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Google's Turn To Be The Villain

CmdrTaco posted about 9 years ago | from the only-a-matter-of-time dept.

Google 835

caesar79 writes "The New York Times has an article titled "Relax, Bill Gates; It's Google's Turn as the Villain" (also evil but at least free registration required) According to the article, the "go-getting" attitude of Google is coming across as arrogance to many people in the Valley. More importantly, it draws attention to the fact that Google has drained the market of talent, caused a 25% to 50% hike in salaries and made it difficult for startups to get funding."

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/. talks more about Google than Google does itself (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13390122)

$ curl -s slashdot.org | grep -ci "google"
7
$ curl -s google.com | grep -ci "google"
1
..nuff said.

In recent news... (4, Funny)

databyss (586137) | about 9 years ago | (#13390208)

Google has ordered it's PR staff to decline any interviews from /. editors...

Re:/. talks more about Google than Google does its (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13390265)

Wanna do it with news.google.com? Didn't think so.

Re:/. talks more about Google than Google does its (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13390270)

fuckedgoogle.com [fuckedgoogle.com]

Has interesting facts, e.g. that Larry Page alone made more money selling stock than Google has had revenue in its entire existence. This is where the funding goes.

Damn you Google! (5, Insightful)

MoxCamel (20484) | about 9 years ago | (#13390123)

Google has...caused a 25% to 50% hike in salaries and made it difficult for startups to get funding."

So, Google is a villain for improving the wages of technologists, and also retroactively (circa 2000) making it harder for startups to get funding?

<emote=plea style=Jon Stewart> Oh Google, why must you be so evil?<

Mox

Re:Damn you Google! (3, Funny)

databyss (586137) | about 9 years ago | (#13390186)

{emote=scream style=Kahn}Googleeeeeeeeeeeeeee!{/emote}

You know it was coming.

Btw, nice Stewart style there.

Re:Damn you Google! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13390203)

I didn't know it was coming. I _do_ know it wasn't funny.

You call yourself a geek? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13390323)

Kahn never screamed like that.

Re:Damn you Google! (4, Insightful)

mauriatm (531406) | about 9 years ago | (#13390207)

Disclaimer (I didn't read the article), but I imagine they refer to the inflated market value of a software engineer and the retention costs of good talent. (Which may or may not translate to added costs for the end user.) ... I do imagine that the best talent may not thrive in every aspect if compacted in only one company. I would think some competitive nature is required. People will still need to "break the mold" - even if that mold eventually becomes the Google way of doing things.

Re:Damn you Google! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13390310)

Oh yeah, prices of engineering talent being inflated to within an order of a magnitude of middle management has to be bad.

Re:Damn you Google! (5, Interesting)

grotgrot (451123) | about 9 years ago | (#13390219)

The irony is that Google pays below what other companies do! (Ask anyone who has been made an offer). The working conditions are what is so different, with many people willing to be paid lower in return for such good conditions.

The startups are offering worse working conditions and so they have to pay more to tempt people away.

Re:Damn you Google! (2, Interesting)

broward (416376) | about 9 years ago | (#13390313)

Google Evil Index...
a graphic description -

http://www.realmeme.com/Main/evilindex/index.jsp [realmeme.com]

Re:Damn you Google! (1)

toad3k (882007) | about 9 years ago | (#13390350)

You need to count the phrase 'don't be evil' as cool, and recalculate these results.

Re:Damn you Google! (1)

BitTwiddler35 (892005) | about 9 years ago | (#13390331)

Oh wait... are we saying that Google is just like any other company in that it needs to aggresively expand and attract great talent to make its shareholders happy? LOL - in a year Google will be as hated as Microsoft.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13390125)

fp!

yay. ..

25-50% hike in salary (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13390126)

Sure thats going to make your average coder hate google...

Re:25-50% hike in salary (3, Insightful)

StarOwl (131464) | about 9 years ago | (#13390336)

Sure thats going to make your average coder hate google...

I love the idea that talented people can make more money, especially in areas with ridiculously high costs of living.

However, consider the coder who comes up with an idea for the next killer app. If they can't get startup funding to hire a few extra sets of brains and typing-fingers domestically, what are their options? Seek assimilation by a corporation, or get in touch with the folks in Bangalore, it seems.

If the talent pool is drying up, be it from Google's quest for brainpower or from other reasons, then perhaps it's time to seek the means to increase the pool.

(Geeks ordered to reproduce; film at 11!)

Google isn't the Borg... (5, Funny)

QuantaStarFire (902219) | about 9 years ago | (#13390127)

Yet so driven has Google been in its pursuit of new markets that at least a few in Silicon Valley are using an epithet to taunt Google that people here once reserved for Microsoft: "The Borg," a reference to an army of creatures in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" that took over civilization after civilization with machinelike precision.

I disagree. I think Microsoft earned their title, and I doubt it's gonna go away. I'd like to think that the Google invasion is going over more like the story in Doom3:

You are too late...Google no longer needs Internet Explorer! The innovation you saw was only the FIRST WAVE! The Google Browser is capable of sending MILLIONS of our ads into your world!

Soon, the folks from Slashdot will be here, and with their computers, we will BRING THIS HELL TO EARTH!

Or something to that effect, anyways.

Re:Google isn't the Borg... (5, Funny)

gmletzkojr (768460) | about 9 years ago | (#13390238)

I think it may play out something more like this:

Us: What happened?
Us: Someone set up us the applications!
Google: Hello Gentlemen!
Google: All your searching are belong to us.
Google: You are on the way to destruction.!
Us: What you say?!
Google: You have no chance to survive make your time.!
Us: For great justice. !

Villainy will be temporary (3, Interesting)

nokilli (759129) | about 9 years ago | (#13390133)

For instance, everyone who identifies BillG as the wellspring of all evil forgets how scared we all were of IBM back in the day. Now IBM is seen with much favor in the community. It wouldn't be that way were it not for Microsoft.

So really, it isn't Google's turn to be villain, it's Microsoft's turn to be the good guys.

Hrm, did I really just say that?

--
You didn't know. [tinyurl.com]

Re:Villainy will be temporary (4, Funny)

Spetiam (671180) | about 9 years ago | (#13390192)

I for one, welcome our new borg overlord.

Wait a minute...

Re:Villainy will be temporary (1)

Marc Desrochers (606563) | about 9 years ago | (#13390231)

I don't think Google being evil makes Microsoft any better. There is room for more than 1 evil in this world. I still don't see Google as evil though, at least, not yet.

Re:Villainy will be temporary (5, Insightful)

interiot (50685) | about 9 years ago | (#13390246)

Wake me up when Google a) starts being remotely monopolistic, or b) drops their support for open source.

IBM is cool now because they're actively 1) paying for linux advertising (related to IBM, but still), 2) writing lots of Linux articles, 3) contributing to linux, etc etc.

Google Talk is cool because it uses an open, standardized protocol. You can't really go after Google under the Sherman Act for using the Jabber protocol.

It's still possible for Google's management to change, and for them to start leveraging their massive marketshare in a way that directly inhibits search engine competitors. Until they try something like this though, I'm going to sleep well.

(and note that MS is still, by far, the least likely to contribute to open source, or even seriously grok open standard protocols)

Re:Villainy will be temporary (1, Interesting)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | about 9 years ago | (#13390334)

Hmm.. Actually, Google is pretty close to having a monopoly on search engine services. Remember, you don't have to be the only provider to have a monopoly, you just have to weild "monopoly power", that is the ability to control the market, and I think Google is getting damn close to that.

As for "support for open source" wake when they have a Linux "Desktop Search", or Linux "google deskbar" or any of a number of other technologies they implement on Windows (and don't give source code away for). Yes, *USE* open source, and they occasional do something to give back, but this has been pretty pathetic so far, considering all the benefit they've gained from Open Source without having to release their changes.

In fact, one could say that google is violating the spirit of the GPL. They're "distributing" their software via a web server, but nobody gets to see the code behind the scenens, improve it, or fix bugs, or anything else.

Re:Villainy will be temporary (1)

mkcmkc (197982) | about 9 years ago | (#13390352)

Hrm, did I really just say that?

No, no you didn't.

So they are bad because... (5, Insightful)

justin12345 (846440) | about 9 years ago | (#13390135)

they hire a lot of people and pay them well?

Re:So they are bad because... (5, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | about 9 years ago | (#13390185)

From the article:

"I've definitely been picking up on the resentment," said Max Levchin, a founder of PayPal, the online payment service now owned by eBay. "They're a big company now, doing things people didn't expect them to do."

Obviously hoarding engineers and paying them well is something that the rest of the industry isn't doing so why shouldn't they resent Google?

Especially when Google releases well-received products that are "free".

Kinda ruins the business model for everyone else.

Re:So they are bad because... (5, Insightful)

David Horn (772985) | about 9 years ago | (#13390239)

And PayPal isn't evil?

Re:So they are bad because... (2, Funny)

QuantaStarFire (902219) | about 9 years ago | (#13390193)

Yes! Because as everybody knows, being paid peanuts is the right and moral thing to do!

Leave that "feeding your family" garbage at home and work for nothing, and know that you're doing the right thing!

Re:So they are bad because... (5, Insightful)

Dmala (752610) | about 9 years ago | (#13390214)

I've heard a lot of whining like this from the business community lately. I saw an article about Costco a while back, and their revolutionary practice of (gasp!) treating their employees like human beings. In the article, some fund manager was complaining that "it's almost better to be an employee than to be a stockholder." Unfortunately, they didn't ask him to elaborate on why this would be a bad thing.

Salaries bad for the employ? (4, Interesting)

PhYrE2k2 (806396) | about 9 years ago | (#13390136)

caused a 25% to 50% hike in salaries


Increased salaries is bad for business and the number of employ hired, but you can't quote a 25-50% hike in salaries as a bad thing... c'mon!

-M

Blah (5, Insightful)

databyss (586137) | about 9 years ago | (#13390138)

I think the complaints are mostly because google isn't the small underdog anymore. Nobody likes a leader.

"How dare google make better offers for top quality programmers! Who am I gonna hire at 10$ an hour with no overtime for 80 hours a week?!? Google is Evil!"

Re:Blah (5, Funny)

pdxmac (460696) | about 9 years ago | (#13390253)

"How dare google make better offers for top quality programmers! Who am I gonna hire at 10$ an hour with no overtime for 80 hours a week?!? Google is Evil!"

  I know Google is now competing with MSFT, YHOO, and AOL. But when did they take on EA?

Re:Blah (1)

QuantaStarFire (902219) | about 9 years ago | (#13390324)

That's coming when the next round of next-gen consoles makes their debut. I hear the Google console will demand that every launch title be integrated with the search engine for easy lookup of game walkthroughs and cheat codes, so it should make for some neat games in 2006.

Re:Blah (5, Funny)

Valiss (463641) | about 9 years ago | (#13390349)

"How dare google make better offers for top quality programmers! Who am I gonna hire at 10$ an hour with no overtime for 80 hours a week?!? Google is Evil!"

I didn't know my manager read slashdot!!

Google Talk- The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (-1, Offtopic)

L. VeGas (580015) | about 9 years ago | (#13390141)

A review of Google Talk I wrote that addresses the subject.
Google Talk Review [nedwolf.com]

Evil is as Evil does (5, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 9 years ago | (#13390145)

Come on, the only people that are thinking Google is evil are other companies that have to compete with them. Look at the oddidty of this paragraph:

Google is doing more damage to innovation in the Valley right now than Microsoft ever did," said Reid Hoffman, the founder of two Internet ventures, including LinkedIn, a business networking Web site popular among Silicon Valley's digerati. "It's largely that they're hiring up so many talented people, and the fact they're working on so many different things. It's harder for start-ups to do interesting stuff right now.

I see, they are damaging innovation through creating so many products.

What?

What he really means is "I can't get top engineers so I can't innovate as much". But that doesn't mean innovation is not occuring. And how are we to be sure innovation at that company would have been as skillfully executed or as good for the industry as it might be at Google.

People complain about Google "hoarding" good engineers. But programmers are not slaves, to be bought as sold as property. Each person makes a choice and it just so happens people want to work at Google. If other companies want to hire the same calibur of people they either need to figure out how to attract programmers OR get the heck out of Dodge and go to a market where obtaining labour might be easier.

If only the heads of whiny companies consider Google evil, then I would say that slightly improves Googles rep with me. So far Google's behaviour has been far better than most other companies - and after all, Evil is as Evil Does. As long as Google continues to compete through excellence then I have no issue with them.

Re:Evil is as Evil does (1)

pete6677 (681676) | about 9 years ago | (#13390286)

Sounds like somebody is pissed that his stupid brainchild isn't as successful as anything Google has. He could hire quality people and get venture capital, if only someone thought his ideas would actually go somewhere.

squishing innovation (1)

Dink Paisy (823325) | about 9 years ago | (#13390316)

I think it boils down to no one wanting to fund a Google competitor. Of course, who is competing with Google? If you are a startup with an idea, chances are there is a rumor that Google is working on the same idea. So you don't get money.

So the problem is partly stupidity--obviously, Google isn't working on all the stuff that they are rumored to be working on. Still, Google could help the problem by being a bit more communicative. They really cultivate the mysterious atmosphere right now.

I do agree that the salaries thing is just sour grapes. I'm on the other side of that one, and I don't mind one bit when salaries going up.

Re:Evil is as Evil does (1)

Pluvius (734915) | about 9 years ago | (#13390338)

Come on, the only people that are thinking Google is evil are other companies that have to compete with them.

Actually, there is a growing number of people who think that Google is evil, but it has nothing to do with how much it pays its employees.

http://www.mvps.org/dmcritchie/excel/betagroups.ht m [mvps.org]
http://www.somethingawful.com/articles.php?a=2858 [somethingawful.com]
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/05/09/google_to_ fix_blog_noise/ [theregister.co.uk]

That last one was from two years ago, and Google still hasn't fixed that problem.

Rob

I am a start up (1)

HG Slashdot (895363) | about 9 years ago | (#13390147)

And I don't even if Google didn't have so much money, how I will get enough money.

Re:I am a start up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13390250)

Yes, very good. Now, this time in English please.

Re:I am a start up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13390299)

And I don't even if Google didn't have so much money, how I will get enough money.
Money, Google has. Now, for you, money is needed not. Product, you need. Skill, you need. Luck, you need.

Then flow, money will.

- Yoda

Full Article (0, Redundant)

.Chndru (720709) | about 9 years ago | (#13390151)

August 24, 2005
Relax, Bill Gates; It's Google's Turn as the Villain
By GARY RIVLIN

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 23 - For years, Silicon Valley hungered for a company mighty enough to best Microsoft. Now it has one such contender: the phenomenally successful Google.

But instead of embracing Google as one of their own, many in Silicon Valley are skittish about its size and power. They fret that the very strengths that made Google a search-engine phenomenon are distancing it from the entrepreneurial culture that produced it - and even transforming it into a threat.

A year after the company went public, those inside Google are learning the hard way what it means to be the top dog inside a culture accustomed to pulling for the underdog. And they are facing a hometown crowd that generally rebels against anything that smacks of corporate behavior.

Nowadays, when venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and technologists gather in Silicon Valley, they often find themselves grousing about Google, complaining about everything from a hoarding of top engineers to its treatment of partners and potential partners. The word arrogant is frequently used.

The news last week that Google plans to sell an additional 14 million shares of stock, adding $4 billion to its current cash reserves of $3 billion, will only provide more reasons to gripe.

"I've definitely been picking up on the resentment," said Max Levchin, a founder of PayPal, the online payment service now owned by eBay. "They're a big company now, doing things people didn't expect them to do."

Mr. Levchin, who last year founded a multimedia company in San Francisco called Slide, said Google "still has a long wick of good will to burn off," but he added, "I'm surprised at how fast the company's reputation is changing."

It was not that long ago that Google reigned here as the upstart computer company that could do no wrong. Now some working in the technology field are starting to draw comparisons between Google and Microsoft, the company in Redmond, Wash., that Silicon Valley loves most to hate.

Bill Gates certainly sees similarities between Google and his own company. This spring, in an interview with Fortune, Mr. Gates, Microsoft's chairman, said that Google was "more like us than anyone else we have ever competed with."

Google's success has already spurred Microsoft to develop its own Internet search engine (a project code-named Underdog), but Google has legions of engineers banging away on a range of projects of its own that, if successful, could dislodge Microsoft from the pre-eminent spot it has enjoyed since the early 1980's.

Of course, Silicon Valley has had past pretenders to the throne. Netscape, which went public 10 years ago this month, and its Web browser, Navigator, were supposed to fell Microsoft - but it is Netscape that is no longer in business. And while Google is riding high, those closely following the company caution that it is hardly invincible; an inflated stock price, a desire to compete in too many sectors simultaneously or simple hubris might cause it to stumble, they say. Even Microsoft, after all, has had legal troubles.

Still, similarities between Google and Microsoft are evident to local entrepreneurs including Steven I. Lurie, who worked at Microsoft between 1993 and 1999 but now lives in San Francisco, and Joe Kraus, a founder of the 1990's search firm Excite.

"There's that same 'think big' attitude about markets and opportunities," said Mr. Lurie, who has visited the Google campus in Mountain View many times to see friends who work there. "Maybe you can call it arrogance, but there's that same sense that they can do anything and get into any area and dominate."

To place Google in context, Mr. Kraus offered a brief history lesson. In the 1990's, he said, I.B.M. was widely perceived in Silicon Valley as a "gentle giant" that was easy to partner with while Microsoft was perceived as an "extraordinarily fearsome, competitive company wanting to be in as many businesses as possible and with the engineering talent capable of implementing effectively anything."

Now, in the view of Mr. Kraus, "Microsoft is becoming I.B.M. and Google is becoming Microsoft." Mr. Kraus is the chief executive and a founder of JotSpot, a Silicon Valley start-up hoping to sell blogging and other self-publishing tools to corporations.

Just as Microsoft has been seen over the years as an aggressive, deep-pocketed competitor for talent, Internet start-ups in Silicon Valley complain that virtually every time they try to recruit a well-regarded computer programmer, that person is already contemplating an offer from Google.

"Google is doing more damage to innovation in the Valley right now than Microsoft ever did," said Reid Hoffman, the founder of two Internet ventures, including LinkedIn, a business networking Web site popular among Silicon Valley's digerati. "It's largely that they're hiring up so many talented people, and the fact they're working on so many different things. It's harder for start-ups to do interesting stuff right now."

Google, Mr. Hoffman said, has caused "across the board a 25 to 50 percent salary inflation for engineers in Silicon Valley" - or at least those in a position to weigh competing offers. A sought-after computer programmer can now expect to make more than $150,000 a year.

David C. Drummond, vice president for corporate development at Google, acknowledged that the company was "very competitive" in its pursuit of talent, but added: "We're very sensitive to how everybody is perceiving us. We think the Silicon Valley ecosystem is critical for Google's success."

Google is also making it more difficult for some start-ups to raise funds. In the second half of the 1990's, entrepreneurs frequently complained that the specter of Microsoft hung over their every conversation with venture capitalists. Today, they say the same about Google.

"When I meet with venture capitalists, or if I'm engaged in a conversation about going into partnership with someone, inevitably the question is, 'Why couldn't Google do what you're doing?' " said Craig Donato, the founder and chief executive of Oodle, a site for searching online classified listings more quickly.

"The answer is, 'They could, and they're probably thinking about it, but they can't do everything and do it well,' " Mr. Donato said. "Or at least I'm hoping they can't."

Google has already added free e-mail, mapping, news aggregation and digital-photo management to its offerings, bringing it into competition in each case with two or more rivals. On Wednesday, it will announce plans for an instant-messaging system. And its plans for a new stock issue are fueling speculation that it is preparing to enter any number of other markets, from services for mobile phone users to an online payment service that would compete with PayPal.

Add to that list an Internet-based phone system and several products that would be directly aimed at Microsoft, including a Google browser and a software offering that would compete with Microsoft Office.

"If there's a perception that we're exploring lots of different areas, some of which might not be directly related to our core area of search, that's true," said Mr. Drummond, the Google vice president. "It's part of our DNA to be always innovating and exploring lots of different areas."

Yet so driven has Google been in its pursuit of new markets that at least a few in Silicon Valley are using an epithet to taunt Google that people here once reserved for Microsoft: "The Borg," a reference to an army of creatures in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" that took over civilization after civilization with machinelike precision.

Perhaps an anti-Google reaction was to be expected, given the glowing press the company has enjoyed for several years. Or maybe the carping and complaining is the inevitable reaction to a company so successful that it cannot help stomping on toes, even if accidentally.

"Hubris is an issue at every one of these Silicon Valley companies that are successful," said Peter Thiel, a founder of PayPal who has invested in roughly 15 Internet start-ups in recent years. "I don't know if it's any worse at Google than it's been at other highly successful technology companies."

Aggressiveness is another signal trait among successful companies like Google - something those in parts of the media world are starting to learn.

Google recently announced that it would not talk to any reporter from CNETNews.com, a technology news Web site, until July 2006, after a reporter for the site wrote an article raising privacy questions about the information Google collects about individuals.

The company also provoked the ire of many within the blogging world - not to mention snarky comments in Silicon Valley from those thinking Google was behaving like an old-line company that doesn't get it - when earlier this year it fired a new employee who had joked online that the free meals, the on-site gym and all the other perks were a clever ploy to keep people at their desks longer.

"Google is at that inflection point where it's starting to act like an establishment company, and Silicon Valley is a rebel culture," said Gautam Godhwani, a founder and chief executive at Simply Hired, an online employment site.

Microsoft, of course, has its hold on the Windows world - and a market capitalization almost four times Google's. By contrast, switching to a new search engine is as easy as calling up another Web page - if a new company is able to do to Google what Google did to some of the earliest leaders of search, including AltaVista and Excite.

For the moment, at least, Google is aiming for that most coveted position in technology: a platform that, like Microsoft's operating system, is so popular that outside software developers write programs, and Web developers build new Google-related services, that render the Google home page indispensable to the personal computer ecosystem.

"In the day, you'd hear that Microsoft was the evil empire, especially in Silicon Valley," said Brian Lent, the president of Medio Systems, a start-up in Seattle working on mobile-phone-based search. "Google is the new evil empire, because they're in such a powerful position in terms of control. They have potential monopolistic control over access to information."

Mr. Lent, who worked closely with Google's founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, when all three were Ph.D. students at Stanford University, helped introduce Mr. Brin and Mr. Page to one of the company's earliest investors.

"I like and respect the Google guys," Mr. Lent said, "but let's just say that their ultimate aim seems to me to be, 'One Google under Google, for which it stands.' "

In the words of the WOW community (1)

kerobaros (683745) | about 9 years ago | (#13390154)

CMN.

To read this story without registering... (5, Funny)

AndreyF (701606) | about 9 years ago | (#13390158)

...you type the URL into Google. Irony at it's best. :)

Irony? (4, Funny)

sbowles (602816) | about 9 years ago | (#13390332)

but I thought irony was like rain on your wedding day?

Higher Salaries? (1)

bmetzler (12546) | about 9 years ago | (#13390167)

caused a 25% to 50% hike in salaries

Isn't that supposed to be a good thing?

-Brent

Re:Higher Salaries? (-1)

minus_273 (174041) | about 9 years ago | (#13390226)

um no. we are talking about a corporation paying phds. now, if it were real workers, that would be a good thing. that money could be better spent raising the wages of low income workers or investing it in the community. instead of spending it on people doing tech research which really benefits the elite who use the internet, google's profits should be redistributed to unemployed. this would follow their motto of "do no evil" and would fit the global trends for the 21st century.
  this is just more evidence of the corporate control of our lives in bush's america.

Re:Higher Salaries? (5, Insightful)

Mostly a lurker (634878) | about 9 years ago | (#13390271)

caused a 25% to 50% hike in salaries

Isn't that supposed to be a good thing?

In corporate America, only top executives are supposed to receive good remuneration. By offering good salaries to regular employees, Google is threatening the whole system of worker exploitation that makes American business the envy of the world.

ironic (4, Interesting)

museumpeace (735109) | about 9 years ago | (#13390168)

that a wildly successful software company that only went public a year or so ago is scaring venture $ away from start-ups...what the heck was Google until 2 years ago if not a start-up?

Yeah right... (5, Funny)

eno2001 (527078) | about 9 years ago | (#13390169)

...because we can't let the worthless peons below "suit" level make more money, god forbid. Sorry, but coders do the REAL work(tm) and should be making at least 75-90% of what execs currently do. Whereas execs should be making about 60-75% of their current pay.

Re:Yeah right... (1)

piecewise (169377) | about 9 years ago | (#13390245)

Hm. A should make 75% of B, but then B should be cut 25%.

So you want to cut the pay of programmers? You're despicable! :-D

Also, compared to other people in our society who do "REAL work" - programmers are doing just fine for now.

Re:Yeah right... (1)

SnailNobra (903090) | about 9 years ago | (#13390296)

Coders may do the real work, but I would never trade positions with my manager. That has got to be the single worst spot a person could ever be in. Now as far as CEOs go...

Re:Yeah right... (1)

djSpinMonkey (816614) | about 9 years ago | (#13390335)

Whereas execs should be making about 60-75% of their current pay.

You left out the decimal point.

would not have believed it (1)

Fishstick (150821) | about 9 years ago | (#13390171)

but the internet never lies [logogle.com]

* with my apologies if this joke has already run its course, just stumbled across it for the first time today

Industry whiners go "WAHHHHHH....." (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | about 9 years ago | (#13390178)

I personally get sick of hearing industry whiners bitch about tech employees being paid what they are worth. Guess what, the industry has been typically underpaying by 25% over the past few years. Google has been simply offering competitive wages to attract the caliber of workers they desire.

and the B.S. about it hurting startups is insane. No startups worth a damn started by hiring expensive people... you do not create a business by spending money like mad, that is something everyone learned from the 90's. Every sucessful startup started with self made people with others they knew or could talk into starting a business with them.

Industry vs Google (2, Insightful)

nuggz (69912) | about 9 years ago | (#13390304)

I don't think they were underpaid by the industry.

I just think that these people are worth 25% more to google than they were to other companies.

If you work for my company you will make me $100k, I might say it is worthwhile for me to pay you $75k.
However if a competator will make $150k from you, he could quite rightly pay you $110k.

I wasn't underpaying you, the job market has just changed. This is competition, and it's a step up.

Basically the market gets 50% more value from the same resource (you). In the economics this is productivity improvement.

Sorry to say it (0)

BillsPetMonkey (654200) | about 9 years ago | (#13390181)

For quite some time, it was only the Google fanboys here (and there are quite a few) who were under any illusions about Google Incorporated.

Microsoft was once A Good Company.

Re:Sorry to say it (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 9 years ago | (#13390291)

For quite some time, it was only the Google fanboys here (and there are quite a few) who were under any illusions about Google Incorporated.

Uh, yeah. Did you read the story? It's not that Google is outright EVIL(TM), it's that the other tech corporations think Google is EVIL(TM) because Google is bigger and more powerful. Techies still love Google, because they raise the general salary and promote good working conditions.

Microsoft was once A Good Company.

No, Microsoft was once an upstart. i.e. "The Underdog." They were never a "good" company. Their primary product (Microsoft BASIC) was a complete ripoff of University code. That started a trend in Microsoft history where every product was either a stolen or bought-out design. (Which isn't to say that Microsoft employees don't work hard. It's just that Microsoft as a corporation doesn't have an honest or original bone in its metaphorical body.)

Re:Sorry to say it (1)

geekwithsoul (860466) | about 9 years ago | (#13390300)

Microsoft was NEVER a good company. They have always been willing to do whatever they needed to make short term gains.

Re:Sorry to say it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13390307)

No it was not!!! The ENTIRE HISTORY of microsoft is littered with poor quality products and stinky business deals.

Heh. (1)

Renraku (518261) | about 9 years ago | (#13390188)

Google takes a lot of pride in what they do. If people are complaining that they can't compete, maybe they should stop playing Google's game.

I mean, who's stupid enough to start a search engine and try to lure people to theirs whenever Google's is both established, has years of talent behind it, and millions in funding and then complain that they can't compete?

I mean it would be like me trying to write an OS for x86 hardware right now and complaining that Microsoft is making life difficult because no one will pay me for it or invest in me.

NYT Login/Pass (1, Informative)

remove office (871398) | about 9 years ago | (#13390189)

clicky [bugmenot.com]

Google is evil to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13390190)

... corporations!

If they were evil to their "customers" it wouldn't be news!

Google Vs. Microsoft - No Bloody Battle Here. (4, Insightful)

wackysootroom (243310) | about 9 years ago | (#13390194)

It's not the attitude of Microsoft that makes them evil, it's the business practices. Google does not do the same thing as MS when it comes to business.

The attitude of Google reminds me a lot of the early days of Apple Computer. Out to win big - yes, but villian - no. At least not yet.

PR at it's finest (5, Interesting)

Psionicist (561330) | about 9 years ago | (#13390197)


Paul Graham has an essay about this: The Submarine [paulgraham.com] .

"Suits make a corporate comeback," says the New York Times. Why does this sound familiar? Maybe because the suit was also back in February, September 2004, June 2004, March 2004, September 2003, November 2002, April 2002, and February 2002.

Why do the media keep running stories saying suits are back? Because PR firms tell them to. One of the most surprising things I discovered during my brief business career was the existence of the PR industry, lurking like a huge, quiet submarine beneath the news. Of the stories you read in traditional media that aren't about politics, crimes, or disasters, more than half probably come from PR firms.


We have seen this before with anti-Linux campaigns. Nothing new.

I miss the recession (1)

JustASlashDotGuy (905444) | about 9 years ago | (#13390199)

" it draws attention to the fact that Google has drained the market of talent, caused a 25% to 50% hike in salaries and made it difficult for startups to get funding."" I miss the recession when there were plenty of people out of work and salaries were dropping. Those the good 'ol says. Damn you Google.. and Microsoft! We should start a petition urging MS and Google to close up shop forever. Then.. there will be lots of people available for hire and willing to work for peanuts. I like peanuts.

sweet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13390206)

MS can't compete, so they buy some BS news that says "google is evil". not that google is a saint or anything, but competitors whining is just a sign of desperation.

You have the money, you call the shots (1)

ReidMaynard (161608) | about 9 years ago | (#13390209)

wow, this IS news

NYT reg bypass (4, Funny)

panxerox (575545) | about 9 years ago | (#13390211)

1. Copy story location.
2. Paste into google search
3. click on link that appears on the google search page.
4. ???
5. Profit

Better story link? (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | about 9 years ago | (#13390212)

Is a better link to the story available? The NYT web site goes into a redirection loop if you have cookies disabled or are behind a firewall that stops cookies.

Econominc Dawianism at Work! (5, Insightful)

geekwithsoul (860466) | about 9 years ago | (#13390216)

Compete or die!

The difference between how this applies to Microsoft and Google is in the end products and services each produces. Google's place in the market is the result of quality applications, a building of a trust relationship with its users, and a eye towards putting out the best software and services it can.

Microsoft on the other hand owes its place in the market to luck, the laissez-faire attitude of govt. during the early days of its development, and a focus on corporate marketing double-speak that focuses on the "message" rather than the quality of their products.

Google may be evolving into a corporate giant, but that doesn't equate with them being evil. They are far more similar to early Apple, but with better leadership.

Re:Econominc Dawianism at Work! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13390276)

It's "Darwinism".

Boo, fucking, hoo (4, Insightful)

melted (227442) | about 9 years ago | (#13390217)

As an engineer, I want more companies to be evil like that. I wouldn't mind a 25% raise and working environment that doesn't get in the way of what I'm capable of.

Choicest quote (5, Funny)

snowwrestler (896305) | about 9 years ago | (#13390218)

"When I meet with venture capitalists, or if I'm engaged in a conversation about going into partnership with someone, inevitably the question is, 'Why couldn't Google do what you're doing?' " said Craig Donato, the founder and chief executive of Oodle, a site for searching online classified listings more quickly.

Geez, I wonder why the VC's always think of Google during our presentation for a search company named Oodle??

Terrorists! (3, Funny)

lo_fye (303245) | about 9 years ago | (#13390223)

Google is a terrorist organization. Their plot is to systematically (subversively) destroy the IT Sector by employing all the best talent. They'll have a *monopoly* on intellect! You want smarts? You gotta pay da Google. You'll never be able to pry the Scientists from their clutches... They hypnotically keep them there by way of shiny trinkets, coin, and free gourmet meals... No one can escape. We're all going to have dumb workers. We'll never succeed. Google must be stopped! They hate our freedom!

So let's see here... (2, Interesting)

rewt66 (738525) | about 9 years ago | (#13390224)

Google is evil because it hires a lot of people for good money, attracts investment, and is successful.

Why do we consider Microsoft evil? Is it equivalent to Google's evil? Well, no, it isn't. Stealing ideas, actively trying to destroy competition, lying in court, producing half-working crap and using a monopoly to force it down everybody's throat... is that morally equivalent to what Google is doing?

Didn't think so.

Since when... (4, Insightful)

ChrisF79 (829953) | about 9 years ago | (#13390225)

Since when does success = villain?

It is pretty frustrating to see people constantly complain about large, successful companies. What the article fails to mention is that Google likely hires the best of the best. So I would guess that the talent level of the employees dictates the pay, instead of the company name dictating the pay. Make sense?

Google to Monopolize Web Applications? (5, Insightful)

StreetFire.net (850652) | about 9 years ago | (#13390236)

The issue here in my opinion, is that Google is leveraging it's advertising revenue model and it's vast economies of scale in hosting costs to corner the web application market. This is the play that Microsoft should fear and I think that has allready been adressed.

The problem is that their efforts do stiffle web entrepenuers who are trying to break into new areas such as hosted groupeware for email, file, photo and video sharing etc. (I know this from personal experience). Keep in mind that not all web application developers are looking for a "good Salary" from a benign giant like Google. Some of us actually want to be masters of our fate and make a living on our own. But now the real fear is "Will Google invade my market and make a free version of my Widget?"

That's becoming more real every day. I can't buy bandwidth at the same cost as Google, and I can't leverage massive Advertising revenues to give away my products for free either.

"Do no evil" doesn't mean "don't crush small start-ups".

-Adam

Google Rules (2, Insightful)

Shroud (909911) | about 9 years ago | (#13390244)

So, people are hating Google because they are too good? Forget that, you have to give props and deal with it. If you can't hire someone because Google is offering something better that you simply can't match, then TOUGH! Deal with it and stop whinning.

I'm mad at google too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13390251)

I'm mad at google too for raising my salary by 25%.

Google trying to link us all by any means.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13390260)

Ok, I have a small complaint about Google. Nice company and all so far. They have been there for us to combat the "evil corporations" etc. Ok fine. But check this out.

I just checked the link that takes you to their IM page (talk beta). The catch? You must have a gmail account. My problem with this? Gmail is invite only, and as a result, gmail is creating a chain of trust between people on the net. No offence, but why is google trying to build a web of trust list between me and my friends? I had a friend try give me a gmail account once, but do you honestly think that I want to be associated in any way with that person now? And now you want me to give voice samples from myself to google so that they can store more about me and my chain of friends in a db for all of eternity? No thanks. Ill pass.

CNet News link to story no registration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13390269)

right here [com.com] .

Of course they're villains!!! (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | about 9 years ago | (#13390272)

Of course they're villains if they (gasp!) pay their people more than the "norm"! Just like Henry Ford was a villain when he doubled salaries! And just like those industrialists who pushed against children labour so they would not have to compete against the children cheap labour!

It's the guys with the dough that call the shots, and when you directly threaten the dough inflow or increase the dough outflow, you're a villain!

When evil is good -- life in a dynamic economy (4, Interesting)

G4from128k (686170) | about 9 years ago | (#13390274)

If Google is draining talent, forcing pay raises and making it hard for start-ups, then it only means that the system is working. Money (and people) go where they are appreciated in a free, capitalist economy. If the start-ups have a better (more valuable) idea than Google's then they should be able to convince both prospective employees and VCs that they start-up is worth it.

Although economies aren't zero-sum games (many activities do grow the pie, or raise the tide that floats all boats), some aspects do have a win-lose component to them. Successful companies can afford (and should afford) to pay their workers more than unsuccessful ones. This means that successful companies will inevitably harm less successful companies by "draining" the labor pool and seem "evil."

If Google is evil it is because change is evil (to some) and because competition (for money, workers, customers, etc.) can be evil -- at least in the eyes of the less successful.

Disclaimer: I'm not a Google shareholder (their stock seems very overpriced relative to the long-term risks of Google's business model and the high expected earning built into the current stock price), but they do seem to be very successful.

Re:When evil is good -- life in a dynamic economy (1)

lems1 (163074) | about 9 years ago | (#13390302)

Ah, i couldn't have said it better. Very good stuff.

So ... Don't be Evil as a business model is Evil?? (1)

Aging_Newbie (16932) | about 9 years ago | (#13390288)

Maybe trying not to do evil is a threat to all of those others who innovate progressive perfection of evil.

Paying the best what they are worth to tackle interesting and important problems is evil?

Let's just hope that we are saved from that evil scourge of Google by other companies who compete with them by emulating themn.

Look at all the free stuff! (1)

keilinw (663210) | about 9 years ago | (#13390290)

OK... so perusing some of the replies here I have to agree with those that think that Google is GOOD. Heck... if you've got the talent then you DESERVE to get paid well and work for an innovative company. Its not Google's fault that there are a lack of innovative competitors. On a second and more interesting note, look at all the stuff Google has brought us. Yes, it might bring more ads to your doorstep (or browser or whatever), but that is the price you pay. (unlike Cable TV where you pay for the service and still have to watch commercials), Google gives us Google Earth, maps.google.com, an excellent search enginge, Picassa, etc.... I won't mention too much about what I think about Google Desktop Search though.... after it took snapshots of credit card numbers I reformatted my machine... so maybe they are partially evil. Anyway, for the most part, I Like Google.....every company has its pros and its cons....What do you think?

Google 'owns' too much information (4, Interesting)

marlinSpike (894812) | about 9 years ago | (#13390293)

Google becomes ubiquitous is a good thing, it seems, for consumers. However, I think there's a real danger that it has too much information that can be construed as personal and valuable on millions of individuals. While I appreciate the "do no evil" mentality that has diven Google so far, the lure of "evil" and better returns are what drive shareholders, and Google after all, is a public company. On another note, one has to be amazed at the way in which Google's unique take on technology and on familar things like web search (Google Suggest), GMail, Google Talk and Google Earth, have allowed it to quickly supplant the leaders in every sphere it steps into. It's quite remarkable, and telling of the culture that thrives in the company. I fear however, that after conquering just about every communication medium (IM, Email, Web Search, VoIP, and rumor has it, free WiFi), stepping out of Google will be as hard as it is to step away from Micro$oft. What is it they say -- too much of something good can't be too good for you after all. In this case, a ubiquitous publicly traded company that features in so many forms of communication exchange, can't possibly resist the temptation to exploit that monopoly... or can it?

Draining Talent?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13390294)

We still have record tech unemployment in the Valley. Draining talent? WTF? What a bunch of bull. Sounds like some other company is marketing about bunch of agitprop. Which could it be?

Don't sign up for talk.google.com ! (1)

saskboy (600063) | about 9 years ago | (#13390297)

Google will read your brain, and thus with the combined power of maps.google.com and news.google.com with talk.google.com and moon.google.com there will be no place left on earth to hide!

They are even working on underthesea.google.com for people who think it's still safe to hide UNDER THE SEA!

Business and Academia (4, Insightful)

zoomba (227393) | about 9 years ago | (#13390303)

Silicon Valley is a lot like a University campus. A lot of really smart people with a ton of brilliant ideas on how to make the world better, but often lacking in the common sense or business saavy to translate the idea into something real.

Companies in Silicon Valley are a dime a dozen anymore. There's always some kid sitting in an apartment dreaming up The Next Big Thing. Some of them do come up with great stuff, but for whatever reason they just never get to the point where they're selling or distributing what they dreamed up. Those that do often do it on a limited basis because they lack the resources to go bigger. Those who really are onto something neat get bought out.

Google is hated by these guys now for the same reason academics look down their noses at their equivalents in the professional world. Because Google successful in ways others could only dream of. It's jealousy really. They claim it's because Google has lost its small-company spirit, that it's no longer doing what they do for the pure reasons of doing "cool" stuff or whatever. Google has taken the spirit and the drive of so many startups and they actually went somewhere with it.

We tend to hate, or at least target, those who do better than us.

Fertility rates (0, Offtopic)

Baldrson (78598) | about 9 years ago | (#13390308)

When the fertility rate of US citizen techs matches the world average -- preferably the average of Indian techs -- then the NYT can start complaining about the status of techs. If you take sociosexual status from someone you have to give them money to compensate or you lose your technology. That's what's been happening to the US and the NY culture, as represented by the NYT's bias is partly to blame.

Right... (3, Insightful)

xenomouse (904937) | about 9 years ago | (#13390315)

To place Google in context, Mr. Kraus offered a brief history lesson. In the 1990's, he said, I.B.M. was widely perceived in Silicon Valley as a "gentle giant" that was easy to partner with while Microsoft was perceived as an "extraordinarily fearsome, competitive company wanting to be in as many businesses as possible and with the engineering talent capable of implementing effectively anything."

Now, in the view of Mr. Kraus, "Microsoft is becoming I.B.M. and Google is becoming Microsoft." Mr. Kraus is the chief executive and a founder of JotSpot, a Silicon Valley start-up hoping to sell blogging and other self-publishing tools to corporations.


Step 1: Create start-up to compete against Google.
Step 2: Compare Google to MicroSoft in NYT.
Step 3: ???
Step 4: Keep fingers crossed?

"Google is doing more damage to innovation in the Valley right now than Microsoft ever did," said Reid Hoffman, the founder of two Internet ventures, including LinkedIn, a business networking Web site popular among Silicon Valley's digerati. "It's largely that they're hiring up so many talented people, and the fact they're working on so many different things. It's harder for start-ups to do interesting stuff right now."

"When I meet with venture capitalists, or if I'm engaged in a conversation about going into partnership with someone, inevitably the question is, 'Why couldn't Google do what you're doing?' " said Craig Donato, the founder and chief executive of Oodle, a site for searching online classified listings more quickly.

"The answer is, 'They could, and they're probably thinking about it, but they can't do everything and do it well,' " Mr. Donato said. "Or at least I'm hoping they can't."


So, Google is evil and is hurting innovation because they have so many smart people working on so many projects that there's nothing else to work on?

It sounds more like Google is raising the bar rather than killing innovation. The bubble burst, ladies and gentlemen. You can't get new money for old ideas anymore. Get over it.

Nope doesn't work. (1)

hungrygrue (872970) | about 9 years ago | (#13390321)

Google has produced an effecient way of searching for information on web pages, not an insecure and poorly designed operating system that refuses to go away. Further, Google actually *did* become sucessful based on quality and innovation, whereas msft was essentially handed a monopoly when they purchased Q-Dos and licensed it to IBM. Yes, Google is big and powerful, but so far they have stuck to the "don't be evil" idea... A situation which can always change, but for the moment there is no comparison between Google and Microsoft.

Google is the next Microsoft? No way. (1)

AndreyF (701606) | about 9 years ago | (#13390327)

It may be 20/20 hindsight, but the ethical problems Microsoft has should have been apparent by its early business practices, or even after Bill Gates' famous letter to hobbyists. Google, on the other hand, seems to have their heads on much straighter when it comes to software, business, and motivational ethics. From the Google Talk FAQ:

We believe that you should have a choice in how you communicate with your friends, that you shouldn't have to use one service because that's where you keep your contacts and other information. We launched free auto-forwarding and POP access for Gmail so our users could take their messages with them and use any service they want, and we're committed to upholding this idea of user choice for Google Talk as well. Today, with instant communications, you can't talk to your contacts or buddies in one service while using another service. We hope to change that. We want to work with other willing service providers to enable their users to communicate directly with Google Talk users. And while we hope many people will use and like the Google Talk client, we're committed to making it as easy as possible for you to communicate with your friends using the client that you want--even if it doesn't happen to be ours. That's why we're also supporting open standards and the same protocol that clients such as Trillian, GAIM and iChat do.

blog.. (1)

deego (587575) | about 9 years ago | (#13390328)

From the article:

> [Earlir this year,] Google fired a new employee who had joked online that the free meals, the on-site gym and all the other perks were a clever ploy to keep people at their desks longer.

That one does seem over-the-top to me...

Google doesn't want it all, MS does (1)

Proudrooster (580120) | about 9 years ago | (#13390341)

Google doesn't want to control the world, they just want a large specialized niche. Microsoft on the other hand will crush anyone who stands in the way between them and market share expansion.

I think Google is still a free-wheeling fun place to work where MS is starting to lose it's shine as the internal bureacracy stifles innovation. MS has been playing the "me too" game for years. Google is just the latest company to show MS "nothing but taillights" and they are crying that Google is stealing all the talent. Boo Hoo! MS has had a giant talent pool since the late 90's and what have they done with it? Oh yeah, I remember now Longhorn and ".NET" ...

Hopefully one day, MS will just accept their place in life as a commodity i.e. (the maker of Solitare and the Word Processor) and just shut the h*ll-up. If MS isn't going to innovate, quit whining. There are so many simple things that MS could do to improve to computing universe and add some real value but instead all they do is whine, patent, and sue. I would post the top-10 list of how MS could improve the computing universe, but it is patent pending. However, I would be willing to sell it to their consultants :) I actually have the next innovation that would give MS tons of new market share and possibly even outsell iPod. However, we will have to wait for Apple to bring it to us, even though MS already has the lead.

Google is not evil and the glory days of MS are long gone.

biznatC4 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13390346)

despite the Are tied up iqn o8 make loud noises
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