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. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
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.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.