AppSheet founder Praveen Seshadri, who sold his company to Google Cloud in 2020, has harsh words for the tech giant.
Seshadri posted a blog on Medium outlining his experience with Google after the company acquired his AppSheet. The founder seems to confirm what many investors and analysts have feared, painting a picture of a company that is floundering and has lost much of what made it special:
I joined Google just before the pandemic when the company I had co-founded, AppSheet, was acquired by Google Cloud. The acquiring team and executives welcomed us and treated us well. We joined with great enthusiasm and commitment to integrate AppSheet into Google and make it a success. Yet, now at the expiry of my three year mandatory retention period, I have left Google understanding how a once-great company has slowly ceased to function.
Seshadri then goes on to highlight the crossroads Google is at as Microsoft and its OpenAI-powered Bing threaten the company’s search dominance:
It is a fragile moment for Google with the pressure from OpenAI + Microsoft. Most people view this challenge along the technology axis, although there is now the gnawing suspicion that it might be a symptom of some deeper malaise. The recent layoffs have caused angst within the company as many employees view this as a failure of management or a surrender to activist investors. In a way, this reflects a general lack of self-awareness across both management and employees.
Read More: Google Won the Search Wars, but Can It Win the AI Search Wars?
Ultimately, Seshadri boils Google’s issues down to four specific things:
(1) no mission, (2) no urgency, (3) delusions of exceptionalism, (4) mismanagement.
Interestingly, Seshadri makes a similar observation to the one we made here at WPN when we compared Microsoft and Google and drew the conclusion that Google has become risk-averse compared to its Redmond rival:
Google can no longer seek success by avoiding risk. The path forward has to start with culture change and that has to start at the very top. Google’s senior executives should look at what Satya Nadella did at Microsoft and execute a similar playbook.
Seshadri’s blog is a lengthy one, detailing far more than we can cover in this article. Nonetheless, it’s an outstanding read and illustrates why it increasingly seems that Google is in real trouble.