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Hi external-world folks,

I posted a long opinionated rant tonight about how I think Google could be doing a much better job of thinking from the ground up in terms of services rather than products. Sadly, it was intended to be an internal post, visible to everybody at Google, but not externally. But as it was midnight and I am not what you might call an experienced Google+ user, by the time I figured out how to actually post something I had somehow switched accounts.

I've taken the post down at my own discretion. It was kind of a tough call, since obviously there will be copies. And everyone who commented was nice and supportive.

I contacted our internal PR folks and asked what to do, and they were also nice and supportive. But they didn't want me to think that they were even hinting at censoring me -- they went out of their way to help me understand that we're an opinionated company, and not one of the kinds of companies that censors their employees. That was cool and all, but I still didn't know what to do.

So I made the call myself and deleted it. Part of the reason is that for internal posts, it's obvious to everyone that you're posting your own opinion and not representing the company in any way, whereas external posts need lots of disclaimers so people don't misunderstand. And I can assure you, in case it was not obvious, that the whole post was my own opinions and not Google's. I mean, I was kind of taking them to task for not sharing my opinions. :)

The other reason I deleted it is that it's really a private conversation between me and my peers and co-workers at Google. I love working at Google, and I especially love the fact that I'm comfortable posting something as inflammatory as my post may have been. The company is super open internally, and as I said several times in my post, they really try hard to do everything right. That includes being open to strongly differing opinions, and that has certainly not been true at every company I've worked at.

There are of course lots of parts of my post that I'd love to talk about externally, except I'm kinda lazy and complacent these days. Please realize, though, that even now, after six years, I know astoundingly little about Google. It's a huge company and they do tons of stuff, and I work off in a little corner of the company (both technically and geographically) that gives me very little insight into anything else going on there. So my opinions, even though they may seem well-formed and accurate, really are just a bunch of opinions from someone who's nowhere near the center of the action -- so I wouldn't read too much into anything I said.

Anyway, as soon as I've got a good night's sleep (unlikely at this point, but I can try), I'll repost it internally.
Steve Yegge's profile photoAditya Raj Bhatt's profile photoNm Pl's profile photomega SEO's profile photo
Too late Steve. Now we know about Google's Achilles Heel. Wait for Google stocks to tumble.
Rip Rowan
+Steve Yegge that is a shame on several fronts.

First off, it's a shame that it happened in error - it sucks that you spent so much time and thought in creating a brilliant article only to probably get your hand slapped and feel bad for having accidentally posted it publicly.

More importantly, it sucks for those of us who reposted it, because it is a truly brilliant commentary and it really deserves to be read by everyone in the IT world, not because of what it says about Google or Amazon but because of what it says about how IT should be managed. It's the kind of writing Joel Spolsky used to do back when he was relevant.

Hopefully Google will simply post it publicly so you don't have to.
Sankar P
I hope Google does not act evil and cause you any problems. It was a nice read. I enjoyed reading it.
Rip Rowan
Are you asking those of us who reshared it to take it down? I will, if asked, but I really don't want to, because as I said above, it has tremendous educational value. If I taught IT management, it would be required reading.
I'd ask you to take it down, but it's kind of pointless once search engines have picked up copies. Also, given that Google has explicitly told me they're not going to censor me, I think it'd be pretty rude of me to try to censor you.
As +Rip Rowan I found it greatly interesting and re-shared it as well. I am will to delete it if you prefer it not to circulate. Ok, just saw your comment about it. BTW, I'd not consider that rude.
+azeem quadri it isn't censorship if I voluntarily take it down. However, since Steve isn't asking me to take it down, I will leave it up.
+1. I found it insightful. It will be interesting to see how you're now perceived within Google. If management marginalise you, then they're afraid of some brutal observations, which frankly is also indicative if they're inability to self reflect, and in I.T. that is death. But you may be seen as a martyr amongst your peers. At they same time, if they reward you for your "boldness" it can lead to some degree of chaos. But you did the right thing by speaking with Google PR. So, I think this may shake the tree in a good way. Also, I can now blame Bezos solely for the monumental confused pile of crap that is the ebay site. Thanks.
If anything Steve deserves a promotion in Google.
Ok. I took my (limited) re-share down. Interesting as it is, it was not meant to be public and I was not in the intended audience. I do care about author rights and intents. Nevertheless, +Steve Yegge it would be really great if you could republish a cleaned-up version of the rant!
I think its rude that people reshare one post that you consider private.
But that's the Internet we have created, a 4chan Internet.
If People re-share email credentials on twitter, what do you think public will do with your post?
Some people call it journalism. For me it's just data or online lust.

And there is also, competition. Those who will take your words out of context to make profit out of them.

But in the end, I think you'll do just fine. Engineers are suppose to say the things the way are. You're just trying to make the company you work for a better company. There's nothing wrong with that.
Good original post +Steve Yegge , I'm glad you are shaking things up and telling it how it is. I joined Google in 2005 but after a few years of I couldn't take how little the company cared about connecting people. Fight the good fight.
Coming at this as an outsider, although I understand why you took it down, I don't see that it was necessary. There was nothing confidential, and frankly the most interesting things were about Amazon! The parts actually addressing Google directly aren't exactly secret or earth-shattering, most of us in the industry have had a pretty good inkling of the issues for some time.

This is just my opinion, but I'd slap a big disclaimer across the top, maybe edit the phrasing in parts, and put it back up.

Heck, strip out the parts directly addressing Google if you feel you must. Like I said, your thoughts on Amazon and platforms in general were fascinating on their own.
+Nicholas Knight Good Point. Since Steve does not work for Amazon anymore he cannot get fired from there. But they can disable his Amazon account if he has one.
But it would be interesting to see how many hits got because of the article.
ok, it is just a little bit funny that a post that was, in part about usability and in part about Google+ was posted externally by accident, likely do to a usability issue in Google+. #justsayin
I thought it was pretty illuminating (I had always wondered about the Amazon front page). But I was also kind of curious why there was no mention of Android -- it may have been an acquisition, and there are certainly some flaws, but Google turned it into a true platform, and arguably the most successful (or #2) mobile platform in the world.
M Rai
It was a very good read. thanks.
Just wanted to say I also thought it was interesting, and I'm glad you shared it (even though it was accidental). Hope you don't feel too bad...

I'd never really given any thought to the building of these massive platforms -- at least not beyond the basic technical level -- and your commentary on AWS was really thought provoking. Also, it makes it glaringly obvious that Google Docs needs to become a platform as soon as possible -- especially because MS Office, good as the API is, doesn't work at all well on the server for legacy reasons.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, sorry! Kind of ironic someone from Google is the first over-share victim on G+!

Also, is it not you hosting the 'rant' here or has someone just mirrored it??
"Please realize, though, that even now, after six years, I know astoundingly little about Google. It's a huge company and they do tons of stuff, and I work off in a little corner of the company (both technically and geographically) that gives me very little insight into anything else going on there."

so maybe this structure is the problem too. (in a way related to what you described technically.)
+Steve Yegge It only occurred to me after I reshared, when I no longer had Internet access, that you may have intended to post that internally. For what it's worth I've unshared.

It was a fascinating, if epic, read. I'm glad to hear that Googlers are open-minded enough that you can dish out this kind of criticism and have an honest discussion.
It was very interesting reading and if you do an edited version you're happy being spread, I'd love to be able to give it to people I know (I have a personal backup but out of respect won't pass it around)
You had one of those moments that I think a lot of plussers fear.

Steve, it was a great read anyway and I hope that Google takes notice that the plus API needs to improve.
I read it. If I were Larry or Sergey, I'd be happy you had been hired.
Thanks for accidentally posting it publicly; it was a great read. I miss your writing.
I can't say I understood it all (the designer on the outside looking in at the programmers feeling), but what I did understand was positively brilliant, and I agree, a must read. I also completely agree that you should clean it up and work with Google to get it published. It's certainly worthwhile.
hmm, if a googler had trouble using the UI, just imagine what regular people must be thinking.
As a Xoogler, I found your post to be accurate and to the point. I hope that Google does wake up to the opportunities for change. 
The bits about the pro's and con's of SOA (and what you have to do so you can use SOA sanely from an ops and development point of view) are definitely worth publishing in a cleaned up fashion. Definitely a well written rant, even if it was published in the wrong place. :-)

One observation that might be worth making publicly is that one of the reasons why Microsoft got so good about platforms can perhaps be traced to the US consent decree, which forbade Microsoft apps from using internal interfaces, thus forcing them to follow what you called the Gold Rule of Platforms of eating your own dog food. So I think it was more than just Microsoft selling platforms from the very beginning. They were forced by the US Government to be very strict about how they export their interfaces from the OS to their apps.

And one thing about platforms which is very hard to get right --- every API you export is one that you have to support for a long, long, time, where "long, long" approaches "forever". If you have an internal source tree, and the API is only for use internally, it's possible to do a global code search followed by a global fix up if you discover that you didn't quite get the interface right. But once you release an API externally (and this is true for both the Linux kernel as well as a web API), it's Forever, or close enough to it. Not everyone is good at designing interfaces that can meet that standard; it takes practice and judgement and experience.
I'll have everyone know that this is exactly the feeling I get when visiting the "Google Developers" page. It is not inviting nor encouraging. It's not saying; "Come, join us (even though you're not under our umbrella) and do fun stuff! " - like I think it should.

I am not sorry for snooping on your private/internal post - it was well written, filled with a good backstory, emotions and a good cheering on (I guess, in hindsight aimed at Googlers - but truly cheering on for us Externals as well) - while offering a conclusion and a path forward.
Taking it down was a mistake. On Google+ you can edit your post to add a disclaimer; on the multiple copies now scattered around you can't. If there was any damage to Google's reputation (I don't think there was), you would find out what that damage was in the comments and clarify things. Now comments will be way more dispersed and less accessible to you.

I think your best option now is to repost it with a brief, informal disclaimer, then later do a followup post if comments show that people outside Google are getting the wrong impression.
+raw thinktank Yup, interesting notes. I often disable comments and add a link to the original post to not split the conversation, and doing this manually is a little annoying. A link to the original should always be part of shared posts imo.

+Steve Yegge Unfortunate that that happened but I can't avoid to say that it was a pretty interesting (and entertaining) read... Sorry.
Great piece as it really speaks to what is right and wrong about corporate cultures. I see nothing wrong with openly discussing flaws and where there is room for improvement. So would Facebook allow one of their developers to post something like this? The important thing is that we all learn from this and make sure we give google feedback on g+ and where it can be improved. Google tends to roll things out early and depend on the masses as alpha/beta testers. Is that such a bad thing? Should there be APIs? And how did Google know g+ would succeed when Wave flopped? Now can we get back to the Internet "Steve Jobs walked on water" love fest?
Taking it down will only bring more attention to it. If you left it up it would have circled among the usual tech community and not a whole lot more. I thought the commentary was great, fwiw. I think it was a mistake for Google+ to launch without an API - there was so much excitement in those early days from developers, yet no real way to tap that excitement. Every new product now should be an implementation of its own API, an API shouldn't be some afterthought or a feature that you build when you find the time. I have been repeating that with my own startups and clients for years now. This is exactly why Microsoft gets platforms and gets developers - because they have to use their own APIs in implementing their own (successful) products - developers, developers, developers!
I hope that there's no negative fallout from it for you.
Best of luck.
It was fantastic to read as a consumer, and I hope that they give you a fat promotion and insist on listening to what ever you have to say. Or at least, Larry doesn't throw tomatoes at you.
The original/deleted post is an excellent reading!
Thank you very much for these great post anyway! It seems you like Google (company) very much!
I'll definitely send my resume to Google!!!
Thx for the really interesting and excellent post!
Even if it was not your intention to post it to the public channel it was really worth the time to read it.

Hope you don't get any problems and maybe repost it again, it's imho really constructive critics, honestly written and from an outsider without any problems if public (except maybe the many personal references) but otherwise just cool!
Like +Greg Krajewski , I don't think it was just an accident. Some parts of the original rant are a clear giveaway that you were addressing the the public readers of the WWW. :-)
Steve. I fully support you in this case. I think in the end, it will all work out. You were genuine in your concern and those who believe in intellectual honesty and open discourse fully understand that the way to make things better is to have discuss it in a frank manner. Sorry it went public when you didn't mean it to but to those that actually matter, it is no big deal.
The original post was informative and insightful, the eating your own dogfood is excellent advice and should be done more. We all end up being better developers via past experiences and hindsight.

I hope you don't get hauled over the coals for a genuine mistake of telling people how it is, good or bad.
Hi Steve, I really appreciated your point of view in the post. I was especially interested in your perspective on accessibility as that is an area I have focused on for my career. As Google plays a large role in the development of HTML5, I've been sad to see a lot of things left out or willfully ignored from the specification that will be necessary for accessibility.
Very interesting read. Though when I read it this morning I didn't expect everyone to freak out about it and blog the thing Chill out guys.
I found your profile from a copy of the original post that is up on silicon filter - it was entertaining, informative and well written. As a student it is exactly this type of post that should be out there more often. After all without open public discussion of the things that those who have been in the industry for 10 years or more have been frustrated by, how will we ever do it differently?
Steve ... I think you are wrong to a degree. Google+ is a great platform and to be honest the API on a slow roll out is probably better for the network. What is killing Google+ is the lack of business integration. Social Media has become about the business, the thought leaders, the connected, are working in Social Media. Meaning if businesses can't play they cant play. Speaking of eating your own dog food spend more time on G+... it is a platform.
It was a great post. It disappeared when I tried to re-share it. I don't think it would have painted Google in a bad light, just the usual internal struggle that normally no one realizes even exists.
It appears you can still read the post shared by other people. Only re-re-sharing fails.
Please clean up the main ideas of your post and republish! Great stuff.
Is there a G+ spin control add on? ;)
+Steve Yegge You probably pissed off some folks inside Google, but so what? Your intention, clearly, is to make Google better, and I doubt anyone can take issue with your analysis. Hit me up if you EVER want to explore a new gig. Would love to have your passion and experience in our startup. Cheers, and keep the good work coming.
+Steve Yegge just to say I deleted my sharing of said post. I did think it made a good point and I've always been impressed by the stuff you've wrote but I respect your decision.
I really think that this article would benefit everyone, not just those inside Google.
It was a terrific read. I think the reaction will show that Google+ has more impact than you thought.
Very interesting. Here's hoping you make the same G+ mistake again soon. :)
I'd also like to say that I still mourn the passing of wave.
Even if the post was supposed to be private, I'm glad it wasn't.

I've been using Google APIs for years, and they are garbage compared to others. Every company: Yahoo, Microsoft, Amazon, etc. seem to have better APIs with better platform support to make it easier for others to build on top of. Google may have the best products for search, maps, ads, etc.; but they are the worst in letting people innovate on top of those products. It is insanely frustrating to work with Google because of this very reason.
You, Sir, are a load of AWESOME. I hope that you don't get in trouble for this, but that the company takes it as constructive criticism and finds a way to involve you in changing things.
I read your original post and found it extremely good and insightful for any developer. I don't know Google internally but from what I see from the outside is a very good API set with excellent documentation. It's getting a lot better although I agree that the Google+ API's were extremely disappointing.
Dan O
Hey Steve! Don't walk back your comments! If Google really is the amazingly great company you think it is, Google will celebrate you, not terminate you!

What you are doing is needed in just about every company in the US. Imagine that... honesty!!!!

We would all be better off if employees, like yourself, felt absolutely free to make responsible observations about corporate shortcomings. It doesn't mean that you are disloyal... it really means that you care enough to want improvement.

The next move is Google's... will they terminate you (NO!)? Ignore you? Or promote you for being concerned about the long term well being of the company?

Steve, awesome rant, you totally nailed what Google needs to do. But ... did anyone else find it awkward that a post about making things for public consumption by design was then taken down and republished with an INTERNAL only account for only INTERNAL people to read? Talk about not eating your own dogfood. :)

Also, while I 100% agree that the platform is the key part of what makes Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, etc successful, you have to have the platform AND the killer product. The killer product attracts developers that want to be associated with the platform. I think that's where Wave failed. They had a pretty good platform but not such a great product.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts (for however brief), it was a great read. Google is lucky to have you.
and you became famous and picked up a couple of thousand followers, who appreciate your comments.. win win
Sorry to hear this did not go entirely as planned. I am no expert, but it was a well written rant and the kind of debate that a professional company needs. Well done.
Ironically it's intrigue in this post that led me back to Google+ for the first time in 2 months!
Google+ is where I want to be! FB makes me unhappy crazy and I so want to abandon it
Super interesting read. Thanks for accidentally posting!
Epic post. I loved it. In the end, you will be respected for your pov.
GREAT POST! Sad but, you are correct. Yes, you are lucky to be working a Google. If you were working @ HP, Cisco etc... you would be on the streets.
Both posts and commentary have been awesome. An incredible stratospheric overview of where the tech community is truly at.
Both the original accidental post and this explanation are excellent views into what happens at google. I hope both posts get noticed at the top ranks and that you get asked to do a more thought out version of the rant even if the new version is only for internal consumption. It is clear you like being at Google and want to make them even better than they are.
This was such a great read! the best IT related in ages! thanks for sharing (even if not intended). I wish you just the best. I'm sure you've inspired a lot of people...
Awesome rant!!! No, it was more like a MANIFESTO. I hope your manifesto provides turning point for Google.
Give this man a job in Corporate Strategy.
I stuck your 'rant' into my "good advice" Evernote folder. It takes balls to say what you said, and I think it'll have a positive impact for you- best of luck!
I completely agree with your post. Makes me wonder how much a person external to google(myself) could do to help a product that i believe is really cool and has a lot of potential.
You may not be an expert Google+ user, but you obviously know a thing or two about pathetic afterthoughts.
Steve - your piece was passionate, insightful and clearly a labor of intellectual love for a company you hope listens to you. Thanks, from all of us for the insights, candor and knowledge.
Well, I read the post on GIT and for most of the parts, I feel bad management kills innovation, engineers should be stakeholders rather than a machine.
As as independent coder who is working on a startup on my own, I found the post to be completely fascinating and full of useful information. I saw nothing negative or damaging to anyone in it. It is the kind of post I wish there were more of!
My many years in the corporate environment has taught me several things... neckties strangle clear thought, always let passion cool overnight before posting/mailing, and good companies are doomed when upper management are insulated from reality by armies of yes-men. Actually, this makes me much more confident in Google's vision and future. Bravo to them and to you.
Thanks for the post. Google+ could also be doing a better job distinguishing multiuser logins...
Amazingly well done. A passion in development like that rant is just... well I got goose bumps reading the absolute passion for the company and more importantly the art of Development. I f-ing love what I do more because of that rant.
I found it from a ycombinator repost, and found it fascinating.
+Steve Yegge Kudos to you for "coming clean" and BIG kudos to Google for a) not crushing the post or you and b) hiring people of different thoughts and creating a culture where you are free to speak your mind. I know the huge corporation with 50K employees my husband works for would do much better if they had such a culture.
Just read your amazing glimpse of the inside by someone that obviously cares, salute to you and Google. Push on
I honestly hope you don't get fired/chastised/narrowed eyes from the part where you claim that Facebook is trying to poach you. After a post like this, whereas fully justified and true, there's a possibility that you could be accepting that offer sooner than you think. Though, it'd be stupid to kill the messenger in this case. Especially since it is so public. But I'm glad you were able to confirm that Google was good natured enough about it to just let things stay as they are. I'm just glad there were no major corporate secrets revealed: that might have gotten you into serious trouble...
I read your original post - from someone who copied it of course, I will just throw my two cents in here as a philosopher (I play with Google in my free time). What eats me the most is the amazing talent Google has, and its work ethic, and still they have not been able to blow Facebook out of the water. This just goes to show you that no matter how many people you have working for you, nor how much talent, if you don´t "get" the idea that people want and need certain things as people - like something clean and profesional as Apple offers (which makes Facebook look like trash), but at the same time something abundant in possibilities similar to what Facebook offers - you will lose followers, or have your employees write very long posts about how something is not working. lol

Larry was right when he said Google was its own worst enemy, and that enemy shows its face when you try to worry more about making money and less about innovation and vision. If you really love something you should be ready to change your paradigm in order to love it more.
I'm sorry to hear you've taken it down, as I found it to be an insightful and very funny read. For whatever it's worth (where values of "worth" may be negative, I suppose), this member of your unintended audience really appreciated your thoughts here.
Great post. Your reflection and vision are valuable. Unfortunately large companies that reach the plateau of the hockey stick get comfortable, and that's when the probabibility of future success begins to dramatically decline. I think Google is an amazing company and I wish you and all the Googlers tons of success.
Steve, Just keep speaking truth to power!
Reminded me of Tom Cruise's "Memo" at the start of Jerry Macguire. You had me at "I"
Hi Steve, read the post on Hacker News. It was an informative read, especially for something that normally would get tl;dr; status. My only comment on the post, and not to defend Amazon, is that you were there 6 years ago (or so I can surmise) but your comments sound very current. Your comments about their environment may be completely true, but since you're no longer with that organization it comes off a bit like sour grapes. Outside of that, I found the post super interesting.

As an external-world-folk, my impression is that the biggest tech companies are mostly just using the same tools to try their hand at different things - that there's not so much innovation as there is just lather-rinse-repeat from one project to the next.

So please, keep that approach of how-to-do-it-better front and center. It is mentally refreshing and rarely gets old.
An excellent piece, though I realize it was meant to be internal. I believe most of us reading are sympathetic because we like Google (and Amazon, for that matter, at least their services... it's a real shame to hear about their culture), and we want Google to succeed. At least, I want Google to succeed in providing an alternative to the Big'uns like Facebook. Google, like all big, "likeable" businesses has built an image of a company that provides innovative products and services, or thoughtful alternatives to existing ones.

This is why, for me, Google+ is a success... I'm allowed a significant amount of control over my information, and I'm not in bed with Mark Zuckerberg anymore. I'm not bombarded with the burning, opium-esque desire to immerse my entire life within the Facebook tank. Google+ is social networking for people who like to stay balanced. I don't really believe Google+ has failed, I believe Facebook has succeeded incredibly well at growing its invasive, weed-like roots system around our proverbial vitals, to the point where our lives are noticeably impacted if we attempt to loosen its grip.

I never noticed Chrome is without a font setting. As an accessibility-driven designer/developer, this is appalling (as is the fact that I didn't notice it until today). Perhaps the Chrome team would like to meet my blind cousin?

Thanks again for the post. Perhaps we'll run into each other at PCC some day; I'm assuming you're in Emerald City...
A shame - finally something worth reading and thinking about on G+ and it doesn't last a day.
Great post, Steve. Best SOA-thing I've read. Good luck!
One has to have respect for an organization that can take internal constructive criticism and a person who can stand up and give it. It's also pretty impressive that pulling this out of the public eye was a personal choice.

Frankly, your original post and this follow up do nothing but make Google look better.
After having seen the post, I have to say 2 things.

1. You are spot on.

2. I think it really carries through well that you are not attacking Google, but genuinely like what you have found in it, and are trying to point out possible bumps in the road.
i loved your post and think there is no harm in sharing it with the world. it is inspiring that you would write that and it actually reflects very well on google (even if i agree with you about the lack of platform focus). Go ahead and re-post it as public!
It was a great article. I hope it doesn't get you in trouble. Peace!
Bravo, sir. It is very refreshing to "tell it like it is" and even more so to hear somebody speak his mind, especially when he is absolutely correct! How cool! Now, all you folks at Google+ need to do is figure it all out! Find a direction and GO THERE! Sounds simple but maybe that is the real way to do it? All the best to you in your quest of making Google+ the next big thing!
Randy T. Sherman Oaks, CA
PS Don't feel bad----------I'm still trying to learn and figure all this stuff out myself!
I read your ranting and your previous posts & profile and I can only say one thing: you are just being honest and you did an honest mistake by posting your ranting publicly. I believe Google is lucky to have you in the same way as you are lucky to be working in Google. :)
Be the same, Google has to take honest criticisms and try to work around it.
Hoping that your opinions don't wind up getting the same treatment at Google that Larry Tessler's got at Amazon. This may wind up being the ultimate test whether Google really "gets it."

Thanks for perhaps the most beneficial accidental public posting on record. ;^)
wow...kudos. even though i love g+ your original post was very insightful. and so is this one. i know if i wrote something like that, i would be fired before i can even finish the last sentence. but next time you want to write something, how about how the google employees at the nyc building take up all the elevators and i can never get to my floor in jk (kinda). good luck
It sucks that it made it out for you, but I was glad I was able to read it. If anything for me it made Google seem like a place I would love to work at.
It was a great post Steve, one of the best things I've read in a long time. Maybe you might consider posting an edited version that makes the points about platforms in a less direct way. They are great thoughts, not just for Google but for any company.
I love that Google seems to have not only NOT punished you (publicly), but supported the fact that you cared enough to have an opinion.

Also, as a result of your post, I have withdrawn my resume from Amazon.
Thanks you and Google for having you and let you have your own opinion. - Freedom of speech is not a real right normally -
Unfortunately if you were working at almost any other company you would have been fired, and your opportunities to change work are now less.
But Google hire clever people and clever people use to be very critical, what is very good for the business, if you know how to manage it and not a lot of CEOs know how to, because not a lot are very clever.

If your eyes are suffering other illness than presbyopia watch this:
I think it's good that this is being shared. Maybe I am completelt wrong, but I think you're mixing up business, technical and presentation issues. But that is just my opinion on it.
I fully agree with +Ian Lamont about Android: it's been a strong platform since the start, with a lot of effort spent on building it robust enough to support the Google products running on it. I think it's the proof that Google can do platforms well if there's the initial effort and desire to do it.
Steve, loved the post. However this decides to blow over, I'd go work for you...
As someone who spent 4.5 years working for AWS, I'd love to get together for coffee and compare notes...
Absolutely fantastic post. Your message really could resonate with many software infrastructures, especially at the enterprise level.

Anyway, Damn the critics. I'd work for you any day.
¡Wow! I'm amazed about all reactions generated by your post and as many others have said, I found it very valuable too. I personally think you shouldn't be embarrased about the ideas you shared about your company. I'm sure Google will use it as a real piece of honest feedback.
It was really a shame what happend to your post, but it has to happend, you just be cool, it was for the good. One thing i have learned is, that someone have to say what things are going wrong to be a better company, otherwise everything could be wrong and the company could colapse. Cheers !!!
I read your post from another site. Great post. Your employer, Google, made the right decision to not censure you. I am unsure on how Amazon, Apple or Microsoft would react to such public criticism from one of its employees.
Kudos to you and Google.
And i really think that Google needed your words. With all respect :)
Steve - Googled dedication of not being evil is a beacon. I want you to win. Winning means being all you can be. Being all you can be means doing the right thing. Doing the right thing means changing direction if the path is not going in the right direction. You did right. You are right. Keep up the good work!
Hey, don't feel too bad. It was great to hear something honest come out of google rather than a careful surgical answer. You may be the first real person to sound like that when talking about inside I have heard from. Best of luck to you and hopefully they listen. Facebook is winning b/c of integration and they are starting to pull in the entire web to that platform. Google needs to be moving that direction fast or they will lose search one of these days.
Hey, I truly enjoyed reading your post. It was very enlightening, thanks!
Hey Steve,

Loved the rant.

I have something to show you may want to consider.

"But as it was midnight and I am not what you might call an experienced Google+ user, by the time I figured out how to actually post something I had somehow switched accounts."

That doesn't inspire confidence in the validity of your rant.
I want to say two things:

1) You're quite an excellent writer
2) I think this post should be quite beneficial for your company. You clearly have some strong opinions, and in my experience, people who show passion tend to spark a fire in others. Sometimes those others agree with you, and other times they vehemently disagree. Either way, as long as everyone discusses their ideas with the intent of finding a better solution, no one loses and everyone wins. Good Luck!
common, give us some more knowledge. I got served.
I have a colleague that has some horror stories about his time in Amazon's logistical arm, it was entertaining to hear yours about the driving personalities and corporate culture there
V Otero
I understand that it was meant to be internal. I hope someone in Google is listening. Also, this may initially be a "Plus" (pun intended) for Google +. So many people gravitating towards posting on your page on Google +.

I have a question tho; you switched accounts? Do you have other accounts even with Google's strict account policy?

Can we have multiple accounts?
Your post was thoughtful and insightful and not in any way damning of Google. Even given your perceived privacy, you communicated passion about your employer's success.
My respect for Google just went up even higher because of your brilliant "rant". I worked for years at a place that kept talking "platform" but was absolutely siloed into products, both by foolish technology stack decisions and by turf-protecting politics.

Hats off to you +Steve Yegge; And you too, +Sergey Brin, +Larry Page for hiring people like this. Steve's passion to make Google successful, and more widely usable to improve the world, is palpable.
I'm sorry this happened to you, and somehow I read it. Didn't know it was internal.
Your words speak volumes that you actually care, and your criticism, although at times was harsh, was super constructive. If I were Google, I would promote you. You clearly have a Passion for making things Work. Google needs to AMP UP with people like you.
Rant is good, especially if it comes from a loyal and happy employee who at most wants to improve things or at least contribute ideas from his perspective.
That Google, the king of searching through everyone else's data, has trouble integrating APIs into a platform which allows us to access that data and service is bad news, indeed. If people were not listening rationally I can understand the escalation. In any case, keep on fighting the good fight. I would expect nothing less of a Googler.
great post. lucky for us it got out.
I always wondered why Google isn't a member of an architecture framework group like TOGAF. The post was most enlightening.
Inspiring stuff Steve- bold, honest, and passionate.
It's posts like the one you made that make me a little bitter the Amazon reorg way back when didn't place me under you like I was told it would; I like to think I would have learned a lot more, if nothing else.
A great post, one of the best I have ever read in 17 years of doing enterprise software development, including 8 years of SOA related development / product design :) Well done.
Either you get a reprimande, or you'll get get a raise... Either way, that was the best analysis I have read in years and it actually reflected well on Google as a company as well as on you for caring this much.
Keep fighting the good fight :)
Dude, stay hungry, stay foolish :D
Steve, just great. But, do you know Don Quixote? Good luck!!!!
Just want to chime in with the crowd saying that it was a great post!
I'd recommend working on a revision that you and your org feel more comfortable with. You're right that it's never going back into the bottle, but you still have an opportunity to overshadow it.
It was a nice read, but nothing people couldn't already assume without even knowing anything internal at Google. I kind of realized this the first time I hit up and didn't find something like msdn.
We've all done it or damned near done it - accidentally posting publicly or to the wrong circle of people when it was meant to be private. It happens, though yours was internal vs external. Don't beat yourself up over that. The only thing that those that matter will ever care about, is the classy way that both you and Google have addressed it.
I actually dislike the platform aspects of Facebook, but I guess I might be in the minority. Two issues I currently have with Google+ are that you have to click on the link to see a picture which is posted in a comment (I would like to see a mini-view of the picture), and that comments to a post are single-threaded, meaning you can't reply directly to, and underneath, a comment. Both of these came to light in a picture-sharing post I saw today, where tons of people were sharing their pictures, but you couldn't see the pictures without clicking through to them, and you also couldn't respond to any picture directly under the comment. Your comment got stuck at the tail end of the comment thread, and it was a long unwieldy thread.
You did nothing wrong. You expressed things you've spent years observing. Sometimes a clarion call is needed. Glad i got to read it.

Rants are sometimes useful for calling out issues that are difficult to acknowledge. Personally, I felt you framed the opportunity to change well.

Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon are in the business of creating ecosystems. Google has done that for advertisers, Facebook for people, Microsoft for Developers, Amazon for compute infrastructure.

My sense is that the person at the bottom providing the infrastructure and services is a high probability winner. The keystone company in the ecosystem is generally the one that thrives.

Interesting to see how the cloud platform evolves over the next few years.
Anyone who's been online any length of time has done an 'oh shit submit' at some point and, if one has to have one, yours was at least informative and enlightening without, imo, disclosing anything damaging to anyone. If I were any of the entities mentioned, I'd appreciate time taken to share your perspective. A favorite quote "There exist limitless opportunities in every industry. Where there is an open mind, there will always be a frontier." Charles Kettering
Your original post remembered me the Naked King tale. Being naked is no good for the king, neither it is for the kid screaming about it. It is nice for the king´s enemies, though...
It was a great read. Made me long for more new content on your blog. I hope Google takes the value in the message and learns, their best product is also they're oldest... that's the model of a cash cow and not an innovator.
The fact that you felt free to post your observations, and that even after your mistaken public post you were not crushed under a deluge of pointy-haired-boss crap, really speaks a lot to the stuff that Google gets right already.

Google recruiting made contact with me a couple of weeks ago, and I was hemming and hawing about responding - not anymore! Thanks.
Your slip was a great glimpse into the insides of the big G for those of us outside. Thanks, that was a great read. And I think in the the fact that it went public will help you get your point heard also inside.
no worries dude - the google PR folks can call your post "constructive criticism" but to be honest with you. i dont use google+ and am only here coz of the article i read. so +1 for google+ eh?
Do keep in mind that Google Chrome will remember your zoom settings per domain. So, you don't have to hit CTRL-+ on every page visit, just once per domain.
well sir, you've just become the most popular googler tonight, in "the outside world" :)
you just made it VERY clear why working for google is the "dream job" of a lifetime
Anne H
No one should even think about getting all butt hurt over this. By the way I truly don't think people said Google+, I bet they have some great games there. Lets Go!. I bet Most of us in Google Plus could really care less. We Are Here for people with the same type of interest. This should be a place to be able to rant if we so please. I ranted on and on about The new facebook layout. I any couldn't get help from facebook. Actually came here because I had a few friends tell me I could learn more about it in Google+ then on facebook itself. So Rant Rant Rant. If everyone didn't say what was truly on their mind nothing would get done. It is only the voice of the people that makes for great changes. I Love Google plus! and as for Facebook if they don't work with the public, they might end up with few users left. Google+ will just take awhile before people are truly hooked and can figure out the features. Would be a good thing for Google+ to learn from.
I really enjoyed your colorful metaphors and humor. It was very entertaining and witty. Still smart though. Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and all these other companies are in an all out platform war. Personally, I hate Facebook for their lack of ethics but do admire their execution. I actually find Microsoft APIs to be very easy to work with. I tried developing with Apple XCode and the Objective C and failed miserably.
Write the book you mentioned in the original post and I for one will buy it in a heartbeat!

That was an eye opening rant for me like very few rants have ever been. Going to be spending more time reading and really understanding SOA for sure.
I'm really glad I got to read your rant. Please make more sleepy mistakes.
That's actually tells us more about Google that it has an open culture where employees are free to speak their minds, internally. I trust it will only improve Google. Best wishes.
That was a real eye-opening read. I enjoyed it immensely. If it's not too late (and I sure hope it's not), then surely part of the reason is related to the fact that nobody from On High tried to quash this.
I think the premise of your post was correct... Google needs to be more customer oriented. I mean not that it matters, but you can't find a phone number to call to report a problem on most Google products.. even submitting an email to someone to report something is very hard to do. That is the only good thing about google+ you can follow product leaders.. or if Google were smart you could make a "Gmail" profile and people could check for updates and problems and submit their own issues if needed. They kinda started doing that on twitter and have started doing blogs also.
What struck me about your rant was the look inside Amazon. Despite incompetent middle management, and revolving door developers, Jeff Bezos dictated the services oriented architecture and the command structure enforced that decree. Bezos allowed great flexibility on how to implement SOA. Those hundred SOA scalability lessons learned are worth an ebook!

So sorry about those programmers working at Amazon, but what the firm has produced is awesome - and due to Bezos. Just look at how the Kindle Fire will leverage all those platform services in a way that separates it from other tablets.

I think that Google could turn on a dime too - regarding SOA and publishing platform APIs - if senior management says so.

Note that GOOG is up 30% in five years, vs 420% for AAPL, vs 600% for AMZN - there is a lesson here!
Even though I wasn't supposed to see the post, I'm awfully glad I got the chance. It's one of the more compelling and thought provoking reads I've read in a while.
I witnessed first hand +Vic Gundotra addressing an issue that a G+user had within seconds of her posting her problem. That I have to call, exceptional response time!
I thought you hit the nail on the head. Google has great products, but it needs more platform. A lot more....
+Steve Yegge I'm not going to read through the other 207 comments you've gotten on here thus far, but I read a copy of your post and I thought it was great. Absolutely brilliant. Considering it's an internal post, and that I don't even work at Google and that you decided to take it down, I feel a bit like I'm violating your space at the same time I feel incredibly honored to have read such a thing.

It doesn't just give insight into your thoughts, but to some of the workings, and hey, maybe you could write that book one day.

I really hope that your rant can give other people an idea and the banging on the head they need to realize that somethings should change, if so gradually. (And yes we'd love to get our hands on that API asap dear madam and sir!)

So I thank you, for that great post you write since it gave me insights to my own working enviorment as well. Good luck! (and consider yourself circled)
Tim M
I saw the reports in the press, thinking "meh", and then I saw it was your name attached.

So I read it, not from morbid fascination, but from genuine interest, knowing that it wasn't intended for me, but now that it's out there it will have an effect and it will shape the discussions that follow one way or another.

As a non-Googler (non-facebooker, non-Amazonian etc) I can't judge the accuracy of your statements, but I appreciate the passion, the honesty, the pragmatism.

To me, it looks like a call to do the hard things better, not just because they're hard, and not because you're going to tell people they're actually easy, but because they're ultimately worth doing. And as such, I think it's a well argued respectful rant, and reinforces my faith in what can appear an omnipresent but unpredictable force.
+Steve Yegge I hope Google culture takes to heart what you wrote about. Knowing that people like you are working on tech that I find very rewarding to use makes me love Google so much more.
Steve, I'm just glad as an ardent Google user that there is someone in the the company that sees the execution of these products/platforms was a failure and has the common sense to tell everyone why. I can only hope that in the future Google can really tighten its belt and ship things that 1. are good platforms and 2. have a low barrier to entry for creating fantastic services/products on top of them.

Shipping G+ without a full featured API was a HUGE mistake. This should have been obvious to anyone running the production/development.
Yegge, I hope Google takes this to heart. Just what they needed to hear. Do you think you will be fired?
Your post was Information that will get those of us in the industry thinking. I have been a Google Fan for a long time. I feel as a User Interface Designer, I have been given a great deal of fantastic services by Google. It makes me an even bigger fan to see that an employee in an HR nightmare, as it where, was shown support in making a point to give you voice and to not stifle an educated thought out opinion. Its just that sort of culture that we all crave in this business.

I have to say Im proud of Google as long as +Steve Yegge and his colleagues are continued to be given a voice when the voice has such passion and love for the future of Google. When you called it home I believe you really mean that!

Thank you Steve and Thank you Google for showing us you will always continue to grow in the interest of your Users.
Well done, compounding honesty and transparency with more honesty and transparency seems like a good way to go. Kudos.
C'mon! don't worry! You said that you think! This not bad! :)
Anne H
Hey Google+ how bout a monthly survey? One that Facebook doesn't offer. Go ahead and predict what you think we might like. But let us be able to judge for ourselves the overall format of Google+. The overall percentage of the survey would be to your advantage and ours.
Anne H
I personally would love to have a rant chat room just for google+. No bad language, no hating, just good clean fun. Call it Google+Debate.
Just read about this on Larry Dignan's (ZDnet) Blog, and immediately added you to my list I'm following (with Felicia Day). Sorry to hear you miss-posted. I hate when I do that. But I have to say that irony is funny to me, and you've managed to highlight the exact issue with Google that your rant was about. So bravo to you, and every other Google "human" that feels our, us lesser mortals, pain.
Hmm, bad publicity is still publicity. Some people have been known to make millions off of accidents just like this.
Google has all the pieces in place, and doesn't know how to put them together for the outside world. Large, top-heavy corporations often find it difficult to enact meaningful change without brilliant, strong leadership at the top to get everyone on the same page. Bezos and Jobs both provided that. I think there is a lesson for Google to learn. I applaud not only your insight, but also your courage to call that out.

You're my hero for the day.
Steve, this actually increased my respect for Google and gave me real hope not just for you making a positive difference at Google, but even what I need to push for with my peers to make a major difference. I admire your ability to "speak truth to power" (West Wing reference) and learned more from your accidental public post than anything else I've read in one sitting for months if not years.
As a non-Googler but a avid user of Google products and services, I think I understand and have chatted with friends about Google's maddening issue with focus. +Steve Yegge seems to be expressing this sentiment, as Google (who I believe produces many super products and services) is too focused on tactics and not enough on strategy. This impacts users, partners and Googlers alike in that we all feel like we are drinking from a fire hose. We are drinking new, non-integrated applications/services from the fire hose. We are drinking new API's from the fire hose. We are drinking all sorts of OS's, native applications, etc from the fire hose.

Quality code and products are necessary, but not sufficient. If there is an idea how it all fits together, it is a closely held secret. A vision that your various constituencies can wrap their heads around is important. Do you hear me +Larry Page and +Sergey Brin?
Don't worry, +Steve Yegge , you are just experiencing the "Though of disillusionment" phase of the macromyopia curve. It was expected and predicted. Nothing wrong happened. :)
Google+ is Facebook for smart people. I never spend that much time reading about Auntie Erma's puppies than I did reading your insightful rant. I think I need to spend more time on here. Following!
Worthy of Todd Stumpf and the curmudgeon mailing list. Hope that is it more "impactful".
I must admit I feel bad for reading the post, after finding out it was written for a more personal circle. But I did think it was brilliant!
As a total outsider dropping by just to say that the text was fascinating reading and prodded my thoughts in many stimulating directions. Thank you for writing it even if it would have remained private. I would suggest arranging it to be read on some public place since it's out anyway and it actually does not hurt Google more than the facts you saw necessary to point out. Perhaps I'm reading wrong things but this one was one of the more interesting texts of the year.

As a side-note or actually the main reason I cared to search your name to comment: G+ was the first Google product which I really felt I would like to add an application — just to post my own RSS feeds on my wall — I don't see it coming and it saddens me towards Diaspora and keeps it from changing from a gimmicky novelty to a useful addition to my life. So it kind of resonated.

In any case, cheers, best of luck, and thank you again!
Android is probably one of the most successful platforms in recent years. but I get what you are saying, the major thing is that Google is building platforms as products. Google needs to realize that it should be a platform itself first and then start to build product on top of it together with other developers. Google has been doing a lot to promote web application by providing dozens of products. But just imagine what if Google make itself a single unified platform on top of which all web app developers can build? Ads, search, cloud, map, android service, checkout, social networking and so on and on.
Very thought provoking post, even if it wasn't intended to get out in the wild. This helps explain why blogger still doesn't have to cool notifications bar.
brilliant rant - made my day - sleep well Steve !!
I loved that post, I know posting it externally wasn't intentional but I thought it was very interesting. I'm designing a campaign to advertise Google Plus for a uni assessment so it was very useful to see what people at Google think about it.
Great article Steve! Very well written and with lots of interesting ideas and anecdotes. I hope Larry, Sergey and others in Google get your points.
I'd just like to add, also as a total-outsider - bravo, Sir. Your passion and enthusiasm for your company shines through, and - as a user of Google services, hits the nail on the head for me.

So many superb products, that G+ needs to pull together. Facebook, Events,, unified email/messaging - Google needs to grab Music Beta, Docs, Gmail, and integrate the hell out of them, showing how G+ can be a centre-point of the Google platform. But it does sound like there would be a hell of a lot of work to be done.

I keep sending feedback that I'd love to see Music Beta integrated - Google would have their own Last.FM for detailed information on our music tastes, and we get to use it in a social media capacity, showing our music-badges-of-honour. Tie in Google Calendar, and Google Maps - suddenly it's more of a Facebook competitor, with event-planning, and locations. Google gets to know which gigs I'm attending, where I'll be and when. All good Google-ie info.

I want Google+ to work. I really love many aspects that Google have gotten right - but it needs massive work. The recent article about a rush of initial sign-ups, and now plummeting active users, is a trend that will continue if Google can't up the ante, and start rolling out API's and product integrations at a faster rate.

Thanks for a really insightful post - and I genuinely hope it works out well for you. You're a credit to your company and profession.
I think everyone has been in a work environment where things that are done are so brain-dead you wonder how the place survives; and most of the time you only realise how bad things are when you finally leave.

Sounds like you're in a good place now, where dissent is acceptable and you stand a remote chance of people listening to you :-) You will start to feel better too, now that you've got all of this off your chest.
Nice one Steve, as a software engineer who spends a lot of time thinking about how great it would be to have an API call for everything this post is (or that post was?) inspiring... next time I write a web application of any sort I'll have an external API for sure
Heard about your "rant" on slashdot. It was a good read, and finally answered a question I asked myself years ago and many times since: "Why is Google doing such a poor job of integrating their products?"

I feel that Google is really missing the boat on building an integrated ecosystem out of their various products. There are so many more neat things that people could do with them if only those products shared relevant data with each other as a matter of course.

Yes, some products share some data, but for the most part it feels tacked-on as an afterthought that makes it obvious that they are not being built with common components and cross-product data sharing in mind.
Awesome read, I completely agree with you not on the specific google subject, but in a general software company way. Many companies if not most of the companies suffer from the same sins you describe.

We should not only build great products but great services and we should always be our own customers, that way we can understand them.

This holds true for ALL software companies that I've worked at - sadly, being heard above the execs' own voices is a DIFFICULT task

The key to success is to just do things simple and right. JUST THAT. is it really THAT hard to understand?
Just read the article on zdnet about this and had to add you to my circle. You should be awarded for that post. Success isnt built around a bunch of yes-men telling a person/corporation what they want to hear. Sometimes a good slap across the face is whats needed to get someone to wake up. People flocked to g+ from facebook but found a ghosttown without very good street signs. FB's new newsfeed sucks and we hate it but our greeting here made us go back to our slum called facebook. Maybe google will inject some life into this project now from the attention your post created. I wish you the best.
can't imagine you're reading the comments down this far — but in case you are: thanks for your beautifully worded description of what it's like to work for Bezos. I worked at Amazon from 2000-2003 (much of the same time that Larry did) and left for much the same reason. It's not much fun to be a regarded professional who's opinion matters to every one of your contemporaries — but not at all to your boss. Your description of Amazon's strengths and weaknesses are spot on. I'm going to guess that your appraisal of Google's shortcoming are similarly exact. Your passion for your work is obvious, keep it up.
Thanks Steve for this post. I never heard about you before, but I sure liked the post. Intelligent readers exist, not everyone is looking for black and white statements about those big companies that make our daily online life. We can understand subtleties, and this post was a great example of criticizing with respect and, well, even love.
Steve, you are an excellent writer and analyst. Your post also showed heart. I understand why you pulled it, but there are so many issues that should be discussed publicly because the service/platform v product approach has social consequences, not just bottom-line ones. The web, for example, is a platform. :-) Also, your points about accessibility are very important for society.

Thank you. 
This has to be the most people I've ever seen doing anything on G+ so...You deserve a raise?
I certainly hope you don't get burned by any fallout from the accidental publication of your rant. It's one thing to point out the problems in a company, but entirely another to suggest a solution. And not just say, "This will solve it," but to actually outline HOW to get the solution in place. It might be helpful to outline how you would set up a program in Google to move in the direction you suggest, without upsetting the current create culture found in the company. Having such in hand could mean the difference in what is said when you are next called into a manager's office.

Best of luck to you!
Hello Steve,

What kind of keyboard do you use? I've been in the market for a better keyboard for more than a year and your 4.5 kilo words have gotten me off my lazy butt to start looking.

Your post was excellent, by the way. I haven't read anything as engaging since Daniel Lyons stopped doing Fake Steve.

- Will
Jojojo nada de lo que digas cambiará mi percepción de ti. Suerte con tu nuevo trabajo.
The part about "monitoring and QA are the same thing" was so dead-on. Thanks for that.
Insightful and ballsy. You're an asset to Google, to be sure.
Every company needs an employee like you.
For a rant, Steve, you came across honest and sincere in your assessment, not attacking and aggressive. If nothing else, it's a great example of clear communication that does not degrade the reader while at the same time taking them out of their comfort zone. Brilliant. Well-stated. Insightful. Thank you.
This became long post - warning :).
I glad I had time to read your post +Steve Yegge. And I have to say I some what agree with your statement. Probably you understand this very well yourself, but I have to say that, what you are actually describing, is actually more fundamental problem, that might cause, and partly have been causing already, hard times for the Google.
Let me elaborate.

The bigger game of tech titans is ongoing as everyone knows. But the reality is that fate of titans is not going to sealed by only titans themselves and customers, but actually small players developing and innovating on top tools, and particularly platforms, tech titans are providing. As you clearly have them identified. For outsider like myself, one and the foremost major oddity of Google is the need to own and develop applications within the company, or alternatively insource existing applications by buying external companies that have implemented something viable.
I'll give you example. To be honest that is quite bullish strategy, and really disregards smaller players on market place, thus feels quite "evil" for average "tech" joe. Specifically since most of the services have nothing really new to offer, and they have not been created with mind-set "we could provide major improvement", but rather in "this is our version, we had to do it since others have these as well" way.

Think for example Music (in Beta), it is a music service developed by Google. It has taken focus, effort, time, resources, vast negotiations with records labels etc. All of those could have been spent on something else. And still to this date this service is only available for US markets only. After Google published it, Facebook quickly released simple and elegant music "platform" as well as contract with several major existing HIGH QUALITY music streaming services. They contracted with i.e. Spotify. For Facebook this was clear win; with minimal effort they got music integrated to their platform, for example NO heavy negotiations and politics with big record labels. For Spotify this was clear win as well, with minimal effort, they got access to Facebooks gigantic user base and paved their way to US markets. But I would argue that this was bigger win for Facebook, since now anyone that has idea of better music service than Spotify, can quite easily create that service and agree with FB to integrate that service to FB as well. Facebook just made themselves music platform, but not as music service provider. This is just one example. You have multiple others as well Facebook has mastered to integrate with and with minimal effort, i.e. Heroku, Netflix, Skype...

Facebook has actually within their culture to create a platform. But if I red you correctly in-between-the-lines you clearly have noted this yourself. I dont think nor believe +Mark Zuckerberg has been sitting with his board of directors and made cunning plan to win over Google, but I believe they actually understand that they can't do and excel in everything. Thus they focus on what they are good at, and are really using market place to define the best killer applications that will be built on top their platform. When it comes to killer apps, NO-one can foresee what is going to be the next "Angry Bird", and it is not really smart move for any company invest enough money to really develop hundreds of thousands of applications. Or it would require monopoly, or oligopoly with high entry barriers. But as longs as you have the platform where that next killer application will run, you are bound to become the winner of the pack.

From organization theorety viewpoint, we are talking about network economy, where companies like Facebook and Amazon are the catalysts and integrators of the network. Lets examine Facebook, since it's actually Google's biggest rival currently. Facebook will stay as relevant as long as social network stay relevant, so likely for long time. It also means that they help smaller startups with awesome consumer offering can easily create traction on marketplace faster than we have ever seen before. It will also mean that they will lower the market entry barrier for new innovations. And it will also have potential to speed up innovation on related in unforeseen way. Practically this means that they are creating their "mini" economy, by interlinking companies to them in a way that it will be win-win situation for all participants. And from economical viewpoint they will become more indestructible than US investment banks

And, yes, Google has been getting a lot of negative specifically publicity recently, and I'm feeling and getting a lot of negative vibes on Google from different tech sources and industry followers. I think generally related to Google recent failures, but also to feeling that Google is not so open as some it's competitors and not that "less of an evil" it claims to be, and specifically is acting quite bullish in the marketplace towards smaller players with the help of big wallet. Google is unfortunately becoming ugly hairy corporation in the eyes of average "tech joe", and based on what I have been hearing from Googlers and specifically ex-Googlers, internally is becoming or partly is one already. Fortunately there is easy fix for becoming less of a corporate, but unfortunately that looks like it is not in-built in the culture. I hope that +Larry Page +Sergey Brin and +Vic Gundotra will understand need to change this culture before it's too late. Personally I have been witnessing a major tech company turning from fast and innovative tech power house into a slow and ugly corporate, and its is painful to watch. Though in personal level I am extremely lucky, since now I know how not to do that, and can help others to avoid those pitfalls ;).

I'm not bad mouthing here, just giving my biased opinion based on limited information openly available in marketplace. And no, I have never applied for a job at Google, so I don't belong into I-was-not-hired-guys, nor I hate your policies. Don't take me wrong, I could see myself working for Google, if such opportunity would rise. I actually sincerely hope that you guys will get things right there and learn before it's too late, since Google is great company and has developed and done favors to this industry in many levels you guys working as internals likely don't know even.
Fingers crossed everything works out well for you in the morning, but big ups to you and your opinion, the online world is definitely interested in what you've had to say!
Thanks for the explanation and the insights. They were/are awesome.
Sweet PR move Google ! :D Look forward to the next iteration of G+. Hit us with some cool stuff this time! I like these quick discussion screens, that's a start.
Your intention was to change Google, to influence the minds and attitudes of your peers. Your 'mistake' in posting it to the world has made this 1000x more likely to succeed. You deserve that promotion :)
Hopefully the posting internally gets the open discussion I think needs to happen. From the outside it seems that there are similar mistakes with both Google Wave and G+ in terms of eating ones own dog food, platform instead of product, etc.
Well dude, it's a damn shame that you don't rant more often (& publicly)! That's some good stuff!
How can you not know how to use google+?
I mean you're a smart guy (i'm guessing) and most of G+ is quite clear in terms of usability...
+Steve Yegge FWIW, it was a ridiculously well written rant. It's a horrible, gut wrenching feeling when something meant to be private gets exposed to the world. I hope you're past that, and that Google's response continues to be as accepting as its first response. As someone as said further up in the thread, every company needs people as caring, committed, and skilled as you are.
Es bueno hacer criticas, sean duras o no; es decir: no puedes andar toda la vida hablando maravillas de alguna cosa. siempre tiene puntos negativos, realmente es parte de crecer y aprender por parte de Google. Honestamente si tus visitas bajan 60% me preocuparía yo también y los comentarios eventualmente aparecerían.
Not very smart, are you?
Hey Steve, when are you gonna leave Google for Amazon?
Steve, I can imagine how stressful this "leak" has been to you, but I would like to congratulate you not only for the piece, which is very insightful, but also on the decision of not being against the copies (I've read it on a copy), because your advice is useful to several other companies and projects. You have my sympathy on this one, and I hope you get a good sleep, forget about any PR issues (if any) and keep on your mission of getting your company on the right track. Cheers!
I send my heartfelt thanks, both for the origional post, and the clarification. Reading the opinion of someone who has been behind the scenes at some of the premier tech companies in the world has given me insight that I could have never searched for. Thank you again.
Brave Man! You are setting a new paradigm for the new companies around the world. Nobody likes the critic, But it still listening to it... I´m so agree with your thoughts, the last one and this one. Hope google shows some respect to you and the people who still believe that they can turn our life into a more confortable and technologic way, they did it once... It´s just a matter of good effort, time and patience to do it again, i really hope that you could be a part of it too! All of my support from Chile!!
Matt R
honesty from inside the company is a big deal and shows your value. major kudos to have put up such a post.
The right thing is never the easy thing to do. Bravo, and cheers to fighting the good fight.
I really appreciated your original post and this followup. They were incredibly insightful and you have some true oratory talent. Keep up the good work over there!
Hey - just wanted to say I just read this post (hosted externally of course) and I found your comments on platforms very, well, intriguing. I use Google for just about everything these days and this is what's missing from them - that one little step forward that would make Google ten times better than they already are - a full SOA that allows me and other developers to interact with Google as easily as I do with Twitter or Facebook. It's definitely the future of web infrastructure and would allow a lot of cool things - accessing your Google Docs from a desktop editing application for example.
It's kind of a shame that the post has been taken down because it was perhaps the best thing I've ever read about the importance and what can be done if a real focus on SOA.
If I was wearing a hat, I'd take it off to you. You sure have some stones to post something like that, even if it was meant to be internal. I hope the Google brass consider your criticism, and don't look upon your post too harshly.
Don't try to be like Amazon. That's a store. Be like Google+. Facebook is successful because of Zynga. It's worthless without games. G+ is 10 times better than Facebook, don't change anything except for requests you get from user feedback. If you change it too much you'll eff it up. It's almost perfect now, just keep listening to the user requests.
good for you, still with google despite those rants ;)
As a student who chose to do an analysis and propose a repositioning of G+, it was hugely interesting to read an opinion of G+ from someone at the front lines. I truly appreciate your very well written insight and value the approach that you took in your analysis of the product. Once again, thank you.
BRAVO! Articulate, focused, well-reasoned, insightful, heartfelt, and refreshingly honest. Your public "rant" gives me hope Google will "get it" and recognize the merit of your discussion.
though i wasn't supposed to see your post, i did :$ i freaking admire you man :) hope the guys at google pay attention so they start doing it right.
At least I heard something different from a G+ team, not always "users, we build G+ from the ground and a new paradigm". Now, grab the time you still have to bake a full API for G+.
Well, I'm pretty sure most of us trying Google+ agree with you.
Google does great things, including social networks like Orkut who has (or had) a great success in Brazil.
Shoemaker to your shoes. Instead of trying to copy, create new things, you are very good at it.
And Take a week off to clear the mind.
For what it's worth, that was your Jerry Maguire moment, and it kicked ass, bro.
Thank you for sharing. And like you, I deeply believe in Google's will to do the right thing.
Your rant was a great read. Hopefully your coworkers at Google will take your rant in a constructive fashion and do something positive with platforms moving forward. It's nice to work for a company that allows you to be open like that. Too many times management just wants people to be yes men and pretend everything is roses.
I hope Eric and Larry put you on a special committee with a blank check to attempt to fix some of these problems. For everything amazing Google does and makes, your products are impossibly hard to work with or extend. Best of luck to you!
Read the shared post. Insightful and very passionate and these qualities make you truly valuable for Google. Hopeful that Google will not take offense on your inadvertent public post.
You work at Google, we small time users try to make the most out of google services and products. These products actually facilitate us communicating with our love ones, helping us complete our assignments, and even get some extra cash. Sure the potential to do much more and do better is there, but we have tools today thanks to google that our parents did not even dream about, what- many of us did not dream about them fifteen years ago. We try to make a difference in people's life using these services, you have the privilege to be even closer to the machine that makes all this possible. It is only through unity and the generation of solutions that we can all be better and do better - pointing out problems and errors is easy!!! proposing solutions and implementing them is what makes people great. Anybody can be a Steve Jobs or a Mr. Page if one learns to be consistent, discipline and eager to share our solutions...... Hope this incident is a lesson for you and many other googlers that may think the same way, because if one can make a difference in our communities with our small ideas and limited resources, you guys should do better.
Some how Miss Z passed Google+ real names verification.
As a Xoogler (2002-2009), I agree with your assessment and enjoyed reading your post. Don't think you disclosed anything other than your opinion. It was entertaining and if it creates too much internal drama, maybe that's what is needed.

Hang in there.
After a good number of mistakes doing Reply-All (when intention was Reply-To), I learnt not to press the 'Enter' key. Next few days would be pretty tough on yourself, as you do some introspection. But Google as a company fosters truly open culture, and hopefully there will be no censorship on you. But, yes it helps to be modest when you criticize as well.
Stop giving b**sh* reasoning and make that post public again.
+Steve Yegge Don't worry too much about what anyone thinks internally or externally, Steve. You've obviously got a tremendous grasp of your corner of the world… =) But consider this: from your window on the world-at-large what you're missing is that the PLATFORM is NOT in your code inside of Google — the real platform of Google+ is in the millions of talented people connecting with each-other in near-realtime, 24*7, to exchange ideas and plans of action across borders, ethnicity, disciplines, etc… You (Google) are far-and-away miles ahead of your competition in that regard. By far, that will be of greater impact than all the right API's. To understand one reason why, give this post a look:
I'm glad you posted this. It goes way beyond Google. My company Seesmic has been building on many APIs and have sadly experienced the other side of the dog food. We got pretty sick from dog food many times. Thank you for expressing it so well.
Well, Google has made Android a successful platform. It is surprising that they couldn't make Google+ a platform.
honest. well-written. raw. i loved this. Google would be a fool to fire you!
It will be interesting to see how "wide spread" the post has gone before it was deleted. If too widespread, Google may suffer a dip in stock price right as they are at earnings report season. Hopefully, this fumble won't have too much of an impact as I'm sure you did not mean an ill-harm. The "PR" folks probably couldn't tell you much because they probably need legal advice on how to proceed. In my opinion, the less they do about it, the better off it will be. If they make a big deal, it will only offset any good news coming out of their earnings reports and, unfortunately, affect the Google+ user platform. I, personally, didn't see your post prior to its deletion but, in my opinion, the Google+ platform is ill-produced and after using it for a few weeks, I gave up and went back to using Facebook fulltime. If anything, maybe your post (now deleted) will stir interest in the platform again and, thereby, have an ironic, positive, impact. Only time will tell...
Thanks Yegge. The post was good and thanks for the glimpse. I think you did more for Google Recruiting in one post than any online ad.
Its the coolest post dude. Google should start listening to you and take you seriously , if they plan to stay for long.
Two things - Google is a significant force in the world & you did very well in both your posts by providing circumspect, historic & current context to ongoing, dynamic developments. Thank you. Your work has already been very useful in a good way.
You sir are a hero and a wonderful man! I read through the (now replicated all over the place) post and just couldn't stop going - "YES! EXACTLY! EXACTLY !!! EXACTLy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" .. as I too am beaten by the same problem in whatever environments I have gone through. Many thanks to you for giving words to my angst..even if its a different company :D
I read about it in business insider, looked for you here just to say that I supports your thoughts regardless .. keep it up!
That you feel comfortable delivering such a post to fellow Googlers speaks god of Googles internal cultuture and it's view on employees and ideas.
I think you should have kept it online and I think you think too little of yourself.
glad I didn't close the window when I didn't have time to read it this afternoon :-)
Three things:

1) That's awfully brave and awesome of you to "take them to task."

2) I thought I was the only one who thought Google wasn't up to their regular game. Google could do a lot better. No need to be insecure with Facebook's success; you guys already made it. Play to your strengths.

3) Man I wish I could work in Google.
Well, thank god for mistakes like this, because I found it a very interesting read. And honestly, it raises my opinion of Google: the fact that you would internally post a rant like that is A Good Thing.
My only regret is the people who reshared and took it the wrong way, and I emphatically defended your REAL position in all the re-shares that showed in my steam
I thought it very enlightening, and I am grateful that you slipped up and posted it publicly. I disagree on a couple of your points, specifically that Google doesn't seem arrogant - they really do seem to be to many people - but overall I think a great many people and places will be better off for having read your frank assessment of the situation. Good luck going forward, Steve.
Ironic that you gave g+ a hard time and you have 4000+ +1's on the repost I read and hundreds here :) . Your writing is very engaging and your passion for your company heartfelt. The culture of the company rocks for them facing up to an inadvertant mistake. You'll be ok Steve and you deserve to be...
I read a repost on Hacker News. Great, great post. Insightful and hilarious too. Every Bezos story had me LMAO, Chrome font dig was huge too. I also learned a lot. Thanks!
I would just like to say that i found your post (deleted) to be extremely insightful, well articulated, and very informative. Your arguments/opinions are strikingly convincing and are ultimately for the betterment of the company that you work for! Yes, very personal and opinionated, but hell, that's some impacting, foundation questioning stuff there, on behalf of just one person - applause deserved. I agree with you pretty much the whole way through! I think Larry and the boys should consider themselves quite lucky to have such a passionate, independent-thinking engineer on their team! Sorry, but i'm kind of glad that you f'd up and posted to the public.
Good on you Steve - salute,
@Steve Brilliant piece, great rant!
Default font size in Chrome: chrome://settings/advanced
I think a clear example of what you're saying is the fact that I can't sync my google bookmarks with my chrome bookmarks :)
Don't worry. "Eat Your Own Dogfood" -- The Apache Foundation is not using their developing E-mail service, named "JAMES". But successful. Various RANTs should be in world! From Japan With Love.
Thumbs up Steve ... we users really apreciate there are thinking heads in google and also that the company allows criticism.
FWIW when I was at Sun there was an attempt to replace "Eat Your Own Dogfood" with "Fly Your Own Airplane". I gather it didn't stick.
steve, that was sweet that you posted what is on your mind!!! google is a mess!! i could run it better than its being run right now... i sure am sick of the throw as much shit on the wall and see what sticks philosophy that google has. i mean, maps then boost, then places, then adwords express.... it's like having a neurotic, bipolar lover.... google is big and clumsy. it'll be nice when theyre not the only game in town....
btw, i have been a g+ user for some time and this is the 1st time i've logged in. it was because i read an article about you via google news and wanted to participate in the rant on google... ironic
Same with me Joe :)
It was very educational. 1 vote for re-posting as a "how services/platforms should be implemented" piece with the "sensitive/critical parts" edited.
dude, I'd kill to have an employee like you. Your post was clearly written with a passion for the company.
What it is done it is done, so do not think about it too much. Just be yourself a do the best you can do to give more value to Google´s customes... that´s me! :)

Everyone has to learn about their failures, also Google as a company. I do not think Google it is a mess, it is a huge start-up, a venture acceleration company of its own employees. And that is great because let the people to innovate. So keep doing it like that.

About Google+ IMMO if all my friends are in facebook, there is a clear exit barrier for me to moving to google+
Of course Google+ allows me to follow people like you as it coudl be twittter. But again... it the people/companies I am following in twitter is difficult for me to jump here. It is difficult to be 3, 4 social networks and keep all of them active.

So my question is, what is the value proposition of Google+, what is the competitive advantage compared to the others? What is disruptive?
the most negative about the whole thing for google was that it showed the world that even experienced it guys can post something to the whole world by accident by not beeing experienced on this plattform.
You can be negative about the Google+ project, but your post has been rated +1147. So there are still people on Google+ :)
+Nico Müller What are you saying? Do you think that all the workers of a factory using the same tools? Everyone working at the ford engines are mechanical and know how to assemble? Come on...
A lot of people at Google are a bunch of arrogant A**H***s. Just look at Google panda and Adwords... as long as it makes them a quick buck they don't care about fair competition. How I wish Google had someone like Steve Jobs to keep these androids in check. Thanks for a great article.
"so I wouldn't read too much into anything I said." - :-) LOL
I loved it mate, what a post. Companies need more people like you who will say what they think. I thought your post was balanced. I am sure that if Google were silly enough to reprimand you over it you would walk into somewhere else. Nice one. :-)
Steve, I was trying figure out what all that BUZZ was about.
Tomorrow is another day, and we all make mistakes.
You don't have to apologize for what you said. We all learn from our
mistakes. To become a Genius, means sometimes to learn from lots of mistakes.
Peace. IF Google, ever needs a team-mate, look me up.
Your post was just great, not because of the addressed pros and cons of some particular companies but because of the analysis on how platforms are changing the game rules.

Oh, yeah, and all that is pretty obvious. It was about time for someone to say it loud.
This is how great communities start out. Feedback is probably the most importing thing, no matter what.

Personally, i'd delete the post to, even though it is my opinion, it's meant the stay private and it's meant as "positive" feedback, that's it.

Good luck and i hope it won't have any consequences for you :)
Lets hope that Google gets the Message!
I forgot I was signed up for google+ untill I saw this story posted in my #Twitter feed. I am sure this has suddenly spiked google+ usage, so I hope google recognizes that.
I think that the part on platforms, accessibility and SOA are very good. Publishing that on an external forum would be interesting.

The other stuff is of questionable accuracy, but is interesting to discuss - I'd suggest separating it for a separate thread, something like "Why I feel pissed off at Amazon". And really Steve - why?

I am currently working for Amazon and I really I don't see the company this way. I wonder if some personal bitterness is at work here.
A person with your kind of insight and plain, honest speech is worth following, "fo' life".
Hi Steve, congratulations on attracting a LOT of traffic to google+. For that alone you deserve a promotion. Given the length of your original blog post (4574 words!) I find it a bit unlikely that you typed this in one long rant and send it the same night. Could it be that you leaked this on purpose... :) Good luck! Gernot
When I read the post yesterday, I was like, there is no way that this piece is going to stay until tomorrow. So I do myself a favor, and make a copies for myself.

It was a good write up!
Thank you a lot for your mistake. I think you have done Google a favor more than anything else. This is especially useful to me as I happened to find it when I was in class, talking about corporate cultures, so whether you like it or not your article have already been used as a case for education purposes.

This kind of insight is rarely shared, and even if some of it is not 100% accurate, it is still interesting and educational. And the fact that you perceive the company this way, makes it more true than you think.
The solution is not to tell you how the company really is, but rather change it, and let you experience it yourself!

For yours, mine and everyone elses sake, I hope that Google will learn from this and I am looking forward to the changes, the great apps, and what else will follow once not on G+ but Google in general becomes a platform.
T Wake
Like some of the others, I think it was a great post and I truly hope that Google see it for what it is, the desire of someone to genuinely improve the situation, and if there is any justice you would be rewarded for it.

I also think that you have a great PR team who have made the right move - it is down to you, just because you work for a company doesnt mean they own you 24/7.

And, ironically, I also think you did the right thing to take it down. It was an internal conversation and that is where it should be. The fact it is in the wild means people can read it if they want (I did) but you have done the right thing.

So, all the best and keep up the good work!
I never tought i would read something that long, but i did.
Steve, I love your original post. You took all your heart into it. Good job!
I hate to say it but a Google employee saying he doesn't know much about Google+ is kinda like a Microsoft employee saying he doesn't how to use Windows. Which I guess is one of the things you ranted about: Google doesn't use Google.

Perhaps you guys should.
I haven't read it yet, but I will. I'd be happy if G+ was a platform I could use, in addition to FB. Anyhow, at least I've now found some use for G+: You're the first person in my "following" circle, waiting for you to be tierd and post something interesting again :)
Its been on the news here in Austria (on-Line at least) - mistakes happen, and I think you should re-post it! Ah, I just found it anyway, once released its official ;) The power of the net...
so, are you unemployed yet? Unexemplary (read: wishful) hires need not apply. Mastery of the English language duly required. 394 comments need not apply.
Steve, Great HeartHonest Post !

What do +Larry Page & +Sergey Brin Feel & Think about this ... ?!

This is @Heart of Google and the way they see and act for future 'civilisation' .

Best, Ward
Creo que todo se resume en "Queremos más"
You're a credit to Google either way. I don't know you personally, but you have demonstrated intelligence and integrity that, looking around the Internet, one would think had been extinguished from the species.
It was a great read Steve. Your honesty was extremely refreshing and insightful.
+Steve Yegge Google's problems are the problems of many other corporations as well. More slips from intelligent people might get some worth while ideas out there. I appreciate the mea culpa and look forward to a "general audience" version in the future. P.s. - you rock and I miss your more regular blog posts.
Reconocer los errores es propio de personas inteligentes. Pero corregirlos es de sabios. Solo resta esperar la siguiente jugada de la gente de Google.
How can you write about something you apparently don't know how to use?
As a Google Fan Boy, I've been disappointed at the socialization, but this post made me take another look at Google+. I'd also like to see a Google Like DropBox/Sugar Sync Application.
If you are unhappy with your job, just leave it. However, when you detect a fault you should try to resolve it, that's it. Do not throw accusations, launch new ideas, so you and we do not work at Google. good luck
Steve: I'm still keeping your quote "Start with a platform and then use it for everything." I've never seen a better explanation of the intent of "eating your own dogfood."
You should definitely write a book about your experiences, I hope to read it soon!
+Steve Yegge he world hears you, I hope that google will also hear.greetings
I read a copy of it (I hope it wasn't edited in anyway) and appreciated its candor.
I am sure that I will see you soon at TV.
+Steve Yegge liked the post, and I personally hope it will just turn out to have small impact on your work and work relation with Google. It's also a very healthy sign that you can just post that to "everyone in your company", even the CEO without having to fear serious consequences. Though, the public thing .. mistakes happens, I hope for your sake that the upper Googlers see it that way as well. Good luck!
Hopefully the ending irony will be that the mistake will help the productors see your side - your critique may have been harsh in some places, but sometimes being a little more gentle doesn't get what needs to be said across.
I think Google should be very proud to have employees like you. And they should REQUIRE you to put your post back up. I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up in a textbook one day.
Thanks Steve for your post - of course it's avaliable on the net ; ) - now we are more sure of what we have done on the server side for our new game.
+Steve Yegge For your eyesight: to set the font size for all pages in chrome, go to chrome://settings/advanced and use the dropdown box for "Page zoom".
I'd put it in a textbook. The approach to platforms is spot on. Thanks +Steve Yegge for subconsciously intentionally posting it public at first.
+Whitton Alex use the "Send feedback" at the bottom of each page to share your thoughts about g+ interface
What could be achieved by deleting information. That's not how damagae control works.
I Love it show`s that we all are ordinary people that sometimes do make mistakes. "so please do not kill the messenger".. tnx & peace 2 all.
This rant was 6 years in the making, huh? Couldn't tell.
Thank you for the wonderfully insightful post - albeit in error (feel your pain - we've all been there). Every engineer, developer, designer, software company, ... can learn from your rant. Thanks!
well if nothing else your rant got me to come to Google Plus... soo.... good for you
Lo cierto es que definitivamente Google+ debe ser reorientado para que cumpla su función específica a cabalidad, no dudo ni por un segundo que las correcciones se van a dar contrastando con la realidad y que una vez dado superemos a facebook porque productos para complementar y hacer de google+ el mejor hay y de sobra,. ahora solo queda trabajar y corregir.
+Steve Yegge - I love that almost "deer caught in the headlights" look in your pic! And about the foot-in-mouth thing, a liberal squirt of ketchup would do wonders.

But, seriously now.

What G+ offers that's different is a venue for (mostly) courteous conversation and discussion. It reminds me a lot of ICQ back in its pre-AOL days. You could chat with friends, or you could hit the equivalent of Google's "I feel lucky" button and get a random chatter. Met lots of interesting people that way, then more and more duds after AOL acquired it. Then I left too - all the buddies I'd made from around the world had left long before that.

G+ is not Facebook, and it doesn't need to be. In fact, I look at FB as an extension of G+ circles. It's the "family and friends from the past" circle, and maybe the gaming circle, too.

Where Google needs to watch its back, though, is in what has been its strong point since the start - search.

More and more people are noticing that search results have been degrading over time, to the point of becoming pretty much useless for research. After listening to the TED talk by +Eli Pariser about filter bubbles (, I think that might just be what's going on, and many of us don't like it one bit. We want to find information, not look in a mirror - whether our own or that of our friends.

Several of my colleagues and I still use Google on occasion, but it's no longer our sole or main search engine. I still have it as a home page, but not for the search as before. Now, it's there because it loads fast and if there's the slightest problem with my Internet connection, I know it very quickly. It also gives me easy access to the other Google properties.

But enough of my rant. I read yours on another site and, even though I'm no techie, I found it interesting.
You have been added to my short list of personal heroes.
Steve, your post came at a great point in my life. I am looking for a new home and explore opportunities at multiple companies including the ones you mentioned in the post. With your accidental public disclosure you've done more "selling" Google and Google culture than any PR or HR department could. Every large organization has its high and low points. It is not a surprise to me that Google has its challenges. Your rant and Google's handling of it is a great demonstration of how the company deals with its challenges. The openness, courage to speak up and constructive criticism are very inspiring and contagious. +1 for you and +1 for Google. I am looking forward to my interview with you next week.
For what it's worth, I thank you for the rant because I learnt a lot from it. Reading your post has been the most interesting thing I have done with Google+, and this is, in fact, my first message on it. You were able to expose a situation in a very clear and graphic way so even someone like me, very far from the industry and without the base knowledge, was able to understand it and see your viewpoint. I know it was an accident, but thank you anyway. I hope this becomes in something good for you and your work at Google.
Steve, if anything, you might have just given me a reason to have a lot more respect for Google. I wish you the best, you obviously love your job very much. I hope Google realizes this and appreciates it.
Piaw Na
Hey, you made the WSJ this morning! Even your profile pix!
Stay true to yourself and your views. It is not easy swimming up a stream of "yes" men/women, but it will lead you to success, and if they listen your organization as well. If I was your management I would promote you.
Please, write the book you mentioned, I would buy it instantly, and as far as I can tell 7 of my friends too. It's a million dollar idea!!!
Kind of ironic that a Google employee experienced for themselves the confusion of making a Google+ post "private" or "public" as many of us did..

But good for you for taking the initiative to get the ball rolling.. my office needs a good email like this one!!
Just wanted to say your post was very informational, and not about the workings of any of the companies mentioned but just in general large scale software design. It's nice to think I haven't been crazy all these years thinking along those lines.
I haven't read the post yet, but I have it set aside to do soon. I want Google+ to succeed and don't think it will unless some truth-seeking and truth-telling is going on -- internally. Glad you're there. Even if in a corner. I hope they know they are lucky to have you. We'll be watching to see what they do with you. Hopefully, they'll promote you. If not, I'm a recruiter. Your on our radar now. ;-)
Fwiw, as a developer I found it insightful and relevant and I'm glad you accidentally leaked it, there's a lot to learn. And you should write that book, with the mallets and ants and dread pirates, I promise I'll buy (and read) a copy. As long as it's available in EPUB. :)
Great rant! But given that I found it through Mashable, I think it is so out there (really, really gone with you name on it) that you should just re-post it publicly on one of your own streams/sites with maybe an edit or two and some footnotes. You might as well get the page views, and the opportunity to add a disclaimer!
Awesome post! Where can I find the Amazon essays people are talking about?
"I am not what you might call an experienced Google+ user"

" ...I'm kinda lazy and complacent these days. Please realize, though, that even now, after six years, I know astoundingly little about Google."

"Someday my foot won't fit in my mouth."

You should hope that one day you will be reduced to only having one foot in your mouth.

Google must be so proud to have a lazy complacent employee that rants about a product without understanding the basic functionality of the product.

"But as it was midnight and I am not what you might call an experienced Google+ user"

Excuses, excuses... <rolleyes> When you were younger did your doggie eat your homework? You screwed up. You made something public that should not have been made public. Most would delete, move on and let the company (that has experience) handle the fallout in a professional manner. It would have been better than a half-ass rant trying to explain the first one.
Hey, Steve, a couple of things to ponder here ... first, jumping on this issue right away was great. You and Google both want to use this opportunity to shape people's views (hopefully, accurately) about you and your company. You know the old line about even "bad press" is a good thing. Second, I think it's great that Google has a culture of dissension. There are two reasons for this. a) When a company is successful, it tends to ignore alternative opinions. b) Information - and hence wisdom - is usually unearthed when people disagree with each other. You tend to get innovation, stronger values, and a clearer path. Third, I would use this opportunity to raise the question: Why doesn't Google have a blogging policy that gives its employees a platform? (I know, the lawyers and brand managers will quake at this, but other companies have done it and it builds the brand, and engagement with stakeholders.) Finally, I think you should be invited to a big meeting of the people who control Google's "platforms". That meeting, of course, should be strictly confidential. Hopefully what would come out of it would be a firm focus on how to get people passionate about Google. Platforms are cool, and all, but no market value is created unless you have people choosing Google over alternatives. That's not just about "platforms" (an internal-focused, technology term).
Great post! I actually thought Google used some sort of cloud platforms for their services =P
On the other hand, you just gave me an excellent idea.
Thanks a lot for sharing! Even if it was unintentional.
This just explains how much I love Google.
Hey Steve, I've read your rant and I must say, the fact that you can openly address issues like that is probably one of the best advertisements your recruitment can hope for but of course I understand you could not keep that up. Anyway, since there ARE copies, could you please republish it in a form that allows you to keep it - either with a disclaimer or rephrased as - I don't know - a white paper or something? Thanks!
Steve, your rant made sense...surely you knocked on google a bit, but it all makes sense to an outsider even. Here am I crossing my fingers I can get an interview :).
As an "Outsider" I can appreciate the candor you voiced, and I can also read it objectively as a tretise on how a world class IT organization should approach development. I don't see it as an attack on any one company, just a very good insiders view on some of the issues faced with modern software development. Thank you.
Thanks for the post! Fascinating and insightful.
What a great read! Nothing wrong with home truths, real shame you didn't get the right circle though. Circles are what g+ does right and Facebook agrees ;)
Glad you're still thinking about us old time friends from the 'Zon!
This was one of the best blog posts I've read in the past year.
The irony being of course, the amount of traffic and therefore legitimacy this post added to G+.
Have you been hiding blog rants from the general public? The world needs you and your rants! Take a break from curing cancer to give us a lift :)
If it were my employee would be fired.
I would like to think, and hope that this form of honesty would be celebrated at Google. I feel your pain for the platform and can only hope that the closed eyes become open to see.
I hope Google will not blow all this whole "leakage" thing out of proportion. You did not say anything that would make us love google any less ;)
Relax all, its not like he lost a phone at a bar or something ;)
+Steve Yegge Lots of comments and shares, hundreds in fact so I expect the odds are low you'll see this. Hopefully you do though. I'm curious of your perspective as an internal employee on this areas you wrote about.

Google, however, is two steps behind, Yegge argued. "Our Google+ team took a look at the aftermarket and said: 'Gosh, it looks like we need some games. Let's go contract someone to, um, write some games for us.'

Didn't it hit the public in early July that Google invested $100m into Zynga? Seems like something like that was in the works for months; Why does it seem like they were playing catch up? I mean... perhaps there was intent behind the delay in release. Create anticipation? Illustrate continuing growth and improvement? Maybe a misperceived strategy, misunderstood, etc..but I think there was definitely motive. It wasn't an after-thought. There had to have been a meeting on it. 'To launch with games, or not to launch with games.'
"He just makes ordinary control freaks look like stoned hippies." - writing like this makes me smile.
"There are hundreds or maybe thousands of different high-quality time sinks available, so there's something there for everyone". High quality 'cat-picture' products.
So true.
Lack of vision and innovation. They need someone like Steve Jobs.
Oops ... too late. He died.
Will you be fired, sacked or demoted for your ranting ? !
"After you've marveled at the platform offerings of Microsoft and Amazon, and Facebook I guess (I didn't look because I didn't want to get too depressed), head over to and browse a little. Pretty big difference, eh? It's like what your fifth-grade nephew might mock up if he were doing an assignment to demonstrate what a big powerful platform company might be building if all they had, resource-wise, was one fifth grader." - I just laughed right out loud in my office, and now people are looking at me strangely. Thanks.

It's a shame you took your post down. I don't know if you know this but the professors of the SaaS class on reference your post and put parts of it in their textbook (it starts at 1:28 in the lecture 1.7). One of the students found someone who has kept a copy on google+ and posted the link in the forums. I really think you should reconsider having this buried this way. Or perhaps the only good things in life are those you have to work to find. Why is buried treasure better than a paycheck?

By the way, someday I plan to see you at Google. I'll buy you a free beer.

Hey Steve! I work as a software developer in a little (VERY little compared with Google) laboratory in Argentina (South America), but let me tell you... that reading was a complete class of IT itself. One of the best I have ever read.
Congratz!!! Seriously!! I hope you doesn't get in too much troubles for it.
Steve, you are such a super man
He still works at Google so that's great to see!!

+Steve Yegge What is your role at Google anyway?
I guess it's an engineering manager role of some sorts.
I wish I could tell you how much google plus was not thought out for the people who use google everyday. I'm like at 2.0 speed and worked hard to get blogs going and write good content. My google plus button is installed on all my blogs but the plus ones keep dissappearing. they were as high as 500at one time now 146 then they go up to 200 down to 50 now i have the same readers and old blogs and i find it hard to believe that so many people are plussing and minusing me and this has happened on all the blogs, then it somehow has to do with your visibility and page ranking or maybe alea ranking IDK but something is not right. Some were up to 93 now down to 3 I just give up. I've read all the tech stuff and it should'nt be that that hard. . On top of that i used to be able to use my blogger and comment on other people's blogs. All the while they would pop over and read my blog. I guess it's backlinking but was also helping me get new readers. Now they see my google plus profile and it shows that instead of my blog. I can't get rid of it and what a mess this whole thing is. I want to deactivate it but know I will be penalized again somehow in google with my sites and now what a big mess. I dont think anyone really understands it we are just going in circles so to speak and going with some google thing no one really gets or understands. I miss the old google. When I used to comment it would say IraMency then which is my google blog but now it's just my profile IDK i give up
Hey man, I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated reading your post on Rip's wall ;)    After struggling for almost two years, across multiple clients, to really love and evangelise the big G,  it's comforting to know that someone with an intelligent, persuasive voice is singing your song on the inside.

Maybe you could write a company anthem or something that uses the word "platform" a lot?
You called it right. And I am delighted that I am not the only person who is confused by the various (mostly unusable) UIs in the various Google products. I mean: Adsense, Adwords, Apps, Plus, Gmail, Analytics, Hangouts: I don;t even know when I am in which one. 
+James Alesi : I can't believe that works! Whatever Google may be, they got a hell of a product in their search engine.
Once thinking like that is public, it should be at least moved to a place where colleagues can refer to it - the cats out of the bag. You are too important to the industry and society to censor your already posted thoughts. Since it was already out, put it back up or please point us to an alternative non Google URL. Please.
+Alan Wilensky Heya Alan, thanks for the note.  It's been long enough now that Rip's link is now canonical.

I wish I could show you guys the rants I've done internally at Google since this one.  And some people even listen to them!  This company is like heaven, on those occasions they manage to get their act together.
+Steve Yegge : Hello Mr. Yegge. I was just wondering, have you finally exhausted your backlog of essays? Because your "official" blog has been kind of inactive since the Borderlands 2 debacle-thing. Would love to read more of your views on any issue :-)
+Alan Wilensky Cloud.  Cloud, cloud, cloud.  To put it bluntly, and succinctly:  Cloud. :-)  +Aditya Raj Bhatt Hi Aditya -- just because Borderlands 2 followed many of my predictions doesn't mean it was a debacle!

As far as that backlog of essays goes... Well!  Have you ever thought about what you'd write if you knew you were going to die soon?  The political exposes, the  the brutally honest lessons, the choice tidbits that you want to impart to the next generation?

Well, I don't plan on dying any time soon, so all my maybe-future essays are private for now.

But just you wait!
+Steve Yegge : Haha, that got morbid and "deep", way too fast. But I'm champing on the bit for your next post. And I played Borderlands 2 and well, it was less fun than the prequel, even though I enjoyed it a lot. So yes, most of your points were spot on.

Anyway, keep working on great stuff, writing and don't die! How did that even-
Nm Pl
Like It.
Thanks for the great post.
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