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Google Faces Employee Retention Challenge

michael posted about 10 years ago | from the golden-handcuffs dept.

Google 339

prakslash writes "60% of Google's 1900 employees now hold stock options worth at least one million dollars. According to experts in this Reuters article, it is now imperative for Google to maintain its sense of mission. If it fails to do so, a whole slew of employees facing post-IPO burnout and boredom will leave the company to go back to school, start a new company, or join the ranks of high-tech early retirees. Such a mass cashing-out could lead to a decline in Google stock price and intellectual brain-drain. Oh how I wish I worked for Google."

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You wish you worked for google? (5, Funny)

HappyClown (668699) | about 10 years ago | (#10416408)

Well send in your CV! It sounds like they might have a few job openings shortly...

Re:You wish you worked for google? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416433)

google is an american company, it's called a 'resume', not a 'CV', (OT, but just thought i would let you know).

Re:You wish you worked for google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416510)

CV is used for academic positions.

Re:You wish you worked for google? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416532)

google is an american company, it's called a 'resume', not a 'CV', (OT, but just thought i would let you know).

Americans use the term CVs as well. Americans with advanced degrees. If you want a seriously nerdy position at google (instead of clerical), you'd do better with a CV instead of a resume.

Feel free to use a dictionary and note the difference between the two terms. I have both a CV and a resume and I'm still an American.

Re:You wish you worked for google? (4, Funny)

Misinformed (741937) | about 10 years ago | (#10416770)

As an American patriot you may wish to not use the French word resume and defer to the Latin CV.

That is, if you love your country.

Re:You wish you worked for google? (5, Insightful)

pdx_joe (690372) | about 10 years ago | (#10416478)

At what point does Google go from hip, cool company to overbearing, monopolistic, Microsoft company? It seems public opinion is a bit fickle.

Re:You wish you worked for google? (0, Flamebait)

Mulletproof (513805) | about 10 years ago | (#10416547)

Well, when you claim to be good yet position your IPO to rape buyers of as much cash as possible while attempting to emulate every other web utility ala MS does software, fickleness tends to happen.

Re:You wish you worked for google? (5, Interesting)

Alien Being (18488) | about 10 years ago | (#10416596)

"It seems public opinion is a bit fickle."

Right, we must not waffle or send mexed missages even if presented with new facts.

Google is now a public company. Many /.ers will be sure to point out that it is now their obligation to maximize ROI. That's not quite correct. The board of Google is responsible for doing whatever the prospectus said they would do.

Let's hope that Google continues to change the way things are done. If they become myopic about short-term profits, they will be screwed in the long run.

Re:You wish you worked for google? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416833)

I read a quote (and sorry I don't have links), but based on that, google's stated intention is to be an ethical corporation for the public good. Including passing over short financial gain in favor of long term goals and behaving like a good citizen. Of course I'm sure the worst offending corporations have good marking and PR to say all the same and try to convince us they are golden. In the mean time I think google is doing pretty good as far as publicly traded corporations go, but the evening is still young.

Re:You wish you worked for google? (-1, Offtopic)

Geek of Tech (678002) | about 10 years ago | (#10416846)

>> "It seems public opinion is a bit fickle."

Oh, so that's why John Kerry seems so popular!:P

Re:You wish you worked for google? (1)

irokitt (663593) | about 10 years ago | (#10416534)

Shhhh! He doesn't know that the moon base was an April Fools joke!

Re:You wish you worked for google? (3, Interesting)

gorbachev (512743) | about 10 years ago | (#10416719)

You don't want to work in a company where almost all your coworkers are millionaires, and you're not, because you happened to join the company after the IPO date.

Maybe in 3 - 5 years, when most of the millionaires have left, but I would certainly NOT join Google right now, unless my stock options strike price was at pre-IPO levels (which it won't).

Re:You wish you worked for google? (1)

damned_in_davis (804771) | about 10 years ago | (#10416850)

and if you won't get that job - just be happy you got that water bottle, k?

What the hell's a CV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416873)

A "Citizen's VOIP" transmitter? A cock vibrator? English, muthafucker, do you SPEAK IT?

Total percentage? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416411)

60% of employees who've been there for fourteen years now -- what fraction is that of the total work force at Google? I'd guess relatively small.

Re:Total percentage? (1)

dapyx (665882) | about 10 years ago | (#10416612)

no, it doesn't say that; 60% of all 1900 employees.

anyway, fourteen years ago google was not even born.

Re:Total percentage? (3, Interesting)

UserGoogol (623581) | about 10 years ago | (#10416629)

Fourteen years ago? WTF? There wasn't even a World Wide Web in 1990.

Re:Total percentage? (3, Funny)

Kiryat Malachi (177258) | about 10 years ago | (#10416648)

1900 employees, as in the number of employees Google has, not 1990 employees, as in employed on the date of, which was your interpretation... and would make no sense.

2004-1990 does equal 14, so you can subtract, but it's obvious you can't read.

Free lunch? (5, Funny)

miroth (611718) | about 10 years ago | (#10416413)

I guess Google is finally realizing that there's no such thing as a free lunch (even if they provide their employees with one).

Re:Free lunch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416455)

TINSTAAFL!

Re:Free lunch? (1)

Kinkify (818557) | about 10 years ago | (#10416700)

Of course, you mean TANSTAFFL.

Re:Free lunch? (2, Funny)

Kinkify (818557) | about 10 years ago | (#10416746)

But when I say TANSTAFFL I mean TANSTAAFL. And anytime I post I mean I'm an idiot.

The Way Things Are (2, Insightful)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | about 10 years ago | (#10416752)

it is now imperative for Google to maintain its sense of mission


The thing to understand is that like other cutting edge Internet companies, Google is no longer what it was. It is now a publicly held company with ONE SPACIFIC THING in mind for its mission: Produce cashflow for its stockholders. This is now Google's "mission". One day, it will be the mission of many of today's successful Open Source brainiacs. This is the way things tend to flow in a free society, people for the most part are driven by the need to survive and live in comfort.

It's a problem, but it's already solved. (5, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | about 10 years ago | (#10416415)

Google seems to already be a step ahead of this problem, creating a billboard puzzle in the Boston area [slashdot.org] and publishing a test for potential applicats to fill out.

Not only do they have the problem of suddenly having a few hundred jobs to fill, but they also have the problem that nearly everybody in the world would like to work for them. By setting up such qualifying quizes before even asking for a resume, Google's trying to filter out the best applicants early in the process so that they don't waste their time on pursuing people they'll not end up hiring.

So, yes, Google's going to lose some key talent because they've just created a bunch of modern-era dot-com millionaires. However, they'll just hire somebody else to replace anybody they lose and will move on.

Billboard 'recruitment' test? Marketing. (5, Insightful)

WombatDeath (681651) | about 10 years ago | (#10416482)

That billboard thing was a piece of piss. I wouldn't consider myself qualified to work for Google and yet their little puzzle was so trivial that I couldn't actually be bothered to solve it. Added to which, of course, is the fact that you could Google the answer within a day or two of the buzz commencing.

If they really wanted to use that sort of approach to resumé filtering they'd have used a hard puzzle and put a time limit on it. In reality, it was a marketing tool - albeit quite a good one, in my opinion.

Re:Billboard 'recruitment' test? Marketing. (4, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | about 10 years ago | (#10416503)

I think there was a time limit. The moment the Slashdot effect hit that e-mail address, they most likely stopped using it and only responded to those who answered the puzzles quickly before the solutions were widely published.

Re:It's a problem, but it's already solved. (2, Interesting)

CatDogLordOfTheRoot (778170) | about 10 years ago | (#10416506)

They also seem to be handing out little "testing" packets too. I got one of em in Linux Journal, It has a few math problems in it and a questionaire.

Re:It's a problem, but it's already solved. (1)

tsunamifirestorm (729508) | about 10 years ago | (#10416527)

Google is also putting full-page ads in my school's newspaper (UCSD). They also have the Google Labs Aptitude Test. http://cruftbox.com/blog/archives/001031.html
Turnover will hurt any company, but I think Google is stable enough to handle it.

Re:It's a problem, but it's already solved. (2, Funny)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | about 10 years ago | (#10416726)

Google seems to already be a step ahead of this problem, creating a billboard puzzle in the Boston area and publishing a test for potential applicats to fill out.

Answer is 7427466391.com [7427466391.com] thanks to a google search

Re:It's a problem, but it's already solved. (4, Interesting)

stu72 (96650) | about 10 years ago | (#10416837)

Funny.

All the option apologists say options are necessary to motivate employees.

And yet, when successful, it seems options just motivate them to leave.

Funny.

Just remember where all the money to create those millionaires comes from - the shareholders. If existing shareholders are willing to suffer dilution and buyback expenses just to "motivate" talent, why not just pay them the equivalent in cash? It would save a whole lot of paperwork & accounting nightmares.

oh right I forgot, that doesn't let them move billions of compensation expenses out of the expense column and into the "financing activites" column.

LOSTCLUSTER IS A SICK PERVERT PROOF BELOW (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416854)

CmdrTaco was sitting in the kitchen all by himself when Rusty walked in and sat down beside him at the table. He rested his head in his hands and looked him straight in the face. He looked back at him, wondering what he was up to. For a while, he said nothing, but continued looking at him.
Finally, he spoke. "Rob, what does sex feel like?", he asked.
CmdrTaco was stunned. He almost never mentioned sex to anyone, let alone him. He wanted to run from the room but instead, he embraced his question. "C'm here, let me show you", he said as he led him into the bedroom. Rusty was only thiry-five but he figured that he'd better learn about sex now. And who better than CmdrTaco.
He told him to sit on the bed while he began to strip for him. Rusty got pretty excited and his cock began to harden. He started by taking off his shirt, which revealed his massive, bra covered tits. Then he unhooked his bra and let his gigantic boobs flop free. Rusty's eyes widened at the sight of them. He dropped him pants to the floor. He was wearing white panties, which he also took off and threw to one side.
By this time, Rusty had his hand on his pants, massaging his hard-on. CmdrTaco walked over to his friend and took one of his huge boobs in him hand. He then put it to his mouth. He licked and sucked on it like he'd been doing this forever. CmdrTaco threw him head back enjoying the Slashdot Editor's lips on his nipples.
While he was sucking on his boob, he thrust his hand down into his pants. The young boy jumped with surprise. He took him tit out of his mouth and began to undress him.
When he was completely naked, he laid down on the bed and told him to get on top of him. He did so without question, anticipating the pleasure he was going to have. He took his hard cock in his hand and guided it to CmdrTaco's asshole, then thrust inside him. He thrust in and out hard while El Robbo moaned with pleasure. Just then, CowboyNeal walked into the room.
Rusty stopped dead in his tracks. "What the hell are you two doing?", CowboyNeal asked. "Rusty asked me what sex feels like so I'm showing him.", CmdrTaco answered, then said, "Get undressed and join us." CowboyNeal complied, undressing as fast as he could. He quickly moved over to his master and sat on his face.
CowboyNeal had a very contented look on his pudgy face. He felt that this was his natural place to be, on top of him CmdrTaco's face. CmdrTaco quickly went to work, licking and sucking CowboyNeal's balls as he moaned in delight, as Rusty continued fucking him. All three were moaning so loudly that it caught the attention of Michael in the next room.
He stood up and walked over to the doorway of CmdrTaco's bedroom. He stood there for a few moments, not making a sound. He then unbuttoned his pants and thrust his hand inside his now damp panties. Watching those three get it on really turned him on. He dropped him pants to the floor, took a step into the room, his nice legs moving as if by a will of their own.
Michael walked over, knelt down and began to suck on CowboyNeal's nipples, as CowboyNeal rode CmdrTaco's face. Michael and CowboyNeal began to french each other, and fondle each other's balls. Then they began to touch each other's assholes.
Then Michael had one of CowboyNeal's fingers inside his ass, as CowboyNeal began to finger fuck his coworker. Rusty was still fucking CmdrTaco wildly as he rimmed Cowboyneal. As Rusty pumped into CmdrTaco, CowboyNeal reached over further and pulled his head to him, and began to kiss him.
At that moment Rusty began to come inside CmdrTaco. After he was through, Rusty slid his dick out of CmdrTaco and rolled off him, but instead of getting up he started to suck on CowboyNeal's boobs. Michael was quick to lap up the shit that coated Rusty's still rigid cock.
Rusty looked down in surprise at Michael sucking on him, and his erection was instant. CowboyNeal smiled at Rusty, leaned over, and kissed him again deeply on the lips. His tongue parted his lips and wrapped itself around his tongue. Michael was still happily sucking away on the young boy's cock when CowboyNeal came all over Rob's face.
CmdrTaco was quick to lap up CowboyNeal's juices. CowboyNeal continued to moan in delight while he continued to kiss Rusty. That's when they heard the door slam. The four of them stopped. Michael got up and went to the doorway to see who it was.
He looked around the corner to see Simoniker and LostCluster come into the kitchen. Michael put his shirt on and walked into the kitchen, his beautiful legs still bare, and completely naked from under his shirt. The young couple stared at him in amazement. He grabbed onto them and dragged them into the bedroom.
When LostCluster and Simoniker saw what was going on, they were shocked. Then, Simoniker finally spoke. "Hey LostCluster, looks like fun", he said lifting his shirt over his head. After a moment's hesitation, LostCluster joined in, taking off his jacket and removing his shoes.
When he was completely naked, he grabbed Michael by the waist and dragged him to the floor. He went right to work, licking and sucking on his cock while his husband looked on, smiling. He then took his shirt off over him head and threw it aside. He mounted Michael's nice slender body, and planted his swollen cock head at his ass's opening and thrust it into him.
LostCluster fucked him deeply while Simoniker fingered himself enjoying the show. Just then, Simoniker felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned around to see CowboyNeal motioning him to lie down on the bed. Simoniker noticed that the large one was wearing a strap-on cock (over his smaller penis).
It was a big black gay nigger phallus with studs that contrasted nicely with his pale skin. CowboyNeal straddled Simoniker and shoved the dildo into his shit encrusted hole and began to fuck him deeply. He moaned loudly while his coworker rode him for all he was worth.
Suddenly, just when Simoniker was about to cum, there was a loud noise coming from outside. It sounded like a car door slamming. Simoniker had finished cumming when CmdrTaco told everyone to get dressed and clean up.
When Linus came through the back door, everyone was sitting in the living room watching TV as if nothing had happened. Although, Simoniker looked a little breathless.

Katz (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416419)

WTF happened to Jon Katz?

Re:Katz (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416778)

Who cares?

yea... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416423)

me too...

GNAA NOW HIRING BURNT-OUT GOOGLE DEVS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416429)

We need talented people to help us develop the next generation of crapflooding utilities. Apply now at www.gnaa.us! (serious applicants only, please)

Recent employment campaigns (-1, Redundant)

GreyPoopon (411036) | about 10 years ago | (#10416430)

Maybe this explains Google's recent creative marketing [slashdot.org] for careers?

hi (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416432)

my name is sledge shitter

Nice attitude. (0, Flamebait)

Dirtside (91468) | about 10 years ago | (#10416436)

Oh how I wish I worked for Google.
So you could cash out and leave them in the lurch? That's real generous of ya.

Re:Nice attitude. (1)

UncleJam (786330) | about 10 years ago | (#10416501)

Maybe he just wishes that he was working for a company that had his and his kid's future guarenteed? You really can't retire young with just $1 million dollars these days, but it'd still be really nice to have.

Re:Nice attitude. (1)

bubkus_jones (561139) | about 10 years ago | (#10416504)

Maybe, maybe not. I know I would like to have the option of cashing out and retiring early, or maybe I'd stick around. Or maybe sell some stock, get a business loan and start my own company.

Re:Nice attitude. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416889)

Well, if I got a few million dropped on my lap. I'd certainly be _really_ tempted to quit and use some of that money to hire a couple of super gorgeous whores to pretend to like me.

Of course besides the ultimate emptiness and complete worthlessness of doing that. The drive to create and make something interesting ought to be sufficient to continue to drive google's employees to be creative and productive, whether or not they continue to work at google, or try and persue their own vision.

Not facing it, in reality (4, Interesting)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | about 10 years ago | (#10416439)

Google technology is so far advanced beyond what we mortals need in a search engine that most of those engineers working in the labs are not necessary. For all intents and purposes, they are done.

Now they probably need to keep the servers up and running, and that can probably be done with a few colos located in various countries with cheap labor and moved around as necessary.

So cut the workforce, move all essential server capacity to India, China, and Eastern Europe, and let those millionaires go off and start other companies. God knows they've probably got some good ideas for other products, better to see them deliver those ideas from their own small company than to see it bastardized by a large Google (product placement and marketing and all that).

Braindrain at Google could be just what our ailing tech sector needs.

Re:Not facing it, in reality (5, Insightful)

torstenvl (769732) | about 10 years ago | (#10416487)

Yahoo's search results aren't that much different than Google's in the top ten.

No company can create something and just sit on it and remain in a market position. If MS couldn't parlay its success with MS-DOS into its success with Windows 95 into its success with IE and 98 and XP...

Yeah. Nobody would still be using MS-DOS today. They'd all be using Linux or BSD or something.

So Google does need talent to stay competitive.

Umm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416670)

Yahoo uses google under the hood now.

Re:Umm... (4, Informative)

burns210 (572621) | about 10 years ago | (#10416856)

Not anymore. They used to, but Yahoo has sinced bought a Search Engine company and have used that as the basis of their searches.

Re:Not facing it, in reality (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416739)

are you kidding me? you must be... i think google needs just a tiny bit more than a few colos.

it takes a little more than a webserver to run google, i would imagine it requires multiple datacenters full of racks & racks of stuff. tape storage, massive raid arrays, redudant servers with load balancing, switches routers links with other datacenters.. etc etc.. then you have to look at the enterprise network lan for the employees home directories, emails, vpn, etc etc..

basically.. you dont know what your talking about.. that's all i'm trying to say

Re:Not facing it, in reality (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 years ago | (#10416828)

linkfarming has been a real problem for some time.. and continues to be.

that is just an example of some of the ongoing problems a search engine has to face, they're number one but the quality of the results degrades then I among others will be switching to something else.

Re:Not facing it, in reality (2, Interesting)

Misinformed (741937) | about 10 years ago | (#10416855)

So cut the workforce, move all essential server capacity to India, China, and Eastern Europe, and let those millionaires go off and start other companies.

Servers cost pretty much the same in the US, China or Eastern Europe - in hardware terms (and are perhaps cheaper after import taxes etc). The manpower requirement isn't a large part of ongoing expenses - manpower 'costs' Google in the development areas (direct in these workers, plus indirect from their assistants, people running the canteen etc; I'm sure they also have a strong finance/legal team but doubt this tops 100), where the brightest from India, China, Eastern Europe could well apply and be successful (as the people they're after are in such a limited supply).

As for let those millionaires go off and start other companies... these people are not slaves of Google, if they wanted to leave they could, and could take most of their stock options with them. These people stick around because they have the freedom to.

The tech sector is not ailing - it is doing pretty well, not as well as 98, but who wants morons with cr4p ideas who never make them work, to get paid by (money wasted by) pension and saving plans - real people's investment in the future?

Pining for Google (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416442)

Oh how I wish I worked for Google.

You can. On a volunteer basis, of course.

REQ: BeOS 5 for PPC (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416443)

plz 2 link kthx

Doing something interesting (5, Insightful)

johnmoe (103704) | about 10 years ago | (#10416446)

As long as they have interesting things for people to work on, I don't think they should have too much trouble keeping people. Who really cares about money? It is hard to find interesting problems to work on Google lets their employees do that AND pays them for it. What more in life could a person ask for?

Re:Doing something interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416464)

I'd like a job that pays me for doing nothing. Like a government job, but with a higher salary.

Re:Doing something interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416549)

I'd prefer to work on interesting problems and potentially make a lot of money in the process. Why should I make more money for Larry and Sergey?

FOD (-1, Flamebait)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 10 years ago | (#10416448)

a whole slew of employees facing post-IPO burnout and boredom will leave the company

Not to mention telling their boss to fuck off and die when he demands that you work late.

Re:FOD (1)

LostCluster (625375) | about 10 years ago | (#10416457)

Not to mention telling their boss to fuck off and die when he demands that you work late.

Wouldn't that boss be in violation of Google's "Don't Be Evil" policy in the first place?

Re:FO(A)D (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416818)

FOAD LostCluster you fucking faggot [lostcluster.info]

Well good. (4, Insightful)

mark_space2001 (570644) | about 10 years ago | (#10416452)

So maybe some people who don't need jobs anymore can retire and some people who do need jobs will get them. Sounds like a free market to me....

Re:Well good. (2, Funny)

Baloo Ursidae (29355) | about 10 years ago | (#10416866)

No kidding. Maybe even do the growing trend among tech companies in the central California region to fire all employees, offer no relocation, and re-open shop in the Portland, Oregon area. Oregonians need jobs more than California needs anything.

Maybe not that bad... (4, Insightful)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | about 10 years ago | (#10416480)

My first thought was actually in the article: A million bucks isn't what it used to be - "If you live in Mountain View, California, and someone gives you $1 million, you might be able to pay off your mortgage, but you can't retire,"

Even if it is only subject to capital gains taxes, that takes a bite too. The article only says at least one million... doesn't say what the average is or anything. Also, it doesn't mention any selling restrictions.

The way the market goes with these things, I don't expect the valuation to stay at 180 P/E for all that long... I could be wrong, but I suspect this will be a self correcting "problem".

I sure wish I had the problem. [4 time stock option looser]

Re:Maybe not that bad... (3, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 years ago | (#10416724)

elsewhere though.. a million bucks can be enough to kickstart that idea you've had in back of your mind about this some excellent new tech(remember, these aren't just some your average wage slaves either because google has specifially been looking for intelligent and creative people).

and they must have quite a number of people with 10m+ too.. who got those options by being in important positions.. you can only buy loyalty so far before you've given so much money they don't need you anymore(at which point you gotta think of some other stuff like giving them intresting jobs to keep 'em).

Re:Maybe not that bad... (1)

kagaku (774787) | about 10 years ago | (#10416762)

A million bucks might not buy as much as it used to, but it could certainly do me a lot of good.

With a million dollars, I could easily pay off all my debt, buy a new house, pay off both of my cars, and put my children through college.

And still have enough left over to live comfortably.

Re:Maybe not that bad... (1)

Max Coffee (559629) | about 10 years ago | (#10416766)

Even if it is only subject to capital gains taxes, that takes a bite too

Not super critical to the debate, but proceeds from NQSO's (the type of stock option that the low-level employees generally get) are taxable as ordinary income. If they cash out now and leave, the options will be taxable at 38%, plus a bit over a percent for Medicare. The Social Security hit will be negated, but so will be the option to write off mortgage interest this year.

Just the same, there are worse problems to have :).

Re:Maybe not that bad... (3, Interesting)

mikael (484) | about 10 years ago | (#10416824)

In the UK, they did a study to see how much money would make people happy. From a survey they figured that around four million pounds was enough (six million dollars). Enough for someone to make themselves and all their relatives happy.

Re:Maybe not that bad... (1)

stu72 (96650) | about 10 years ago | (#10416886)

I can't find a reference, but I recall a very interesting survey asking people who much they would like to me making or how much they thought they should be making.

What they found was that on average, people at every income level felt they should be making about twice what they were.

In other words, weath & poverty (above a certain minimum) are largely relative, and contrary to left leaning thought, no matter how much you give people they'll always want, or say they need, more.

Totally expected (3, Insightful)

Duncan3 (10537) | about 10 years ago | (#10416490)

Look, I know you dont want to hear this... but...

When you're hiring someone, it's absolutely CRITICAL not to pay someone enough to be "comfortable". It removes all motivation, and makes for unmotivated and uninterested employees.

Management 101, and a quick lession any hiring manager would learn if they didn't already know.

Giving people piles of cash in options, is one of the mistakes startups make over and over and over. And this is normal to the process.

But, that's the fun isnt it ;) Yes Google will retain maybe 5% of the millionares, yes they move on to other things, and yes they knew this would happen.

Re:Totally expected (5, Insightful)

irokitt (663593) | about 10 years ago | (#10416556)

So, you're one of those people who reads Dilbert and sympathizes with the boss?

Re:Totally expected (0, Offtopic)

ccnuggie (724291) | about 10 years ago | (#10416684)

"...While people behind me are going insane...I'm an ASSHOLE!" lol great song :)

Re:Totally expected (5, Insightful)

Forbman (794277) | about 10 years ago | (#10416564)

No, you hire people who will enjoy the work, the kind who appreciate the money, but don't care too much about it.

If all you hire is people wanting to move up to $70K a year, instead of people looking for new cool things to do, then, yes, you create the lack of motivation that money seekers get.

Re:Totally expected (1)

Duncan3 (10537) | about 10 years ago | (#10416867)

You're talking about the opposite problem, but yea, that too.

Pay them too little (your point) and they wait to bail. Pay them too much, and they don't need the job.

Re:Totally expected (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416600)

I wish somebody would teach Management 101 to the people responsible for hiring CEOs with multimillion dollar compensation packages.

*Maintain* it's sense of mission? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416493)

Google has the challenge of building a whole new mission. With billions in the bank and way more employees than are needed to operate a search engine, there is no way they can keep going if they just maintain their current mission. They need to get a whole new mission.

Another challenge they need to get a grip on is a release culture. Up to now, most of their products and services have been in perpetual beta. If they want to expand, they need to get a mentality that sets targets, and makes releases. Right now they look like Netscape did. Their most visible product, the Google search engine, has way more features, many of which are useful, than any competitor. In terms of search quality, though, I think they already fall behind the new MSN search. If all they do is tack more features on and add new beta products they will fall behind. Granted, they have a long time to make it work, with that mountain of cash, but that won't sustain them forever.

Google needs to decide on a new vision that is grand, but reachable with the money they have now. Then they need to execute their new plan successfully. Neither staying where they are, or growing at their current rate, is a viable option. They need big changes. They may well be up to it, but we won't know for certain for a few more years.

Google Labs (5, Insightful)

rafikki (818387) | about 10 years ago | (#10416509)

I like their Google Labs idea. It's a great way to show the employees that they're supporting them, and at the same time allows them to stimulate the engineers creativity, probably helping to reduce burn-out rates as well.

Google's new quitting policy (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416529)

To quit your job at google go to: {last 10-digit prime found in consecutive digits of e}.com

Re:Google's new quitting policy (3, Funny)

Gentlewhisper (759800) | about 10 years ago | (#10416741)

To quit your job at google go to: {last 10-digit prime found in consecutive digits of e}.com

Wow, it is easier to get hired than to quit!

That's like so cool dude!

"Intellectual brain-drain" (0, Redundant)

archnerd (450052) | about 10 years ago | (#10416538)

from the department-of-rendundancy-dept.

Re:"Intellectual brain-drain" (1, Funny)

arabagast (462679) | about 10 years ago | (#10416822)

oh, the moderators irony..

Harder to recruit? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416550)

If folks leave, one wonders how hard a time they will have recruiting new Googlers...

Salaries were not competitive with the market as recently as 4 months ago. Of course, back then they were still "Pre-IPO." IMHO, You'd have to be foolish or a huge gambler to take a meager salary in lieu of options at the current strike price.

So once the brain-drain starts... there may be no way for Google to staunch it... unless they start hiring very competitively (and presumably, retro-compensating current employees).

reminds me of... (5, Insightful)

nbert (785663) | about 10 years ago | (#10416563)

the documentary "Microslaves"

They interviewed some ex Microsoft employees. All of them are millionaires due to stock options. Now they are mostly in their late twens wondering what to do with their existence for the rest of their time (one of them - living in his huge mansion alone said that he pretends to be into IT consulting on dinner parties, because saying that you basically do nothing is kind of embarrassing).

It makes me wonder if stock options are really a sustainable way for both sides to grow. Wouldn't it be better to have more employees at a lower wage like 500 grands a year? Every ex MS worker being part of the documentary suffered some kind of burn out syndrome, so it might make sense to reduce their workload at the same time.

Re:reminds me of... (1)

DarkAce911 (245282) | about 10 years ago | (#10416651)

I'll trade with him if he hates his life. LOL

Being rich isn't everything but it sure beats whatever is in second place.

Darkace911

Re:reminds me of... (1)

nbert (785663) | about 10 years ago | (#10416695)

Being rich isn't everything but it sure beats whatever is in second place.
I guess that you'll need to get really rich in order to realize that it won't make you happy. Being rich beats being poor, but it's nothing compared to friends or family or general satisfaction in life. Those can't be bought.

Re:reminds me of... (1)

belmolis (702863) | about 10 years ago | (#10416811)

I'm surprised at this. I'd understand it if we were talking about people who weren't particularly interested in what they were doing and just did it to earn a living, say clerical workers and management types, but I would have expected programmers to have their own interests to which they would be happy to be able to devote their time once freed of the need to support themselves. Most programmers I know have a project they'd like to work on, a business they'd like to start, or strong non-programming interests, rock climbing, music, what have you.

Re:reminds me of... (1)

bladesjester (774793) | about 10 years ago | (#10416844)

Knowing me, I'd probably occasionally work on tech projects, but would spend most of my time traveling, training, blacksmithing (I'm an apprentice. Just haven't been able to be in the forge for a few seasons), and generally enjoying my life with people I like the company of.

Then again, I always did just look at programming as something I enjoy which I get paid for.

this article is worthless (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416568)

This whole article is based on interviewing people at other companies and asking what happens after an IPO. There's nothing specific about Google at all. Is there any actual evidence of people at Google selling out? Is there one actual instance of somebody leaving Google because they got rich on the IPO?

Recently I was interviewing with Google in Mountain View (and I'm posting AC for that reason) and I didn't meet a single person there who seemed like the IPO had affected them at all. Some engineer made the comment to me "Yeah, I ended up with a lot of money after the IPO, and the thought crossed my mind to leave, but what would I do? I can't think of any place I'd rather work."

Everyone loves to hate on Google now that they're no longer the scrappy underdogs. But after walking around the "Googleplex" I can't say I've ever seen a company where the engineers were happier.

It's 1998 all over again! (0, Flamebait)

BillsPetMonkey (654200) | about 10 years ago | (#10416585)

Such a mass cashing-out could lead to a decline in Google stock price and intellectual brain-drain

Google's main revenue stream is a cash-cow (google-ads/froogle(?)) so there's little danger that present employees leaving will significantly damage the stock price in the near future.

In the end though, after all the hype and rather trite-sounding platitudes about "thinking outside the box", google is just a search company. And there are others [vivisimo.com] who are already doing that better

you just saw the .com bubble thinking there... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416619)

Stock price for .coms is based upon lack of supply and high demand. If there suddenly is a demand the stock will drop preciptiously. This includes google.

Massive increase in supply will hurt any company. It hurts .coms more because they are relatively new stocks that haven't seen the effects of this before.

yeah, nice to have options that actually mature... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416588)

sure, I would like to be working at Google and be in the envious position of actually having some net worth worth speaking about.

I've worked in numerous companies and had lots of stock options in them but none of them ever panned out. Being Canadian and working in IT in Canada just sucks this way :( Canadian companies never have worthwhile IPOs or stock prices.

Operation: Shootfoot (5, Funny)

mikeophile (647318) | about 10 years ago | (#10416658)

CFO: It looks like we have quite a problem, Eric. We are losing employees because their stock options are worth so much, they don't wan't to work anymore.

CEO: The deuce you say, George. There's only one thing to do.

CFO: What's that?

CEO: George, we have to tank the company. When the stock bottoms out, we'll buy back those options and correct the retention problem. We must destroy Google to save it.

CFO: OMFG, you're brillant. But how will we devalue the company? Google is doing great.

CEO: We're going to need help. We need someone with experience in this sort of thing. Get Carly at HP on the phone, quick!

Re:Operation: Shootfoot (0, Offtopic)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 10 years ago | (#10416849)

--- You cannot lead if you send mexed missages. - George W. Bush

You cannot lead if you had Tex-Mex for lunch because no one will stand behind you.

Google has been recruiting in Redmond (4, Informative)

TiggertheMad (556308) | about 10 years ago | (#10416683)

I work at a certain EVIL company, and there have been some rumors that Google has been sniffing around, looking for good employees (yes, yes, obligatory MS joke here...) to bring over.

It looks like they are agressively trying to make sure that they keep on top of the talent curve. MS has always made an effort to grab up all the most talented engineers coming out of school. Google might try to give them a run for the money.

This is the best kind of "brain drain" (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416725)

Intelligent people with enough money to convert their ideas into a business isn't something to be sad about. The slight hardship Google might suffer is more than offset by the chance for a lot of smart people to pursue their own interests.

Cash out and retire, or buy a house and be broke? (1)

jefferson (95937) | about 10 years ago | (#10416763)

A million dollars? With that they might be able to buy a tiny house near Google. But then they'd be broke and have to keep working. And somehow, in the mindset of Silicon Valley, that seems normal and rational.

Of course, they could always retire and move someplace sane.

vesting ... (4, Insightful)

mqx (792882) | about 10 years ago | (#10416785)


Options usually vest over a number of years, so while they may be worth a paper-$1m, they're only going to see real-$1m if (a) they keep working hard/smart enough to keep the paper-value high, (b) they keep working long enough to cash in the paper-value to get real-value.

This is exactly what options are designed to do!

With regard to "brain drain", for a company like Google, it would have people champing at the bit to work there: so any lost talent is easily replacable with new hires, if they keep standards up in the hiring process. And, it's good to have fresh talent come in over time to keep revitalising the place.

Finally, as others have mentioned, many of these types of people actually like what they are doing. I can tell you that if I were a millionaire, I'd live a nice lifestyle, but I'd still be pottering around on code or doing something creatively interesting -- (a) because that's what I like to do, (b) I'm just not the type of person to laze around doing nothing.

There are _many_ examples of serial millionaries and creative types who do what they do because they love the creative elements.

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416860)

The fact that it takes a period of time for the employees to be able to cash out, and the stock may not be where it is now when they do so, is extremely important.

Is this supposed to be bad? (3, Funny)

melted (227442) | about 10 years ago | (#10416807)

I, for one, welcome our millionaire overlords. I wish more tech companies had folks who had enough money to retire, so that those who don't have enough money yet would be able to make a bit more and advance their careers a bit faster. Where I work, it's like a freakin' concrete wall up there. Folks who have been with the company are well put in their trenches and it's nearly impossible to get anywhere, because the "old boys club" is everywhere. I wish the stock price doubled and they took off. I'd be a happy camper then.

CASH OUT NOW ! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10416827)

Ha, they would be wise to cash out now. Google is just another company, and they can't ride a much higher wave. I worked at (unnamed major software company) pre and post IPO. The smart ones exercised their options as soon as legally possible. Guess what, the stock never went up to those IPO year numbers again. I saw lots of programmers that came in during year one for low salaries and big options get that cream. Even the shipping clerks had 20k or so of options. Besides, there are geniuses graduating from universities every year. It is foolish to think that google can't attract or afford new top level talent.

Thank you GOOGLE!!!!! (3, Insightful)

Proudrooster (580120) | about 10 years ago | (#10416852)

Thank you Google for showing us that one in a million company where stock options actually pay off ! Google and it's employees have achieved the American dream and should be proud. America is still the greatest country in the world. You can roll the dice, start a company, and sometimes even be successful. On the flip side, if you fail, America is still the land of opportunity. You can always start over.

America is still the land of hope and promise, even though our leaders are trying to crush the hopes and dreams of the American spirit with FEAR, UNCERTAINTY, and DOUBT! Thanks again GOOGLE, you are a bright ray of light peeking through the gloom.

Re:Thank you GOOGLE!!!!! (1)

heff (24452) | about 10 years ago | (#10416880)

good call dude. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Former chef to the Grateful Dead... (3, Funny)

mikael (484) | about 10 years ago | (#10416861)

which already include an in-house masseuse and free lunches prepared by the former chef to the Grateful Dead.

For a moment I thought that read "an in-house massage ... by the former chef to the Grateful Dead".

"And zeez is how weee tenderize zee meat before we apply zee hot sauce... bork! bork! bork!"

Now wonder there's so much outsourcing (1)

Gary Destruction (683101) | about 10 years ago | (#10416876)

Now wonder so many jobs are being outsourced overseas. Instead of making rich employees richer you can make poor employees comfortable and still save money.
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