SS Google - More People Abandon Ship


A few weeks ago it was Vanessa Fox who left Google, this morning Barry reports over on SEL that two more high profile engineers are leaving

Two top Google engineers leave — to Benchmark Capital from VentureBeat reports Bret Taylor and Jim Norris, top Google engineers, have left Google to work at Benchmark Capital, a venture capital firm.

Could be purely a coincidence, but I'm not a big believer in coincidences. Is Google finally starting to feel the drain of employees with entrepreneurial spirit?


Haven't they got 1000s of employees?

A little churn is normal

3 out of 12,000 or so isn't

3 out of 12,000 or so isn't really significant. Google have a habit of hiring good people, so they are a natural target for headhunters etc. No matter how good the pay and conditions they offer, there's always going to be a few who can be attracted away by a huge pay offer, or a new challenge or SOMETHING

Two top Google engineers leave

Were they 'top' due to length of service, or are they better than most the others? I suspect Google has been recruiting some very clever people over the last few years and maybe people are not a cut above the rest anymore, which may lead them to search out new challenges - where they are.

can't say i blame them

The two joined Google in 2003. While early enough to benefit them considerably at the IPO, it wasn’t enough to give them the many millions that earlier employees enjoyed.

anyone who creates a hugely successful product for a company, but finds their earning potential essentially capped due to the time they joined that company is likely to go looking for greener pastures that have a bigger potential upside.

why not take all your bright ideas a few miles away to sand hill road, where you can enjoy a nice one-hand-washes-the-other arrangement with a VC firm?

The EIR (Entrepreneur In Residence) arrangement lets the firm build goodwill with entrepreneurs. In return, Benchmark expects entrepreneurs will look to Benchmark as their first source of funding.


Bret's startup blog mentions

Bret's startup blog mentions the reason he left:

Some people work to pay the bills. Some people work to achieve power. Some people, like us, are so passionate about creating things, the prospect of being able to create with no rules, no oversight, and no strings attached is just about the most appealing job in the world.

I woke up one day a few months ago in the middle of the night, frustrated with a number of aspects of my day-to-day job at Google, and I realized that the career path I was on was not for me. ...

It's the usual kind of stuff entrepreneurial people deal with in large companies. Unvested stock options tend to lower the urge to leave, but then the 4 year anniversary comes...

The beauty of the hive is

The beauty of the hive is that you can lose worker bees and still produce honey.


Keeping good people...

it's a huge problem.

Whether you are big or small.

Unless you are in a small town and you are the main/only event there, it's tough to train people properly and keep them. If you are top dog, your empoyees can always earn more money - have more opportunity somewhere else.

BTW, the small town is serious. Two of the most successful internet marketers I know are located in a small town and you either work for them or you move. They love the downward pressure on salary.

I need the cultural excitement of the big city so it wouldn't work for me. I don't think.

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