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As you can imagine this has been a pretty stressful week for me. But it hasn't been all bad. On Thursday I was given an honorary Darwin Award, and on Friday they crowned me Miss South Carolina.
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Congrats +Steve Yegge I enjoyed reading your earlier post and I hope you didn't get in too much trouble for it. 
Steve - you have become a hero of sorts to many of us. I am teaching your letter in my social media class @ NYU --- it's a clear-eyed view into the mechanics of connecting people to technology. it's what almost all of us - at least around these precincts - do for a living. it's a whole bunch of very smart, tight lessons crammed into one long lecture. thanks again - from us all .
hang in there. it all turned out well for tom cruise in jerry maguire. ;-)
I was glad to read you had such a positive experience with the PR folks. Every time I've worked with them I've been impressed. They really understand Google's culture of competent, outspoken, opinionated people.
When you feel strongly about something, speak loudly, you were just voicing out loud and there's nothing wrong with that. Stay Strong!!
<insert words of wisdom here> I realized after your post that it was in the best interest of Google+ that your opinion made it out there. I am sure the company was able to invest more resources into your concerns after your message then they would have otherwise with an internal memo. Unfortunately we will never be able to see this openness again, but it was refreshing. Since I am sure your resume isn't shabby your job would not be impacted by this type of revelation in a respectable company and I am sure the quality of your work does not reflect it either. So you should not be concerned. Tomorrow is a new day. Standing out is hard at Google, but when you do so make sure to take a positive step forward at all times as I find that people that are positive in the hard times are the best people to have in the easy.
Yes, I read about your comments and I hope that Google truly is a company with a culture that can handle a candor even if it slips out into a stream it was not intended for. Most companies have regressive cultures which tend to punish, poke and produce a very negative work environment. I like G+, but I still am on FB because it does have a platform which is comfortable and has many of my less technologically inspired friends and family. Real growth can happen when a company values those who are candid. It reflects well on Google that they seem to understand the value of this and that "stuff happens". Best to you and Google from a happy G+, FB, Linkin, etc., user.
Speaking your mind has consequences, but the 'Occupy' folks will probably face more dire consequences than you will. Either way, it is probably not fair, but in the end, you will probably come out of it better than 99% of the 'Occupy' folks.
The irony, +Steve Yegge, was that you posted your write-up the wrong way because you had next to no experience actually using the very product you were criticizing. It was a great read full of food for thought, but now that the episode's over, it would be nice if you could spend some time really using and getting to know G+ (it's fantastic, btw), and then you can give us an update on what you think.
As with Stevey's Drunken Blog Rants, when I read them a couple years ago (yeah, I think I actually read all of them) I was riveted. I love the way your express your opinions and the obvious thought you put into support for them. I agree with most of what you said about what Google should and shouldn't be doing, and I'm very glad the post didn't stay internal, because I haven't yet realized the dream of being a Googler, so I wouldn't have been able to see it.

Here's hoping none of the HR people started a conversation with "This is really no big deal..."
actually I don't care at all about what you did. If what you wrote, was what you actually tought, well done. Nowadays we all just need truth, also if it does occour by accident. That doesn't make you a worse programmer or a worse employee. It makes you just a man who wrote the truth.
starting from now, the goal of google (which in all of our mind is the most open company *ever*) should be avoid what you said from being the truth.
Being granted an honorary Darwin award while above ground level is a rare feat, Steve. It's just as rare to be crowned Miss South Carolina while living in California. I frankly did extract a bit of irony on the "leak" being caused by traversing the user G+ user interface late at night. Been there; inviting everybody in my circles (including Florian Mueller) to my "test" hangout.

However, your observations about the power of platforms and the dog food that us outside developers are given with Google (and the people food that MS and Amazon provide) certainly hit home with me.

I've been pondering for some time why Google Analytics reports my location as "San Diego, CA" (properly) but google's location API tells me consistently my location is a residential location in Lemon Grove, CA (5 miles N), but a friend has it report his location 10 miles south. Iguess there is dog food to eat at those locations.

Best of luck. If there is any justice, you'll be promoted.
I must say I am fundamentally perplexed by this whole "affair". IMHO +Steve Yegge made some valuable and insightful remarks composed in an excellent essay. So?
thinks that the list of major corporations where you could air your criticisms & opinions so openly is very short--which indicates the healthy work environment at G
I enjoyed reading it, with any luck, Google will value your opinion. :)
I don't care what happens at google but your talk at OSCON Data was amazing!!
It wouldn't have been such a problem if you weren't such a goddamn talented writer. Remember that old "don't tell them I prepped you. Just go kick ass on your interviews and we'll be square." Yeah, that was me.
Congratulations on your awards. See, fame does have its rewards (just ask Caitlin Upton.)
You did it. You let go of something that you've been bottling up for a while. You have probably been searching for like minded folk within and outside Google for a while - who would just listen and understand your perspective. Perhaps even for the whole six years? That is a strange and lonely experience that only people who've been in your position will understand.

The key thing is what you do next. You have an opportunity to construct a plan or even a strategy to test and validate your opinion within Google. If you've not already started, then my advice is do this now. Show +Larry Page +Sergey Brin and the other senior folks there you know how to build a better Google as well as de-construct the problems. Businesses are built and brought to whole new levels on insights such as yours, however they are only really built by action. Ask Larry and Sergey they know.
Fantastic series of observations, well expressed. As already said, if there is any justice, you'll be promoted. If there is any fairness, you'll be listened to and further respected. And, as Miss South Carolina you'll be able to help with the maps for this nation and South Africa and the Iraq and such and so forth.

Stressful, I'm sure, but: potentially just promotion, likely fairly listened to and further respected, and helping with the maps and the Iraq and such and so forth - a banner week of accomplishment! All the best to you :)
Congratulations to this fabulous marketing trick! I've been reading you posts for years now and only this one made into the German mainstream press.

I mean ... it /was/ on purpose, wasn't it?

As a matter of fact Steve does not exist, he is just the Google PR bot. They've created him couple of years ago, along with others, just to use later for PR boost. Not to be suspicious, they gave him a job, a title, some blog posts, etc. Long live Google! AI meets PR...
Once in a while you strayed away from just ranting and hit some of the stuff that just makes sense. Platforms is one and "eating your own dog food" was another. I want to see the Ms South Carolina sash - or it didn't happen.
I can see where the stresses of representing South Carolina would get to you. The real pain will come next year when you have to defend your crown
Congrats ....We want to see some bikini photo as proof!!!! ;)
Feedback is a gift. The accidental public disclosure will make it hard for your post to be dismissed. In the future, I suspect this will be viewed as a watershed moment.
Steve, I've always liked your writing, and frequently benefited from it as well. I hope the discussions you had with the higher ups were on the order of "You were right, and we're putting you on the team that's starting to address these very issues. Now learn how to use Plus properly. In the meantime, whenever you check in code Perforce is going to say 'Did you remember to post your code on Google Plus?'"
To me you are very brave and it also shows that you care about your company and that you have faith that it can do great things (even more than the ones it already has done). I think your bosses will appreciate your words :)
it was out of concern and not malice i think. well said.
Look at the bright side ... how many followers do you have now ?
On A Monday I Was Ar-rested (Uh Huh)
On A Tuesday They Locked Me In The Jail (Oh Boy)
On A Wednesday My Trial Was At-tested
On A Thursday They Said Guilty And The Judge's Gavel Fell
I loved your post for the reasons I believe you wrote it. Too bad it was taken as a rant against Google and Google+. It actually reinforces almost everything I have heard about Amazon though. Still hope you learn those circles settings a bit better because of this. ;)
I read the entire posting, and (perhaps) ironically, I've been spending much time in the last few months making my broadcast/cable-oriented system work just the way for others that it does for me.
Oops sorry about the typo, fixed now.
Thank you very much: your rants taught me a lot, but I reckon they must've costed you dearly...
+Steve Yegge I really loved your post. One thing I found strange though.... my version of Chrome does have a setting for changing the default font. Preferences/Under the Hood/Web Content/Customise Fonts...
If the great G does do the pink slip thing then you really ought to write up your post and related thoughts into a book. In fact you probably ought to do that anyway but I guess that you don't have the time. There's a huge failure to grok cloud interconnectivity these days and what I took as the basis for your rant "It's the API stupid!" has not been properly internalized by most of the world.
Hi Steve, just read your original post :) Great stuff, really. Learned a lot today :) There was an article few years ago by +Tim O'Reilly about the advantage of creating platforms vs. creating products. If I understand you correctly, you generalized this by showing that every product must be a platform to be successful. Hmm... I will think of this when the moment comes :) (One thing I was missing while reading your post was Google App Engine. You talk a lot about AWS, but did not mention GAE, which is a very similar platform. Okay, this has nothing to do with G+ not offering a real platform.)
I applaud you. It takes courage to do what you did even if it was just meant to be internal. Companies that are serious about moving forward and creating great experiences for the end-user listen to their employees and user input. Google has been very good at listening. Unlike other companies that give you something and say your gonna take it and like it lol. Anyway, in the end maybe you'll get a promotion out of it.
Do not hold back, you made a statemen, it's like you throw a stone and hiding your hand. Be a man Yegge. Accept the implications of your acts and move on.
Fame is stressfull Steve, get use to it. :-b
Tim P
Leo Laporte is talking about your memo leak on the live TWiT cast right now, you're famous :)
+Nicholas Rumas You have apparently completely misunderstood my post. I was not criticizing the G+ product. I was criticizing Google's cultural inattention to developer platforms, and I used G+'s external APIs as just one example. I could have chosen a completely different Google product as my example. In fact I probably should have, given the confusion my criticism of the G+ APIs has caused.

I do have plenty of personal issues with the design of the G+ product -- for instance, your comment and my reply to it are physically very distant in the page, and they are not linked in any way. That seems very broken to me. It feels to me as if G+ has been designed with the express intent of discouraging intelligent conversation -- with the direct and unfortunate result that most of what we have on G+ is unintelligent conversation. That is just one of many, many personal issues I have with the G+ product design. Taken together, these issues are the reason that I have not used the product much. I would have built something almost unimaginably different from this.

But to be clear: none of that is what my post was about. It's important, so I'll say it again: my post was not about the G+ application. My post's central thesis, in a nutshell, is that there is no way for anyone else to build a frontend to G+ that works the way they believe it should work.

Edit: +Nicholas Rumas But about 30% of the press made the same conclusion you did, so it's prolly my fault. :)
They used to ask Miss South Carolina contestants hard questions like "How shall we bring about world peace?" Now they get simple lollipops like "What could be improved within Google's strategic product and platform development processes?" Shsesh.

I didn't see your swimsuit round, but I still suspect that this competition was rigged.
Haven't we gone far enough down that path, Damien, to challenge the mantra of "intelligent conversation?"

In some competiton in the future, a contestant somewhere will be asked "does enabling third-party developers via publicly-declared APIs add more value to a product, system or platform than a closed architecture and if so, why?" In that contest -- whether the answer is delivered while wearing a maillot [woman's one-piece bathing suit] or not, the right answer will be informed, at the least, by Steve's inadvertent posting.
+Steve Yegge You're a bloody hero for sharing.....And most heroes have a burden to bear, yours is "the wrong circle" syndrome.
+Steve Yegge Damn, again you make a really good point! Yes I completely agree G+ comments are completely disjointed, it would be much better as a tree structure, unfortunately that will scare off regular people so I imagine it was a conscious choice. But that really goes back to your argument that it should have been built as a platform and then other could have re-imagined it however they wanted. G+ is still so far beyond Facebook in terms of usability tough, so I'll continue to love it.
At least this week you learn how to use your circles :)
I applaud your courage for stating what you believe in publicly and standing behind it. Its easy to be a company man but it takes real heart to tell the truth. For that reason, everything will work out and I would'nt worry.
Thanks for sharing. You have done more publicly to engage conversation around Google Plus with one post than I have seen since its release.
Your post documented what just about every developer who has ever tried to use AppEngine, Apps Script or Google APIs already knows, or at least knows the consequences of. As we develop with G, we inevitably treat G as a platform and expect it to behave as such. That it doesn't is painful, time consuming and often downright embarrassing as we try to explain to our peers and managers why something that should be simple, or at least, deterministic, is actually neither. I fervently hope that somewhere within G, the issues you've raised are already in hand and under active development. If not, then I suspect you've just talked yourself into a new role :-)

You can look forward to a hero's welcome at Google IO next year.
+Steve Yegge Actually, I don't think it was your fault at all :)

The press largely went for the easiest (slightly sensational) angle, and I approached it as a fan and avid user of G+ the product. Which, as you point out, your post really was not about. So the fault was on the press and me. I wasn't trying to take an unfair shot at you, sorry if it came across that way. I just couldn't resist shifting gears to the product itself, which I think is great and you admitted you had limited experience with.

I might as well keep talking about the product since I started this: I think what's here is pretty awesome for something that launched in late June. There are tons of areas, big and small, that need improvement. In the former category, G+ needs to become something more than a FB alternative, and opting to feature the same ilk of mindless/valueless games as FB was a huge setback in establishing that identity, as far as I'm concerned. But with the speed of iteration displayed thus far, I'd say there's a pretty good chance the problems will be addressed.

Regarding the platform, hopefully there's a bigger vision for all of this that will reveal itself soon enough.
More important than eating one's own dog food, is taking criticism in all its' forms objectively. I enjoyed the article or rant, whatever it is to be called.
I felt that if you get past the "rant" bit (even then it was quite good w/o any useless profanity which takes away a LOT from the message) the analysis was quite concise and the arguments were quite informed. (Safe harbor: am not a programmer)
If it's any consolation, your post has helped our Architecture team at work validate some of the value of implementing an SOA, and we're taking your lessons learned to heart.
I learned a lot from your post and I'm thankful for that.
Ain't the internet grand... There was a time when the most embarrassment one could ever expect would be to fall down the stairs in front of a squad of cheerleaders, or make a joke about your boss's comb-over with him standing behind you. Now we are able to reach millions and every level of corporate management in less than a second.
Doesn't Miss South Carolina automatically come with an Honorary Darwin Award?
Well I am certainly hoping someone like you bubbles up to the top at Google. That blonde bimbo Google parades around as torch carrier and protector of their much self-lauded "look and feel" is a joke that has never made anyone laugh. What you call "platform" is a concept that needs to be generalized to apply to any domain (not just social media venue or device OS). Google, it must be remembered, is a billboard rental company ("Your Message Here!"). I hate indirection and spin and Google has done a fantastic job hiding its money maker behind the oh so benevolent OZ of search… and now, social media? Nobody ever seems to notice that the results Google provides to its search "customers" are ridiculously limited to what Google includes in its web index and most importantly, to what Google decides is the profitable sub-fraction of the web (the parts of the web on which advertizers will buy billboard space). I am all for the honesty you (Steve Yegge) have shown, but there are far more honest and important issues that need to be dragged out into the light of day. Google is a very very naked emperor. Until Google or someone else figures out how to make money directly from its search customers, it will continue to be led around by a nose ring tugged indiscreetly by a silent minority of people and entities with a very specific and self-centered agenda. The Google killer, will be the group that figures this out first. Try to imagine for an instant, the super-category that is everything that could be on the web should the value of content matter more than whether or not a pizza or shoe seller thinks hungry or shoeless people are itching to spend money there. The very content of the most value to mankind is the content Google won't index, is the content Google doesn't share the wealth with, is the raw data from sensors and metrics and surveys. Without which, the "internet" is just a popularity contest where bland, vanilla, beige middle of the road, averages and copies of averages clog up the toilet bowl of content we are forced to call "information". This is bad for the world, and it is bad for Google. Information doesn't mix well with market dynamics. Information is in some very real ways, the antithesis of a market. Information, by definition is difference and difference hides out at the raged fringes of any center-of-the-bell-curve seeking market. How, you might ask, does one write an algorithm to take the place of popularity? That determines and then weights content according to the intrinsic value of information it contains? There are any number of ways to go about this but the most simple way to understand value in information is as a dependence hierarchy. For each chunk of information, you draw links to the information upon which it depends. From this web of links order will appear. At the base will be those definitions and data upon which all other information ultimately depends. Above that, a stratification will crystalize, general down below, specific up above. A dependency indexing strategy differs dramatically from a popularity indexing strategy, as it maps the actual causal relationships between information entities independent of the vantage sensitivity of consumption and observation patterns. The structure of reality doesn't care about what human minds think of the structure of reality. The data upon which we depend must be as agnostic to the whims of our information consumption patterns as is the world it represents.
I thought this was great: I don't see you being negative towards Google in any way, personally I
wasn't sure there really were people at Google, is it possible to get a human being on the phone? my crazy idea for the day!
I did almost EXACTLY the same thing in 1993 at Silicon Graphics. A very negative internal memo of mine on software usability leaked to the world. SGI learned a little something and nothing bad happened to me. In case you're interested, here are a couple of paragraphs about it, plus a link to the original memo:

Good luck to you!
The emperor isn't wearing any clothes. You're doing him a favour.
Well, let's be clear about one thing. Removing the post was inappropriate. Yes it is your post, your account, your ideas. But, Google is about being the anti-Apple. Being "the standard" of open systems. Witness this Android phone operating system mess we all have (but I digress). So, the post should be re-instituted please. Yes, we can get it elsewhere on the web. But, by doing that you are restricting clear and open access to information (one of Google's columns of virtue). Whatever figurative or literal Google backwater you work in (and where exactly are the "unimportant" jobs at Google by the by), it is important that you maintain fidelity with the company's ideals. Even the lowest of the Roman legion capitulated to what they thought was the goodwill and good leadership of the emperor even though they may have personally thought otherwise So, please put it back up, on a easily accessed Google site (plus). The last thing the cloud needs right now are further barriers to information. Used wisely, this could lead to either you, or your superiors (so-called), having a public pulse of reasonably early adopters to bounce intellectually with. Frankly, my suspicion is that this is the intent of this.
Now there is a rant, sir! But, i really mean it, please re post it. It's important.
Don't be like the White House, blocking e-mail access after the fact.
Responses welcome
And one last thing, removing the comment link on the apology post??!!?? Really?!? Are we serious?!?
Speaking of a lack of platform. The elephant in the room award has to go to the fact that nobody is allowed into or onto or under or beside or above the web index. And by not platforming the ad model, google has killed off other media that it could have kept alive and healthy and made a killing doing so. Print news and periodicals and books and posters and anything made of atoms could benefit from ad word mapping, but google is too arrogant? Lazy? Stupid? Busy? Rich? Bit-centric? ... to care? Maybe google confuses it's ad service with the web because the web is where it all works? I am agast at the wasted potential.
Your rant was insightful for the entire industry. No doubt you've caught seven kinds of hell for it. You have clarified that unnamed problem I've always had with Google.

That Amazon beat Google to this epiphany is frankly very, very sad. Google is stocked to the gills with accomplished CS dudes and it gets outfoxed by Internet Walwart.

But, it ain't over till its over.
It all comes down to business and how to make money. Seems they both do a pretty good job. Just different customers. All this ranting is really just CS pragmatism but it was a terrific read IMHO.
I like that Google (in theory?) allows it's employees to be open about self-criticism. Have you experienced any negative effects from the treatise? Any chance your point that the culture must change, will actually influence significant change?
Question: is every comment written honestly and with actual concern considered a "rant"?
You sir are my hero! And to know that Google encourages free speech at the employee level makes me love them even more! Keep up the exceptional work and congratulations on your recent awards!
I was able to read your post before you deleted it, and I would like to thank you very much for it. I understand why you deleted it, completely; I would have deleted it too. But your riff on Chrome and accessibility were spot-on. Thank you! Great writing, and I hope you have better weeks going forward, Mr. Yegge.
You should write a book, look forward. Go with the opportunity wherever it takes you.
It was a good post. Thanks for the chuckle.
Its too bad Google doesn't just have it all public. I think it would be interesting for everyone to see the inside rants. could be an stream all of its self for Google+
You're starting to become a hero of sort Steve, keep up :)
Accident or not, it is actually refreshing to see some of Google's flaws exposed from someone who understands better than most. The outside does get a holier than though attitude from Google, as you said in your post, trying to tell us what we like and should like and how we should surf the web, retrieve our information, instead of giving as a wonderful interface to do it and figure out what we like... pay you for the platform to build our web, organically as you nicely stated.
accident/not, I'd love to see more clear-thinking analysis of this sort in the business world. I made a new circle for you: "BAMFs."
Glad to see that you are still at El Goog. Although no doubt you got a hard time from your bosses, its nice to know that ultimately they are big enough to take the criticism whether they do anything about it or not. All the best!
Hey, cool! I like HONESTY!

BTW, when will we get to have more than 5000 friends on G+? I have been waiting and waiting and waiting. A month or two seems like an eternity when we can do NOTHING to accept more contacts. I'll give you 5 more points if you can gripe about that for me.
+Steve Yegge Have you gotten any response from the Google management layers? It would be interesting to hear their opinion on the platform post.
I also see above that you say that you didn't criticize the G+ product, and I understand what you mean in one way, but on the other hand G+ should be a platform, so by bashing its API:s you are basically criticizing G+ (at least as a platform).
Ed Rudd
Yes, cheer up! It was a great post. I wouldn't have followed up derailing my own arguments - let others take a stab at that. There are plenty of people who will do that no matter what you write.
Steve, I think (and many, many others) you are absolutely RIGHT in every word you said, cause it was fact based and not just your opinion. I'd say sure, it started out as a rant cause you see all these successful companies and wish you guys had some of their DNA, but it described both articulately and honestly why & how companies can thrive OR starve based on the idea of how they embrace a platform. Startups around the world can benefit very much from your insight! So thanks for sharing and good luck to you and Google.

Personally I'd use anything if its Accessible and designed well enough to work with external applications (eg. 3rd party) around the web. And part of why I don't use Google+ as much is party because its not as accessible and flawless as Facebook. It just doesn't have that "addiction" factor cause its not a platform and its not extensible... its a product. My view is products are like leaves of a tree - sure they look nice & change color once in a while but to grow they need a strong root system which must be supplanted throughout the tree/organization and EVERYONE can benefit from it IF the dogfood is used by everyone internally.
I can only imagine how much your co workers have been laughing at you :) but on the up side before this you were a nameless googler to the world and now people know you, funny how life works.
I personally think the Darwin Award is a mark of honor. Not everyone gets to do something profoundly stupid (well, that's harsh but you get the idea) and survive it. Also kudos for your write up concerning the post itself you posted. It was an insightful view into Amazon at the very least and very enjoyable to read.
is not so bad being Miss South Carolina
at least you'll get a tiara with diamonds and stuff
Read this post the other day, but didn't understand it. Now I do...everyone makes mistakes. It's makes a great story! :)
Miss South Carolina, fit you perfectly well based more on the statements than on your appearance, right?, until someone finds the picture of you then .. good luck with the new appointments, are anxiously watching your new career as a queen .. BR Trond # 1 fan.
U Will Live 2 Rule Once More, Yegge .. BR Trond #1 fan
Yee Lau
I really love your previous post, even though it's no longer link to your G+ account. Regardless, I agreed with most of the points on there...especially teh point of Google lacking of a platform.

I can imagine how awkward it is for you especially after the media did a craze cover of your post, regardless, I hope Amazon and Google executives takes notes and actually rethink your points. Sometimes the executives, while brilliant, are so focus on their day to day or next big thing, the missed the most obvious stuff, stuff that matters to its employees as well as the end users. I sincerely hope you will get a better role because of this fame, a role that can make changes to Google for the better of the future products. Because Google definitely need to stop producing more new products when the existing ones aren't even link from one another. And like Steve Jobs said to Larry Page - it's time to focus on your big 5 products. My thought - G+ isnt one of them...yet.
I. Wyrd
Well it's good to know that you probably won't have to suffer any negative repercussions from the accidental post, apart from the guilt, etc.

Even though it was never intended for the outside world, your post was very enlightening. It actually makes me like Google more not less, and it helps me understand why Google seems to forever have problems with (successfully) launching new things.

So even though I'm not employed by Google, I hope the Whole Huge Google Organization is able to make a lot of significant progress towards the Platform First model. Because if someone has to be the ruler of the world, it should probably be Google. It's the only company I know of with a decent motto I can really support.

Good luck.

Furry cows moo and decompress.
Darwin award! HAHAHAHAHA awesome.
I'm late to this party, but honestly, I think the Miss South Carolina crack is worse than the Darwin award, and I'm FROM South Carolina. It's not better with this year's debacle, although to Miss Mosteller's credit (2013 Miss SC), we do actually have the highest per capita rate of trailer homes. If this story ( had come out a week earlier, her Miss America introduction would have been much funnier (
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