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The Final Days of Google

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the lots-of-really-smart-termites dept.

Google 177

theodp writes "Robert X. Cringely speculates about The Final Days of Google, making a compelling case that when the end comes, it is going to be an inside job. To find the founders of a Google-beating start-up, Cringely suggests looking no further than the thousands of entrepreneurial geniuses currently working for Google, who will inevitably be driven to leave the company to realize the dreams of their rejected ideas. 'The real money is in taking existing ideas and twisting the idea just far enough to make it work in a fantastic new way. Think Google vs. AltaVista; Apple vs. all previously existing laptops and mp3 players; YouTube vs. all previously existing video sites, etc. In addition to ideas, you need creativity, resources, connections, and luck -- none of which appear to be in short supply among Google worker bees. Much of the next influx of ideas to Sand Hill Road will come not just from former Google employees, but also from groups of former Google employees who are planning their future companies over free sushi and Diet Coke late at night in Google cafeterias.'"

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Free Sushi! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19281445)

Free sushi?!?!!
I want to work for google :)

So..... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19281451)

An innovative startup made of ex-google staffers will kill google?

But Google wasn't the end of MS, MS wasn't the end of IBM, the markets big. A new player doesn't mean the 'end' of old players.

Re:So..... (4, Insightful)

Aliriza (1094599) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281607)

The former employes of real big firms usually can not build firms that are as strong as their old firms.Cause they are born into the empire , but small firms are not empires and if you act you are an empire you only fall down.

Re:So..... (2, Insightful)

yurnotsoeviltwin (891389) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282889)

Not to mention that the primary hope and dream of most startups these days is - you guessed it - be be bought by Google. I don't see why most Google employees would WANT to take out the empire when it's far easier and almost definitely more profitable to just work for it.

Re:So..... (2, Insightful)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283151)

People are looking to making the quick $$$. The market doesn't have any real competitors anymore. It's so sad to see capitalism reach this point really. What if youtube did not get bought out, and it had a 2nd or 3rd product. It leaves you wondering.

Re:So..... (5, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282049)

Cringely is starting to lose it, I think. Too much time out on the edge can make you start to see things and hear voices.

Seriously, there's a lot of pressure on writers like Cringely to come up with something "counter-intuitive", "insightful", and "outside the box" and "forward thinking" to the point where, faced with a deadline or empty blog post, they throw caution to the wind and blurt out some shit that sounds smart, but if you scratch the surface is nonsense.

TFA is one of those.

Re:So..... (4, Funny)

phantomflanflinger (832614) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282145)

Google - remember that? Those were the days. No wonder they went the way of all the dotcom companies, what with all the billions of dollars they made.

Note to self: must cut down on LSD-flavoured potato chips.

Here [cracked.com] 's Cringely telling it like it is. Amen to him.

Re:So..... (2, Funny)

westyx (95706) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283073)

Lose it? Cringely has been trolling for years, and slashdot and the internet just keep lapping it up.

Re:So..... (2, Interesting)

mrand (147739) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282181)

An innovative startup made of ex-google staffers will kill google?
Um, no. The title is a eye-grabber, not the conclusion. He isn't talking about the complete death of Google - he is talking about "the next big thing", whatever that is. Of course, it could just as easily come from someone outside Google. Maybe they use investor money that ultimately came from one of the early employees Google that retired at age 33. Or not.

But Google wasn't the end of MS, MS wasn't the end of IBM, the markets big. A new player doesn't mean the 'end' of old players.
Noone said it does.

      Marc

Easier to Kill Intel or Microsoft than Google (3, Interesting)

MOBE2001 (263700) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282275)

But Google wasn't the end of MS, MS wasn't the end of IBM, the markets big. A new player doesn't mean the 'end' of old players.

Google can quickly change to accomodate any revolutionary new idea in the computer industry. Their business model is not tied to how computers work. If somebody found a new way to make computers and systems that made the old way obsolete, Google would just switch to the new way. By contrast, companies like Microsoft, Intel, AMD, Sun, Apple and others are married to the status quo. And if you think that the computer industry is not ripe for a revolution, think again. The algorithmic model is as old as Babbage and Lady Ada, that's 150 years old! We have a big problem called unreliability that has put an upper limit on the complexity of our systems and kept software development costs at a high level. The old way of doing things does not work well anymore. The market is screaming for a solution. And what the market wants, the market will get. I doubt that the coming revolution will come from the West, though. They have too much to lose. They can no longer change their ways because the old gurus have become demi-gods, and nobody dares question the gods. I see it coming from places like China or India. You've been warned. You heard it here first. ahahaha...

Re:Easier to Kill Intel or Microsoft than Google (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282449)

Hardware is more reliable than software because it is more expensive to fix, and in many ways, is less ambitious in its scope.

The rational strategy for preparing for truly revolutionary change is to do nothing at all, so your coming revolution means nothing at all to the Microsoft and Intel of today.

Re:Easier to Kill Intel or Microsoft than Google (1)

MOBE2001 (263700) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282979)

Hardware is more reliable than software because it is more expensive to fix,

Tell that to the companies that develop safety-critical software. They would get a free laugh.

and in many ways, is less ambitious in its scope.

Hardware is invariably more stable than software of equal complexity.

The rational strategy for preparing for truly revolutionary change is to do nothing at all

Not if you're the one leading the revolution.

Actually (4, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282281)

IBM is really a fraction of their size that they were back in the days of uncle lou (which is what we called him when he first started). Their decline is not a decline, but a losing of the market share that they had. Basically, IBM was the 8000 lb gorilla back in the 70's and 80's.

Likeiwse, MS is starting downwards as well. Apple and Linux are finally eating into their desktop. To really see it, step out of America.

OO and google office is starting to take some of their office monopoly. As time progresses, more govs will go the path of OO as well schools who pick up olpc.

And MSIE is down a LONG ways down from the late 90's, early 00's. Back then they owned 98% of the market. Now, they are at around 80% and still continuing downwards.

MS was never the main attack on IBM, just the last one prior to their downfall. Likewise, we are seeing MS's downfall. They will not end, but they will not own the market with free reign to crush whoever looks wrong at BG or Balmer.

Re:So..... (1)

Assassin bug (835070) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282939)

Actually, FTA it seems that Google's success may depend on part of ex-google employee's forming new startups (that depend on Google of course). Also, I think, as a company, Google has the major advantage of knowing very exactly what many people want being that its base is a very popular search engine. Hell, it seems they could survive a googol years [zorgloob.com] just selling search-query analysis.

Yeah, no... (3, Insightful)

daBass (56811) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281453)

Google does one thing really well - search. Many of the ideas brewing are not a search replacement, they are either something completely different or an add-on to search.

I am sure Google ignores many of the 20% ideas that are actually quite good, but I doubt the ones they ignore are the kind of things that make search better; that is the kind of thing these geniusses spent 80% of their week on, after all.

Re:Yeah, no... (5, Interesting)

Stocktonian (844758) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281657)

Why do yo think most of the ideas are not search related? I would have thought that if you live and breath search engines for 80% of your week, working on something else would probably be enjoyable but I'm sure you can't just switch it off like that.

People used to say that Yahoo and AltaVista did search really well. Then Google came along and changed the game. If an ex-employee of google figures out a way to cut out all the spam rubbish on the search results then I'm sure almost everyone would switch overnight. It's that risk of 1 truly great idea being missed that should worry google investors. Internet search users are a fickle bunch and I'm sure they'd switch without a second thought which in turn would hit google's paid for advertising hard.

Re:Yeah, no... (3, Interesting)

jonwil (467024) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281851)

I find that google (at least for the stuff I search for) doesn't return a huge amount of crappy spam results and that the results I get back are usually usefull.
But if someone can make a search engine that is better than google, great.

Search engines have come along way since the days of engines like WebCrawler, InfoSeek, Yahoo, HotBot, AltaVista and DogPile (all search engines I have used in the past but now don't use in favor of google)

Re:Yeah, no... (3, Informative)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281925)

People used to say that Yahoo and AltaVista did search really well. Then Google came along and changed the game. If an ex-employee of google figures out a way to cut out all the spam rubbish on the search results then I'm sure almost everyone would switch overnight.
That's true; what's significant about Google is that it entered the game relatively late. (By the time it started gaining its greatest prominence/popularity, the dot-com boom was pretty much over. It wouldn't be accurate to describe it as a post-dot-com company, but you can see where I'm coming from.)

By this time Yahoo were well-established as the big name in search. One would have thought that the market would have matured to a point where a rival being able to overtake and dominate them like that was unlikely. Of course, computer and Internet use has grown since then, so maybe the market wasn't *that* mature. (By contrast, Altavista may have been one of the first big names when the Internet/Web broke into the public consciousness, but that was such early days that their loss of dominance isn't so significant.)

Re:Yeah, no... (1)

Billy Vine (1107697) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282921)

outside from their search algos, Google has innovated nothing. They stole the business model that currently makes them money (shame on you Bill Gross for not getting a patent on that - you patented everything else in the world) and have acquired most everything else. Yeah, they have a great search engine which I use quite often but it wasnt doing anything for a long time until they noticed a small company called goto.com pioneer paid search then they stole the idea, improved upon it slightly and here you have a billion dollar company. I like the search engine but what else do they have? Youtube? pleeeeze - what an idiot move that was. If you look at all of their business decisions, they all suck. No other verticals bring them revenue - its paid search and that is it. Google better worry about Google. Do you think we will have search engines forever? I don't.

Re:Yeah, no... (2, Insightful)

nernie (1050594) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282431)

> If an ex-employee of google figures out a way to cut out all the
> spam rubbish on the search results then I'm sure almost everyone
> would switch overnight. It's that risk of 1 truly great idea being
> missed that should worry google investors.

I'm sorry, but this just isn't going to happen. Sure, PageRank was a great idea that changed the search engine game, but even an idea that revolutionary (in search engine terms) wouldn't be enough to topple Google. Search is a balance of having the right algorithms AND having the huge infrastructure needed to run the algorithms over most of the web.

It seems to make a lot of sense for somebody with a really new and great idea about search to just sell it to one of the big three search engines. If it's an ex-Googler who left on good terms, great, go back to Google. If they left on bad terms, maybe Yahoo or Microsoft. It'd take years to develop it any other way, by which time it'd likely be too late.

Re:Yeah, no... (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283125)

I'm sorry, but this just isn't going to happen. Sure, PageRank was a great idea that changed the search engine game, but even an idea that revolutionary (in search engine terms) wouldn't be enough to topple Google. Search is a balance of having the right algorithms AND having the huge infrastructure needed to run the algorithms over most of the web.

Huge infrastructure? Only if you if you cache the whole web (as Google does). You start from a dozen or so machines (as proof of concept, and as Google did) and build outward from there.

Re:Yeah, no... (2, Informative)

Simon Garlick (104721) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281949)

Google does one thing really well - present eyeballs to advertisers.

HI I UPGRADED YOUR POST

Re:Yeah, no... (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282789)

Google dies one thing really well-provide services in exchange for ads, while managing those services and ads to profitability. Therefore, an idea that does not drive ads is not useful at all.

In this way the comparison with alta vista is extremely flawed. Alta Vista, unlike google, was primarily a search firm, and when google searches were of higher quality than Alta Vista, the fim failed. A more spt comparison would be Yahoo, which simply transformed itself itself into a portal. Indeed, google will not likely when someone provides better searches, and it will happen as google searches are starting to really be terrible, but will simply begin to emphasize other services.

Interesting, but... (4, Insightful)

rm999 (775449) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281455)

"Cringely suggests looking no further than the thousands of entrepreneurial geniuses currently working for Google, who will inevitably be driven to leave the company to realize the dreams of their rejected ideas. "

To destroy Google, someone would have to beat them at what they make their money on - search and ads. First off, 95% of the people in the company probably do not work in this division, and don't have the background and aren't surrounded by it enough to get ideas about it. The 5% who do probably could not start a company without running in trouble legally given all the Google trade secrets they are privy to.

Re:Interesting, but... (5, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281593)

First of all, Cringely is... Cringely. The same guy who recently claimed to know that IBM will fire 150000 US workers... out of 130000 total. Or then looked all wrong at a job search site and said IBM is looking to hire 15000 workers... just to fire them right back again. Never mind that a quick ask at IBM or a better look at those jobs (e.g., a job for a programmer on an IBM mainframe, isn't actually a job _at_ IBM) would have told him that they're only hiring 3000 people. He's also the author of such brilliant predictions as that Intel is buying Apple, when Apple switched to Core CPUs. Or the guy who years back predicted that people on the internet don't need more than webpages, email and chat, because someone at AOL told him that's what their users do. (Never mind that at the time AOL was offering such abysmal throughput and latency that it was unusable for anything else.) Etc, etc, etc.

Cringely makes a good living talking out of the ass, so the sanest thing is to ignore him. Just because it was a slow enough day on Slashdot to let him get the front page, doesn't mean you have to take it as news. Have a good chuckle and move on.

Second, well, there's more to Google than having the right idea. They also know how to _keep_ talented people working there, and how to invest in R&D done by talented people. Both are skills lost on todays "your job could be the next to go to India" and "let's fire some people to make Wall Street happy" PHBs.

If you will, Google's _real_ secret sauce isn't even one of good engineering, it's one of good management. And that'll be hard to steal because most PHBs try to just pretend it doesn't exist. They're looking for something else that must be the secret, because, don't be silly, noone ever got rich by treating their employees right and offering customers what they want. So before they'd be able to steal it, they'd first have to acknowledge that it exists. It's like getting your car stolen by someone whose whole life revolves around pretending that cars don't exist. It's just not going to happen.

Even if it were to get stolen, I'm not betting the big money on it being stolen by someone who currently is a R&D guy at google. From my experience, most nerds are not good managers, and don't do well when (self)promoted to management. It's simply different skills. It's like promoting a passionate pilot to be an archaeologist. Chances are his interest, experience, effort, etc, were spent on the former, not the latter.

In fact, the absolute worst PHBs I've ever had to work with... were brilliant (ex)nerds. It's guys who once were able to code a whole OS via the front toggles on a mini, and come with brilliant algorithms that cut a one week batch job to a couple of hours job. (When most of your memory is on a magnetic tape or drum, such kinds of optimizations are actually very possible.) Then someone went and moved them to a job they don't understand and which gives them an ulcer: management.

So if anyone did leave Google with a brilliant new idea... let's just say that for 99% of them, let's hope they can do it alone, because they won't be able to be good managers.

Re:Interesting, but... (2, Insightful)

HoosierPeschke (887362) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281801)

It's like getting your car stolen by someone whose whole life revolves around pretending that cars don't exist.


Great post, I would equate your car analogy to more along the lines of the Amish stealing your car, not to say that the Amish are as ignorant as the (majority, not all everywhere are bad) pointy hairs but it (Amish:Cars / Management:Customer Service and taking care of their people) is just something they don't believe.

Re:Interesting, but... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282407)

Customer service is relentlessly bad because people never fail to pay 5 cents less.

Walmart has worked wonders there though, as they have basically pushed price differentiation out of every single market they play in, so now companies have to compete on stupid things like quality and value.

Re:Interesting, but... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281845)

I don't know if I'd be that pessimistic about geeks (99% is high), but you are right that a lot of them don't have management skills, so they would have to make sure they have someone with management skills in their start-up. There are some pretty poignant examples, William Shockley was brilliant but he was an evil manager such that he drove away his talent shortly after he formed his own company. Thomas Edison had done some suppression of the talent that he's hired, and as such, Edison Labs died a premature death.

Re:Interesting, but... (2, Interesting)

widman (1107617) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281983)

And also he lies about his credentials. From comments somewhere else on this same article, I wish I knew this before.

Stanford Says Cringely Never Completed Doctorate
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/1 998/11/11/DD94762.DTL [sfgate.com]

Re:Interesting, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19282525)

Assistant professors /are/ professors - according to that article he didn't claim that he was a full professor. He misrepresented his degree though.

uh, Cringely is a psuedonym (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19282615)

Cringely originated at InfoWorld and his bit (gimmick for you in Rio Lindo) was Pammy, his dingaling blonde girlfriend. He pretended to be an industry insider, but in reality Cringely was a succession of journalism interns working for minimum wage.

InfoWorld became irrelevant and they sold the Cringely thingy to the American taxpayer at National Government Radio because they needed the bucks. There have been at least a dozen hires at NPR writing under the Cringely moniker, all of them low paid or unpaid interns.

Cringely don't know squat.

Re:uh, Cringely is a psuedonym (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282857)

...in reality Cringely was a succession of journalism interns working for minimum wage.
Only after 1995, and only at Infoworld. Mark Stephens, the man who wrote as Cringely from 87-95, left and continued to write as Cringely for PBS.

InfoWorld became irrelevant and they sold the Cringely thingy to the American taxpayer at National Government Radio because they needed the bucks. There have been at least a dozen hires at NPR writing under the Cringely moniker, all of them low paid or unpaid interns.
Do not confuse PBS (which has Mark Stephens), with NPR (which is an outlet for Infoworld's Cringely random intern rumor mill).

Note that TFA is at pbs.org
TFA is garbage from a known source: Mark Stephens.

Re:uh, Cringely is a psuedonym (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283015)

The Cringely nom de plume has had three writers. The most recent was was Mark Stephens, from 1987 to 1995. When he left InfoWorld, he was allowed to take the Cringely trademark with him, on condition that he didn't write for a directly competing publication. This is why he now writes for NPR.

When people say 'Cringely lied about his credentials,' they mean 'Mark Stephens lied about his credentials,' since he has been the only one using the pen name in the last twenty years. He claimed to have a PhD and have worked as a professor at Stanford, while in fact he had worked briefly as a TA while doing his PhD, which he failed.

Re:Interesting, but... (5, Interesting)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281813)

To destroy Google, someone would have to beat them at what they make their money on - search and ads.M

That's not at all true. Google likely won't be destroyed by being out-Googled - they'll be destroyed by failing to anticipate a change in the computing landscape that someone else is positioned to take advantage of. That's the way evolution usually works. That's the way that Google is "beating" (displacing for relevancy and growth) Microsoft - not by competing head-on but by being better positioned for the times.

Also at some point Google's core businesses, successful as they are now, will naturally stop growing. Online advertising will peak, or advertizing will shift to another venue (handhelds? Internet TV?) that Google fail to take advantage of. No business lasts forever. Without growth the stock P/E will collapse and the stock drop with it, employees will begin to leave, the forward momentum will be lost. Some new hot tech darling will emerge, not necessarily in Google's core business areas at all.

Re:Interesting, but... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282429)

Efficient micro payments would screw Google hard. If I could get websites to charge me hosting costs+5% to view their content(so if it costs them $0.0002 to show me a page, I pay them $0.00021), I would pay to stop looking at ads, and so would a lot of other people.

we are working on it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19281847)

therefore this is my first anonymous post...

I think Cringley is right in some sense but I don't think we will kill google really, however as part of our idea is search without ads, we will draw a lot attention from google in the future. It is not about direct competition though, we are not insane...

We are releasing a beta version within a few limited domains soon, which will probably go unnoticed for a while as google did the first years...

What we shouldn't forget though is that google are collecting a lot of resources and skills. Search/ads may not be the big money generator in the future. Google is certainly a much more flexible company than Microsoft that has stuck mainly to the same business model for 30 years. /aim

Re:Interesting, but... (3, Interesting)

GeorgeH (5469) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282861)

To destroy Google, someone would have to beat them at what they make their money on - search and ads.
That's sort of like saying that Google is destroying Microsoft by building a better desktop OS. Cringely is talking about something disruptive, either in terms of technology (rich web apps being good enough to replace some desktop apps) or business models (a software company making money through advertising).

You don't beat the 800 lb. gorilla by being a 750 lb. gorilla, you beat it by building a gun.

Final days (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19281473)

The final days are near when the Jesus-god will return to judge the worthy and the unworthy. Learn the magic happy dance and perform it daily or the Jesus-god will turn you into macaroni salad

Not even Google can save you from hte Jesus-god you have been warned.

Spare us your wrath your humble servants we pray o Jesus-god.

Re:Final days (1)

joshier (957448) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281489)

haha, total funny.

Re:Final days (2, Insightful)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281963)

The final days are near when the Jesus-god will return to judge the worthy and the unworthy. Learn the magic happy dance and perform it daily or the Jesus-god will turn you into macaroni salad
Macaroni? Jesus? This sounds like a New Testament version of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster [wikipedia.org] . Are you like a Christian to FSM's Judaism?

Re:Final days (1)

Durinthal (791855) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282543)

When I first read the title, I thought it was an immediate dupe of the previous article [slashdot.org] .

look further (1, Interesting)

fattybob (196045) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281485)

not having read the article.....
but why does the next killer app etc have to come from within the currrent killer organisation?? just ask yourself, where did Google come from?, Microsoft?? Lotus even?? (if u are old enough to remember that).

I prefer to keep my eyes on Paul Graham and his friends in Y combinator - just wish I could be in on the deal.

Re:look further (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19281525)

(if u are old enough to remember that).

Hi Grandpa - If you're going to abbreviate 'you' to 'u', please also abbreviate 'are' to 'r'

Re:look further (1)

fattybob (196045) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282003)

Hi Grandpa - If you're going to abbreviate 'you' to 'u', please also abbreviate 'are' to 'r' thanks for the tip young un

Remember Ken Olsen (4, Interesting)

mce (509) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281733)

The next killer app does not have to come out of the current killer. But it is a very well documented and repeating pattern that many of these "next killer apps" are developed within the then dominant organisation - because that's where the money is - but ignored or not understood by management. The inventors then quit and build the new killer organisation, leaving their previous employer wonder what happened. The most important observation, however, is that the very same people that went through all this later fall in the exact same trap themselves.

Remember Ken Olsen. IBM didn't believe in his ideas for smaller better and more ubiquitous computers, so he built DEC. But 20 years later he didn't believe in the PC ("there is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home") and DEC ended up being bought by Compaq.

There are plenty more examples of this pattern in the computer industry.

Re:Remember Ken Olsen (2, Insightful)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282309)

I recall redaing somethign about this relating to the ages of various entrepeneurs (I can't find the link).

Basically the study concluded that young entrepeneurs were more successful than older entrepeneurs because the elders were more risk averse. A young entrepeneur would tend to see everything as the next big thing, leading to lots of mistakes, of course, the older entrepeneur would have more experience and perspective, and so wouldn't fall into that trap.

The problem for the older entrepeneur was that they would tend to overlook the next big thing, whereas, through sheer youthful ebulliance, the younger entrepeneur would jump at it, and that fact alone was seen to be the deciding factor in success in this area - noticing the next big thing, and jumping on it.

That it happened to be because of the recklessness of youthful over-enthusiasm, didn't take away fromthe success and profit derived from it.

Translate that into businessess which need the next new thing to continue to grow and evolve, and companies that have been around a long time, unless they listen to the voice of inexperience, will miss the next new thing.

Or so the theory goes.

Re:look further (3, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282553)

Paul Graham is devilishly good at keeping Paul Graham in a position where he gets enough attention that he can make money by making sure that he gets lots of attention. His essays regularly devolve into 'something happened to me, and I can explain the universe because of it'. He writes in an informative tone, but more often than not, his thesis is just an opinion(so he is actually trying to persuade you that he is correct). There are lots of people with millions of dollars sitting around trying to figure out how to turn it into more than millions, he isn't terribly good at it.

The end of google will come (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19281493)

But first they need to fire 150,000 workers. It's not going to be pretty.

Funny? Insightful! (3, Funny)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281727)

so, a factor 10 overestimated according to wikipedia (12.000). But as far as I know, Google is still going around hiring. I think that we as IT interested people should be glad that apparently it is possible to build a healthy company where innovative ideas that actually work are developed. Why should you want a company to go down if it's doing it's thing in a succesfull way. I am from Holland, and there someone who iis very sucessful is automatically an asshole in the public opinion. Well not if they 'Staid so normal'. I fear that cringely has gotten a severe case of this dutch disease...

Anyway, I think he forgets two main points. one overlooked concern is size. Size is needed to create momentum: you can only sell a lot of ads of you have a lot of viewers, you can only buy the computing capacity and bandwith if you have a lot of revenue. If you as a google-like company do not manage to get the critical momentum. It is the same size that makes google inherently an 'evil' company. They have are so involved in your private life that they get a lot of potential power over you. Google tries to handle this power in one way or another, maybe you do not agree with many of their decisions, but what are their options, and is there one single correct way to handle this?

Then there is second factor, quality: Remember, in the case of google, you have the choice to use it or not. There are at least a few alternatives for every application that they offer. But you CHOOSE to use google, because of the quality of the products. Apparently the designers behind google have a feeling for quality products that is outstanding. This is something to respect, it is not easy to make something technological easy. Just think about it, when was the last time you clicked the 'advanced' search button in google. They did an amazing job of opening the web in a way anyone can use. Imagine that they would work with regexes? Or via clickable boxes for every special option? No, the genius is in taking a complex problem, and presenting it in the most simple form understandable by humans. I for one, can not repeat this, can you? Can cringely? This is also where google can fail. Just this week I noticed that my terrible old pc has more and more problems with google every time. Google mail is getting pretty bloated with features in that it is very slow to load in my browser. As I said, to find the right balance between features and simpleness is an art, if they start really losing that, I will start useing something else pretty quickly.

flawed thinking (3, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281501)

'The real money is in taking existing ideas and twisting the idea just far enough to make it work in a fantastic new way

So that's what Microsoft did, huh?

Maybe it's just a combination of pure dumb luck (being in the right marketplace at the right time) and the tenacity and money to keep going.

New ideas are ten-a-penny. It's having the business acumen and vision to get them off the ground and make them profitable that's the real skill.

Cringely may want to do a little more reading (4, Insightful)

jomas1 (696853) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281519)

Check out this old joelonsoftware.com piece on what good managers do for to get the most out of powerhouse developers:
http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/Development Abstraction.html [joelonsoftware.com]

The most pertinent part of the article I've linked is:

Management's primary responsibility to create the illusion that a software company can be run by writing code, because that's what programmers do. And while it would be great to have programmers who are also great at sales, graphic design, system administration, and cooking, it's unrealistic. Like teaching a pig to sing, it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.

Microsoft does such a good job at creating this abstraction that Microsoft alumni have a notoriously hard time starting companies. They simply can't believe how much went on below decks and they have no idea how to reproduce it.


Some of the perks that google gives its employees are quite devious. Why risk your money and time starting your own venture when you have it made at google?

Why do you think that the most innovative and radical ideas come from unemployed hungry developers? Who has made a concerted effort to hire said hungry developers? That's who I'd bet on to hurt google's bottom line.

stop modding anyone pointing to Joel up! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19281899)

It has been repeatedly shown here (and on the Internet at large) that that Joel was basically clueless. That guy makes gigantic errors in his writings. He worked on some MS office app and that's it. Since then anytime he farts some people love the smell.

Not me. And many /.'ers can't stand his lame articles anymore. He pretends to have some technical knowledge but the guy is clueless. Read his random babblings about Unicode for a good laugh. Completely missing the point. All its technical articles are like that. He present his own discoveries and misunderstanding as if they were unconditional truths. That article on Unicode is really interesting: he presents it as if people who understand Unicode are "good programmers" while those who don't are living in the stone age... Yet he simply doesn't have a clue about Unicode (he didn't understand the difference between a character set and an encoding and it's way too obvious in its article). Worse: he's giving lessons and pointers that are actually completely misleading. Bad, bad, sad.

When I read an article about a supposedly knowledgeable programmer that, in 2006, doesn't understand how Unicode works, the last thing I want is read an article where he talks about something that is not his area of expertise.

He has exactly zero system administration knowledge and hence believe that programmers should know nothing about system administration. "Management has failed when a developer has to issue a 'svn commit'". WTF? WTFF? It's way too typical: Joel knows nothing about system administration nor configuration, hence the command line is too difficult and no developer should know how to use it. Nonsense. Go tell that to the founders of Xen source or KVM. These are real startups with real money behind and, believe me Joel, these developers don't fear to issue a 'svn commit' (adapt to git/mercurial or whatever VCS they're using).

That guy is full of himself and his random babbling are flying very very low. He knows jack about OO, jack about system administration, jack about Unix. Yet he's giving lessons all the time.

Go read stuff from real successful and interesting people who launched real companies (using real technologies and real programming languages)... But don't waste your time with "Joel-and-his-misunderstandings-on-a-very-narrow-p iece-of-software".

That guy is a fake. Stop modding post linking to Joel up and start modding them down. They are never interesting.

Re:stop modding anyone pointing to Joel up! (1)

jomas1 (696853) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281987)

Wow, I have no idea how I touched such a raw nerve. Joel Spolsky and Paul Graham have a decent mastery of English and essay writing and so will often be quoted. The best hackers and coders wind up alienating or confusing people when they try to make their points understood (think RMS) and so won't be quoted as often, at least in a positive light.

Re:stop modding anyone pointing to Joel up! (1)

gmack (197796) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282107)

This is just not true. For every RMS or ESR we have a Linus Torvalds or an Andrew Tridgell who seem to do a very good job of making clear points and get quoted often.

Re:stop modding anyone pointing to Joel up! (1)

jomas1 (696853) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282339)

This is just not true. For every RMS or ESR we have a Linus Torvalds or an Andrew Tridgell who seem to do a very good job of making clear points and get quoted often.
Part of what I respect about Linus is that he knows when to speak up and when to shut up. I still stand by my point that this is rare amongst hackers.

Clearing up some nonsense about RMS (2, Interesting)

Freed (2178) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282905)

Wow, I have no idea how I touched such a raw nerve. Joel Spolsky and Paul Graham have a decent mastery of English and essay writing and so will often be quoted. The best hackers and coders wind up alienating or confusing people when they try to make their points understood (think RMS) and so won't be quoted as often, at least in a positive light.


Do you have any idea of how much writing RMS has actually done? E.g., see his book of essays for an example of his mastery of English and essay writing. RMS will be frequently misunderstood like this as long as he is delivering an unpopular message. Moreover, the message is generally counter to the establishment. Spolsky and Graham may challenge convention but certainly not on the level that RMS _consistently_ does. The comparison in other posts that holds up Linus over RMS does not take into account that Linus simply does not indulge in controversial matters to the degree that RMS does.

RMS also can be insensitive, impatient, and unaccomodating to various norms (e.g., looks like a hippie).

Thus, RMS alienates and confuses _in spite_ of his excellent communication skills.

Re:stop modding anyone pointing to Joel up! (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282297)

"Management has failed when a developer has to issue a 'svn commit'". WTF? WTFF? It's way too typical: Joel knows nothing about system administration nor configuration, hence the command line is too difficult and no developer should know how to use it. Nonsense. Go tell that to the founders of Xen source or KVM. These are real startups with real money behind and, believe me Joel, these developers don't fear to issue a 'svn commit' (adapt to git/mercurial or whatever VCS they're using).

Funny thing is, he said the opposite. That developers should just issue a "svn commit", and not care about air conditioning, hardware failures etc.

But, I'll leave you to rant there, I suppose reading what you're ranting about was too much work for ya.

Re:Cringely may want to do a little more reading (1)

David Off (101038) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282457)



Having spent most of my 25 year IT career as an independent I think you could simply say that most permanent employees of any large business have no idea how to survive in the real world although many, especially those in management, think they could cut it. The secret is to have an idea and hook up with the people who can help you realize that idea outside of the mothership. The other big problem is that most permies never build up enough capital resources (most are in debt with car loans, mortgages etc) that they could cut the umbilical cord of a regular wage.

Regarding Cringeley's text. Microsoft hasn't died because a better OS has come along, it might die because the OS paradigm changes significantly.

Re:Cringely may want to do a little more reading (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283257)

Check out this old joelonsoftware.com piece on what good managers do for to get the most out of powerhouse developers:

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/Development Abstraction.html [joelonsoftware.com]

No, that's a geek/programmer fantasy on how a geek/programmer should be treated by his bosses. It only lacks a few belly dancers to become soft porn.

Former Employees eating in cafeterias? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19281521)

Wait...

but also from groups of former Google employees who are planning their future companies over free sushi and Diet Coke late at night in Google cafeterias.

If they are "former" employees why are they eating in Google cafeterias? Did this not baffle anyone else?

Re:Former Employees eating in cafeterias? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19281537)

well spotted, this article is rubbish. The author just assumes things in his own way of thinking.
Last I heard google employees are happy and can't picture themselves working somewhere else.

Re:Former Employees eating in cafeterias? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19281675)

exactly

Heh (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281533)

'The real money is in taking existing ideas and twisting the idea just far enough to make it work in a fantastic new way. Think Google vs. AltaVista; Apple vs. all previously existing laptops and mp3 players; YouTube vs. all previously existing video sites, etc. In addition to ideas, you need creativity, resources, connections, and luck
I suppose he would know, he seems to be making a living applying creativity and resources to journalistic integrity.

Bungee.. (3, Insightful)

ekran (79740) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281543)

It is normal human perception of reality which makes us believe that everything that goes up, must come down. Still, with proper adaptive leadership I don't see why google should be around for the next (insert huge number here) years. Most companies downfall seems to be happening because their leaders can't adjust fast enough to the current market, just look at the American motor industry. Still, I don't see why we shouldn't need to search for things in the future, so the market will be there. And as is claimed, google has a lot of brainpower and even if a few of them leaves the company, it's not going to be the downfall of the company.

Re:Bungee.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19281879)

The sound of the Gion Shja bells echoes the impermanence of all things; the color of the sla flowers reveals the truth that the prosperous must decline. The proud do not endure, they are like a dream on a spring night; the mighty fall at last, they are as dust before the wind.

Google is EVIL (2, Informative)

singhparul (1107427) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281555)

Google is not a search engine company. It's an advertising company. Anything which generates content is purchased by google. They have made internet more junk and ofcourse useful. It is not safe to invest in google shares because they are in such a business where profit can be modified easily in different ways. I still remember that youtube deal. I saw a sudden surge in their stock prices. They declared a nice quarter report beating all expectations. In the end, they paid less number of shares to youtube guys. This is nothing but evil.

Re:Google is EVIL (3, Insightful)

GTMoogle (968547) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281981)

That is... the most boring, non-threatening evil ever.

Oh no! Don't let Google pay them the agreed-upon amount with shares that recently increased in value! Oh, the humanity!

Re:Google is EVIL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19282015)

That is... the most boring, non-threatening evil ever.

You're obviously not a fan of some of the early episodes of Doctor Who then.

Not a chance in hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19281557)

Unless you can topple Adsense there's not a chance in hell you'll supersede Google.

News for nerds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19281563)

This happens in all emerging industries, key staff in all departments need to be treated exceptionally or they leave and start up themselves.

I'm more interested in predictions about the death of Cringely.

Zonk & Cringely combined... a new low... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19281579)

I encourage everyone to disable Javascript for slashdot.org in his settings
and to disable the loading of images from other servers than slashdot.org as
long as that FUD spewing loser is wasting our precious time here.

The name of his own site says it all:

http://www.randomdialogue.net/ [randomdialogue.net]
[...]"I have random things to say."[...]

That is what I get when I read Zonk's articles. Random
sensation about bullshit only Zonk cares about. I guess
as a kid Zonk watched too much CNN where every sack of
rice in china is a important and threatening story.

I would rather read the whole duped SCO and Jack Thompson bullshit AGAIN
than any new Zonk story.


Forget it... it's TOO LATE! The market has already decided:

http://www.google.com/trends?q=slashdot%2C++digg&c tab=0&geo=all&date=all [google.com]

He's right, but Google will be just fine. (1)

simon_hibbs2 (792812) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281621)

I don't think it matters as much as he thinks.

Not all great ideas are equal. Goole's strengths are online services that leverage their search and advertising technologies. Google are proven to be very good at picking winners in this space. Combine this with the fact that many of those great ideas don't play strongly to Google's strengths.

So only a fraction of those great ideas are of real interest to Google, and Google have a high likelihood of picking the best that are. Google still can't lose. A lot of people will leave Google and found great, successful companies but that's not a bad thing for Google.

A competitor to Google or Microsoft has to be doing what Google or Microsoft does to be a threat. By the way, that's why Google isn't actually a threat to Microsoft. If only MS could see that, stop trying to be a second rate Google and get back to being a first rate Microsoft.

Simon Hibbs

Why? (2, Insightful)

dirtyhippie (259852) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281643)

Why do people continue to post Cringely's stuff, and how does it continue to get on Slashdot? He himself all but admitted that he is a troll!

Oh, wait... I guess I just answered my own question.

Re:Why? (1)

Bozdune (68800) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282823)

Precisely. YOU try coming up with content that gets attention week after week. All these columnists are looking to differentiate themselves from the horde in order keep their jobs, so they pretty much have to say something trollish.

Furthermore, although this has nothing to do with the above point, I don't even know "which" Cringely we're talking about anymore, or who is the "Cringley" behind "Cringely" when it isn't the original Cringely, who, all other criticisms aside, was at least amusing (as I recall) back in the day.

Re:Why? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283063)

Because it's a Saturday. There's no need to click on the link - we know Cringely's a troll - but he often says things that spark of an interesting discussion, even if they're only tangentially related to what he said.

You don't come to Slashdot for the articles do you?

Same theory didnt hurt Microsoft (3, Insightful)

sproketboy (608031) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281681)

I heard this same thing years ago about Microsoft. Yes, some smart employees left and created startups which were largely partnered with them. Same will be true for Google. I don't see any problem for Google here.

But... but... (1)

GFree (853379) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281707)

Google can't die! They're invincible! Right?

I was mislead!

/cries

Re:But... but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283103)

Mislead?? Try again.

Norton? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19281713)

entrepreneurial geniuses currently working for Google, who will inevitably be driven to leave the company to realize the dreams of their rejected ideas


Like Microsoft and Peter Norton? Oh boy, I can't wait.

Is that a bad thing ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281779)

I mean, ex employees setting up new web presences and such ?

All google needs to do to make it a mutually beneficial thing is to enter cooperation with them.

remember what has made google a major player - they introduced adsense, which has accepted any web presence, any small site as partners in contrast to msn's, yahoo's advertising concepts. this gave them the entire coverage of the web.

same philosophy translated to the approach to ex employee run services would benefit google phenomenonally, as these people would probably be creating hip stuff, and hence having great reach.

its not an end, its an expansion.

I don't think so (1)

Catil (1063380) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281797)

With a killer application like the iPod or Youtube someone can sometimes take over an almost equally shared market, but Google did exactly this already and so it became a totally different situation. To dethrone a monopolist it takes a lot more than just doing it better. Think Linux vs. Windows.

google's end (1)

Jackrabbitslam (1056528) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281815)

Further Scriptural evidence refuting Heliocentrism. To me, this settles the debate. The Earth does not move. To assert that the Earth does move is to renounce Christianity(Google). It really is as simple as that......Same goes for google.

Nope. And this is why... (2, Informative)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281849)

Google may morph slowly into a privacy eating gorilla and then after a single public-relations fiasco (it still has a lot of enemies), it may turn more mellow like IBM or Microsoft.
But die ??? Nope.
Cringley says rejected ideas consortium inc., would kill google.
I agree some ideas may have been good, but rejected. But overwhelmingly, good ideas do get done, like Microsoft Office.
MS Office is THE fastest office package ever, because it so damn easy to use (after 2000, no real changes i agree).
Excel was being used in real battle support during the Iraq war (initial days).
iPod vs. other MP3?? I aint think so. iPod has a 85% market share. The rest ALL brands are combined as a generic products MP3.
So i can buy a Rio, HP, Zune, and all are MP3....
What matters is Brand name...
Google is fast becoming a verb, and once u become so generic, it is hard to remove your name from people's memory. U have a cash cow, if u know where to milk.
Lets hope google keeps its focus on finding relevant information, and leave this office, etc., business to the experts.

 

Diet Coke? (1)

Chief Wongoller (1081431) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281871)

"Much of the next influx of ideas to Sand Hill Road will come not just from former Google employees, but also from groups of former Google employees who are planning their future companies over free sushi and Diet Coke late at night in Google cafeterias.'" --- Good ideas come from inspiration. The delacate flavours of suchi would normally relax and entice the mind to realms of wonderful inspiration. But Diet Coke surely must ruin those flavours. Good suchi should only be accompanied by the best saki, and don't the best deserve the best? Google should have nothing to worry from these folk, but just to be sure, they could serve their retained staff saki and serve the exiles coke. How's that for an employee loyalty programme?

Utter Bollox (1)

donnacha (161610) | more than 7 years ago | (#19281909)

C'mon folks, this is CRINGELY, for God's sake.

I could just about understand why Slashdot gave his drivel exposure ten years ago because, frankly, there wasn't all that much tech news about and we were glad for what we could get.

Now, however, his well-worn trick of shoddily stringing-together whatever buzzwords and companies are in vogue at a given moment is just patronising, manipulative and insulting to our collective intelligence. Others have been doing it so less clumsily for years now.

Seriously, if he had all the contacts he claimed to have had, and this is going way back, do you think he'd still be living in his hut in the Appalachians, grinding out this bullshit for a living?

What really gets to me is that way he lets on that he is part of an elite inner-circle when the truth is that he doesn't really have that much of a clue about the Internet; it was only a couple of months ago that he updated his shitty website so that it wasn't a complete joke. He couldn't even figure out how to keep his old commenting system from regularly collapsing.

So, let's stop wasting our time with this has-been: could someone please code a Cringely Simulator, it wouldn't have to be complicated, just randomly throw together the names of whatever companies seem to be getting coverage, stir in a few buzzwords and even it all out with some ridiculous assertions no-one with a mental age above five will take seriously. Then we can all read that instead and stop giving this tardfuck the oxygen of publicity.

it's not just about the idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19281955)

When Google started in a garage it was not just the idea: the implementation was good.

And now they have "insert 6 digits here" PCs (!) crunching data.

So not only do they have a good technology they've also got a huge infrastructure.

Dreamer: Look, VC, I'm gonna bury Google for I worked for them (without taking into account that I'm violating my NDA).

VC: "what's your plan?".

Dreamer: Easy, I'll buy 100 000 PCs with the money your going to advance and I'll write better applications than what they have.

plonk. Anyone wanting to bury Google should have a very impressive technology because you need to outsmart them in a big way to beat what they can do with their infrastructure...

Not too mention that it's not just about searching the current Web anymore for Google: it's also about having data going back several years (search patterns etc.) which not a single newcomer could possibly have.

Yahoo! or MS could maybe kill Google. But ex-employees starting a new company? I wouldn't hold my breath.

How to get Slashdotted (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282035)

A tutorial on how to write an article that gets Slashdotted:

1. Take one or more very very popular companies:

Apple, Microsoft, Intel, Disney, Google, Yahoo, YouTube, eBay...

2. Write down few obvious statements of the companies you picked:

Apple works alone and is driven on computers and consumer electronics that are realiable, simple, and shiny.

Microsoft and Google are both a successful companies that are doing fine, and will be doing fine for a long time, if even for pure inertia and since everybody uses their products already.

etc.

3. Take said statements, and reverse and mix 'em up in totally random and unpredictable way, that seems to make no sense:

Apple to start selling beige Windows boxes, goes after Dell.

Microsoft wants to buy Google.

Google is going down any moment now.

Intel's buying Disney to have full control over the home media center.

4. Now imagine you're Hollywood screenwriter, take above statements, and try to write a high concept movie around those statements.

A real life example: snakes on a plane.
How did the snakes end up on a plane? A mobster's trying to kill a witness to a murder the mobster did.
Why on Earth (and HOW) put snakes on a plane versus just hire someone to shoot the guy? Because "the mobster has exhausted all other possible options".

There we go: interesting, unexpected, and totally believable, your usual Slashdot article. Enjoy!

Best Regards, Cringely and Dvorak.

fa1lzors (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19282057)

the 'coomunity' I have a life to ANYBODY'S GUEES Is the ultimate

Assuming they'll be ALLOWED to do the twist ... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282097)

The real money is in taking existing ideas and twisting the idea just far enough to make it work in a fantastic new way.

Yes, that's called progress and it's precisely what the patent (and copyright) systems were set up to foster. Given current trends in the area of "intellectual property" (the current hot market sector ... if you're a lawyer) the bigger question is whether or not America's best and brightest will be allowed to take an existing idea and do anything with it. We're locking down ideas (good and bad, and even bad ideas often be twisted into good ones with a little skull sweat) at an increasing pace. When the day comes when you can't have a creative thought without owing somebody a royalty, it really won't matter if you're a Google-killer. You'll never get off the ground.

3 Trillion Years From Now... (1)

littlewink (996298) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282219)

Cringely will (finally) no longer exist and the universe will be at peace.

BLAH BLAH (1)

Danzigism (881294) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282231)

hypothetical bullshit.. maybe, just maybe, Google finally did something right in the world of business.. and if we're lucky they'll take over the world with their incredible power, and it will be for the better of humanity.. think of all the starving children in Africa.. we should be praising Google and giving them our money so that the children too, can have Gourmet meals morning, noon and night.. if one company deserves our trust, it's Google in my opinion.. i find it ridiculous to even be preaching about these unpredictable aspects mentioned in the article.. they seem to take better care of our personal data than our government surely does.. Google for President!

That's alright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19282265)

It's going to be in three trillion years anyways, 'cause this is a continuation of the last story, right?

Huh? No. (1)

UfoZ (680310) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282557)

No matter how good those "rejected ideas" are (and I doubt that Google would be rejecting them out of principle if they were truly good or groundbreaking), no startup made of geniuses will ever be a threat to any of the giant companies, let alone Google. If there ever was such a startup, one of the giants, most likely Google itself, would rush to buy it back the moment it started looking promising (see youtube and the like).

Free markets are not zero sum (sigh) (2, Insightful)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282611)

Free markets are not zero sum games. If we enter a lottery, somebody walks away with the pot and everybody else loses. With trade in a free market, everyone who participates comes away a winner. So if Google employees come up with some new company, that doesn't mean that Google is harmed in any way.

Another way it could happen (1)

cyberkahn (398201) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282627)

Is from a potential employee that was rejected by Google's interview progress. From what I have heard the interview process is pretty condescending. Anyone here interview with Google to confirm that? I could see someone who is rejected starting their own thing, which becomes the next thing.

Doesn't google... (1)

btgreat (895041) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282655)

Doesn't google have some extreme NDA? It seems to me that no one who left google could start up a competing company just because google would find a way to accuse them of using ideas that were originally google's own. And if they don't have this much control yet, what will they do in response to this? IANAL, but I would think they could easily force their employees to legally hand over their ideas as intellectual property to google BEFORE they would be considered...

Diet Coke? With Sushi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19282859)

1. Diet Drinks taste bad.
2. These aspertame or splenda drinks can only mask any good flavor of sushi.
3. Diet Drinks do not statistically make you loose weight. You are drinking these foul drinks for what reason?
4. Are you sure there are no long term affects of consuming these chemicals?

Does Google have Stupid written on its forehead? (3, Insightful)

Aging_Newbie (16932) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282937)

The reasoning in this article is badly flawed. While nobody knows, or if they know, can't say what is in agreements, policies, and procedures within Google, one thing we can assume is that Google is not stupid. Their ideas have to be protected, developed or not. They were smart -- rather than have undocumented ideas developed in spare time, Google made it part of the job. So, there have to be the documents that describe the ideas for, if nothing else, the review that selects the best. Why should Google throw away those documents? -- they don't throw away my email.

So, my bet is that Google is or will become a resume stain for anybody who was in a development role there. Venture capitalists will be unsure whether Google would come down on them if they developed the idea. Why go with that risk when there are plenty of other ideas clamoring for support? If somebody does pitch and develop an idea, Google can sue them and there are no pockets deeper than their's. If you carry it farther, how would one prove that the idea didn't originate from Google, since obviously you can't appeal to them for proof. So, I think Google is safe and probably they have better control of their IP than most any other company.

It's happened before... (2, Informative)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282989)

While I don't personally believe that Google is getting dethroned anytime soon, keep in mind that it has happened before. Back in the 1970's, all the Really Smart People (tm) in Silicon Valley worked for the mighty giant known as Fairchild Semiconductor. A few of them jumped ship to go work on their own, on this crazy idea they had to put an entire central processing unit on a single chip.

They put together a little startup called Intel.
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