Symptom of Success

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2008-01-11 Print this article Print

Search   Engine   Land 's Danny Sullivan agreed, calling the exodus a very natural progression and one of Google's biggest challenges in the years to come. Google is no longer a startup, which means employees are neither going to get rich or find the fast moving product development pace of a startup.

"While I think the vast majority of Googlers still find it an exciting, well-paying and cool place to work, the 'rock star' element that you want just might not find the stage they're looking for," Sullivan told eWEEK.

There is precedent for the Google exodus. Challenge yourself by trying to find high-tech companies in the Seattle area that don't have ex-Microsoftees. You could form a healthy business from all of the talent that has graced the halls of the Redmond , Wash. , software maker at one time or another.

That's what happens to companies when they are wildly successful and the itch to try to duplicate the success overwhelms some staffers.

It's also not exclusive to high-tech. Lanzalotto said pharmaceutical scientists end up in venture-backed bio-technology startups or research organizations because they find that "big pharma" gets too bureaucratic over time.

Increased bureaucracy is a bit hard to find at Google. Like the employees on campus, dogs still roam from cafeteria to cafeteria for free meals and other Romper-room-like delights.

Forrester Research Charlene Li said the company is as freewheeling as it ever was, noting that product managers are still given a lot of latitude to do what is needed.

However, Li said it is likely that as Google matures, liberties at Google are not likely to be as great as those at a startup, and employees who have been in one place for a long time may need new challenges and perspective, not to mention stock options with greater upside.

And for every employee that leaves, it is a safe bet 10 more are lining up to fill his or her role. "There are more people that want to work at Google than there are jobs available," Li told eWEEK.

Good news for Googlers who leave: "If Google is on the top line of your resume, recruiters are beating a path to your door," Lanzalotto said. "It is still the hot company."


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