Feeds

Ex-Google man laments Larry Page's 'single corporate-mandated focus'

That ads+faces conundrum turns sour at Chocolate Factory

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

A software engineer who has bounced between Microsoft and Google over the past few years is very disappointed indeed with his one-time boss Larry Page.

James Whittaker took to his blog to moan about the current state of play over at the Chocolate Factory and complained that Google is killing its business by obsessing over its rivalry with Facebook.

The developer bod joined the search giant in 2009, after quitting Microsoft. And he had nothing but praise to heap on his employer under the leadership of then CEO Eric Schmidt.

"No one had to ask me twice to promote Google and no one was more surprised than me when I could no longer do so. In fact, my last three months working for Google was a whirlwind of desperation, trying in vain to get my passion back," he lamented.

James Whittaker can no longer raise a glass to Google

"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."

Whittaker said that "technically" Google had always been an ad company, but compared that huge revenue slurp from the commercial world with that of a TV show, which carries popular material to lure advertisers.

He continued: "The fact that all this was paid for by a cash machine stuffed full of advertising loot was lost on most of us.

"Maybe the engineers who actually worked on ads felt it, but the rest of us were convinced that Google was a technology company first and foremost; a company that hired smart people and placed a big bet on their ability to innovate."

Under Page, who returned to the helm of Mountain View nearly a year ago, all that changed, Whittaker said, discussing his take on the Google co-founder's "social" strategy.

Google has repeatedly failed at building a social network to compete with Facebook. Some insist that Google+ is the answer to that how-to-get-845-million-people problem.

Whittaker brilliantly nails what appears to be, for Google at least, a pervasive rejection of its attempts to turn its business into a mighty, all-conquering and very sticky online property.

"Google could still put ads in front of more people than Facebook, but Facebook knows so much more about those people. Advertisers and publishers cherish this kind of personal information, so much so that they are willing to put the Facebook brand before their own," he wrote.

"Exhibit A: www.facebook.com/nike, a company with the power and clout of Nike putting their own brand after Facebook’s? No company has ever done that for Google and Google took it personally."

Whittaker, of course, has now returned to the Microsoft fold, so arguably he may simply have joined Redmond's breathless campaign to bitch about Google. But his blog post makes some salient points, already expressed elsewhere, about Page's plans for the world's biggest search engine biz. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.