(Copied from the original thread)


(Copied from the original thread)
I have a number of friends who like to criticise Google (and G+ in particular) because you don't always get it right. My constant counter is that you at least get it less wrong, most of the time.

Yes, there are things that the Big G does that I disagree with - but you never try to tell me 'that it is for my own good' - you tell me 'we think this way is better because...' or 'we think this can help you - try it out'. And you do listen to feedback. It might take a while to be acted on, but it does get acted on.

And sometimes you get it wrong. Which is human. Even with the brightest, most caring people in the world, you will not get it completely right all the time. But you will get it wrong less often.

Which is better than most, and the best we, as fallible human beings can strive for.

Originally shared by Vincent Mo

The heart of a Googler

I was thinking about the lively conversation going on in my post about http://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.com/2012/06/security-warnings-for-suspected-state.html
In particular, I was wondering what made me and Dave Cohen respond so passionately on a topic that has more to do with our employer than with us personally.

Then I realized how this actually does hit us (and many other Googlers) personally. Here's how it goes down:

1.) Someone at Google talks with another Googler about how terrible it is for governments to spy on their own people and how much it sucks that they try to do it through our products. One of them says, "We should do something about it."

(Note: Yes, this really is how many conversations sound at Google. Not like some people suspect:  "Hm I wonder how we can squeeze a few pennies out of our users. I know! Let's make an elaborate scheme to trick them into securing their accounts so that we can make more money by... spending more engineering resources to support the increased security? Wait...")

2.) One of those Googlers convinces someone to let them use Google's resources to build, for example:
a.) a way to warn Gmail users who are being targeted by state sponsored attacks (http://goo.gl/y6D6z) or
b.) a page that reveals which governments are asking Google to censor stuff (http://goo.gl/GcakX) or
c.) any number of other services that are just good for users.
We get a sneak peek of the service before it goes out to the public, and it makes us proud to be Googlers.

3.) The service launches publicly to great acclaim. Hooray! However, someone inevitably comes up with an alternate explanation for why Google would put so much energy behind it. This explanation often cites money as the primary motivation and includes a comment about Google having turned evil sometime in the distant past. See Note above. Of course, it couldn't be because someone at Google actually cares about our users. Nope, no way.

4.) Googlers like me and Dave Cohen see the accusation, and it boils our blood. It actually makes me feel nauseous sometimes.

Honestly, I can't blame people for thinking that way. I might think the same way if I was looking at Google from the outside. But, if you'll remember from 1.) and 2.) above, this stuff actually is motivated by a concern for our users, and on the whole, Googlers take a lot of pride in doing good. It becomes part of our identity as Googlers. Because of this, it really stings when people question our motives.

So if we get on a soap box or go on bit of a tirade, please understand that it's probably not anything personal against you. It might just be because you hit a nerve. :)

I don't pretend that Google isn't a money making entity, and it's true that Google is a business. But here's the thing. If you start with a company that already makes a good amount of money and then you fill it with people who like to have fun and do good, you end up with a place where a lot of people can focus on building fun things and doing good.

I'll leave you with a comment I wrote on another post:
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It also makes me feel nauseous (ya, really) when people say things like, "They're doing it for the money." In the time I've worked on Google+ so far (including as a manager), I haven't heard a single person mention money as the reason for any decision we've made. The G+ team is 100% invested in making the best G+ experience we can. Period.
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Comments

  1. Don't let it get to you Rob many Supporters of google apple microsoft or whatever resemble fashionistas and desperately try to convince every else about their grand product and just as desperately tell you how evil the system your using is.
    Often using lies and baseless stories to support their point of view 
    just do you want and feel comfortable with and the rest can go heave

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is a great post - thank you :D

    ReplyDelete

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