Did Ads ‘Ruin’ Google?

James Whittaker raised eyebrows when he jumped ship from Google last month after working as a development director for its Google Plus social network. In this intriguing blog post, he lays out the reasons for his decision, which primarily concern the changing nature and culture of the company. It used to be an innovation factory, he said, empowering and feeding employees’ entrepreneurial and creative spirits. Now, though, it’s just all about ads.

The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate. The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus. Technically I suppose Google has always been an advertising company, but for the better part of the last three years, it didn’t feel like one. Google was an ad company only in the sense that a good TV show is an ad company: having great content attracts advertisers.

Read the full post on Whittaker’s Microsoft Blog.


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