The man who created Gmail and came up with Google’s "don’t be evil" motto has been a bit tough on the company in recent days. Two examples: he gave Google better odds of landing on the moon than succeeding with social, and described Chrome OS as doomed. But late yesterday, Paul Buchheit made it clear that he believes the company as a whole "is still awesome."
In keeping with his programming background, Buchheit produced an organized list of reasons to support that assertion. He began by writing, "They take big risks. . . . If everything you do works, then you’re not taking many risks and probably aren’t innovating either."
Then, along the same lines, Buchheit stated, "They are willing to build new technology seemingly unrelated to the core business."
Buchheit’s third reason may be a little more debatable. He argued, "They compete in positive ways. Many companies compete in ways that actually destroy value, such as using patent lawsuits to slow down or kill competitors. Google’s weapon of choice is more often open source and open standards."
Finally, drawing on his own experience working at Google for about seven years, Buchheit observed, "They don’t seem to mind honest criticism."
Buchheit’s list should relieve Google fans, many of whom were a bit alarmed by his earlier criticisms. The list could act to fend off Google’s detractors, too, since Buchheit, who’s known for making good calls, clearly contended that these advantages outweigh problems within the company.