Kaila bought my attention to a Silicon Alley post that is a pretty stark assertion about Google. It seems an anonymous Silicon Valley insider claims that it’s not just Yahoo with significant internal strife, he claims Microsoft, eBay and Google also have problems. He is quoted as saying;

Google’s a complete f–ing mess on the inside. A total f–ing trainwreck. They don’t talk to each other. They fight constantly. A lot is being pissed away. In three or four years you’ll be looking back at this company and wondering what happened

Now it has to be said that Google is an exceptionally profitable trainwreck at the moment, but it also has to be said that most (nearly all) of that profit comes from one source – Adwords. It only needs a successful advertising foray by Microsoft to remove significant amount of the Google fairy dust.

As Kaila so rightly points out, and to paraphrase something I said a few days ago in relation to another company, when you’re big it’s easy for people to throw rocks at you. Google has grown so meteorically that they’re bound to trip up – admittedly it’s been a week full of trips for Google, but they’re so in the public view that every move they make is watched.

I don’t think Google will fall any time soon – I do however think that people need to think about a post Adwords revenue stream for the Googlers (and I’m sure they’re at the ‘plex right now doing just that)

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • Im not sure it is really possible for tech companies to become ‘big’ in terms of number of people, without a significant deterioration in internal standards.

    You see this all the time with vendor companies, started by some really on to it people, then they grow, make more money, get some more people, then some more, they start writing ‘standards’ manuals because they have a lot of people and need to treat them like McDonalds workers to get them producing.

    Im just not sure its possible. If money is the important thing, you can make a lot of money with lower standards, but… if standards are important, then do what 37signals are doing. Use technology to scale, rather than people.

  • I suspect from the POV of a deeply enterprise orientated person, the Googleplex probably would seem like a trainwreck. The have a lot of a very smart geeks working in small teams, and some of them are on their 20% time and answerable to no-one. There’s no doubt they piss away a lot of value – but maybe that’s what you have to do in order to keep your ubergeeks interested and motivated.

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