All they said is that a particular group of engineers were more useful to Google where they were than they would be if brought in. It's actually not an uncommon situation, as having talented and like-minded people at other companies can be great for forming partnerships and communities. If everybody working on XYZ was at Google, two problems could occur: groupthink inside, and antipathy outside. A more Machiavellian engineer might even have suggested sending current Google employees to evangelize and facilitate partnerships elsewhere. Recognizing that a like-minded person elsewhere can be more valuable than a hire seems rather insightful to me.

Cool, now I have a chance! (1)

CXI (46706) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313470)

Awesome! I'm completely mediocre and therefore perfect for Google to hire. I mean, you can't let the rest of the world have all the average people can you? It wouldn't be balanced. Google needs me!

The Evangelist On Your Doorstep (5, Funny)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313486)

I pointed out a handful of people that.. we should hire,' said Horowitz. 'The engineer stopped me and said: "These people are important to have outside of Google. They're very Google people that have the right philosophies around these things, and it's important that we not hire these guys. It's better for the ecosystem to have an honest industry, as opposed to aggregating all this talent at Google."'"

The last time I read dialog this moralistic and improbable was in a Watchtower tract from the Seventh Day Adventists.

Code Talk (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313546)

That's PHB-speak for "if we hire too many smarties, then nobody wants to do the real grunt work."

not everyone lusts for g00gl3 (4, Insightful)

forgottenusername (1495209) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313632)

There are lots of smart people who aren't interested in what Google is currently doing. The pay, benefits etc might be great, but for most people it's not necessarily how they want to spend their days. It can be a lot more fun being on the ground floor of a dynamic startup doing stuff you believe in with a small group of smart people than being a cog in a giant wheel. Even if it is a pretty special wheel with a much larger degree of autonomy.

I do believe overall google to date has been a driving force for useful, usually practical innovation - especially in the datacenter sphere. So while I'm not a fan boy, I think it's the best search engine to date, and google maps is quite useful. Their real struggle is to stay ahead of said startup (or hope they can buy them, which has its own difficulties).

Google's friend zone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30313704)

Being rejected by google is better than nothing

Translating Googlese (2, Funny)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313712)

These people are actually important to have outside of Google. They're very Google people that have the right philosophies around these things, and it's important that we not hire these guys. It's better for the ecosystem to have an honest industry, as opposed to aggregating all this talent at Google.

"We are finding them too difficult to control" is how I read this. I suspect they are basically saying Google doesn't want too many ultra smart individuals that care way too much about Google, because they reach a critical mass that becomes difficult for upper managment (with it's lesser prerequisite of brilliance) to control. Lets face it, stupid staff are obedient, and if not easy to fire. Simple but in this case having far more brains-on-a-stick at far too higher density is a liability. I've often said managers are uncomfortable hiring people significantly smarter than they are, but a whole seething hive of the industries top brains probably makes them wake up in the night and scream.

movie plot? (1)

Eil (82413) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313726)

'But [the engineer] stopped me and said: "These people are actually important to have outside of Google. They're very Google people that have the right philosophies around these things, and it's important that we not hire these guys. It's better for the ecosystem to have an honest industry, as opposed to aggregating all this talent at Google."'

Translation: "They already work for us. *wink wink*"

ahh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30313814)

so THAT'S why all my applications go unanswered!! I feel better now.

In their place (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30313828)

In their place Google can hire the less gifted under affirmative action.

Sounds Like BS (1)

frankxcid (884419) | more than 4 years ago | (#30313886)

This statement is just silly to make people who like feeling good, feel good. However, it has nothing to do with reality. People are hired to do a job. If there is work to be done, a person is hired, no work means no need to hire. It is as simple as that. Granted that it is possible to hire someone so that a specific person is not available to the competition, but this is limiting as a person with no work to do will start hating their job. So what google is saying is that it is purposely leaving things undone because of their ideal of what? Not hiring unemployed people? Keeping people out? I bet they have all the people they need so they decided to say something so off the wall the bs meter is off the charts.
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