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Google Wave crash helped push Maps man to Facebook

Mountain View pulled plug too early, says Rasmussen

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Google’s latest Facebook mutineer – Lars Rasmussen – recently quit the world’s largest ad broker in part because of the challenges associated with working for such a large company.

In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Rasmussen said the demise of his pet project, Google Wave, had been far too speedy.

“We were not quite the success that Google was hoping for, and trying to persuade them not to pull the plug and ultimately failing was obviously a little stressful,” he said.

“It takes a while for something new and different to find its footing and I think Google was just not patient.”

Rasmussen clearly wants his voice to be heard in Silicon Valley, hence the switcheroo to Facebook.

The Mountain View Chocolate Factory currently employs 25,000 staff, compared to Facebook’s 2,000 workers.

“The energy there [Facebook] is just amazing, whereas it can be very challenging to be working in a company the size of Google,” said Rasmussen, who built the original Google Maps alongside his brother Jens.

He has been based in Sydney, Australia, but will set up camp in Silicon Valley next month when he joins the Mark Zuckerberg-run social network.

Rasmussen chirped that his new employer had “already changed the world” before adding there was “so much more to be done there”.

But although he has no plans to plonk a Wave-like product inside Facebook, that’s not to say that Rasmussen isn’t obsessing about social tech.

“I do think that social is a significantly less-explored area still than search, and it is sort of the frontier of technology in many ways,” he said – before adding that search would probably be sticking around “forever”. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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