Dodgeball Founders Stop Playing Google’s Game

    April 16, 2007

I used to enjoy playing dodgeball, but it was one of those games in which someone’s feelings (and/or body) often got hurt.  Now the Internet service named Dodgeball has had a similar effect – its founders, Dennis Crowley and Alex Rainert, have left Google, and the pair didn’t leave in the best of moods.

Crowley made the announcement on his blog.  “So…. Alex and I quit Google on Friday,” he began.  “It’s no real secret that Google wasn’t supporting dodgeball the way we expected.  The whole experience was incredibly frustrating for us – especially as we couldn’t convince them that dodgeball was worth engineering resources, leaving us to watch as other startups got to innovate in the mobile + social space.”

He may have a point – Om Malik and Donna Bogatin, among others, feel that Dodgeball has been more or less ignored since its acquisition.  And it’s hardly a finished product – the service is available in just twenty-two U.S. cities.

So Crowley and Rainert appear to be cutting their losses, rather than giving up or losing interest, as they find new jobs.  “I’m joining the kids at area/code who are knee-deep in building all sorts of Big Games (remember PacManhattan? ConQwest?),” wrote Crowley.  “Alex is moving on to IconNicholson where he took a gig as a Creative Strategist focusing on mobile and emerging technologies.”

Dodgeball will presumably soldier on as before – Google hasn’t addressed this development in any way, and there’s no reason to believe it will.  Ah, well.  Feelings were undeniably hurt, but at least no noses were broken.