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Former CEO of a startup acquired by Google testifies “What will happen if it is acquired by Google?” –GIGAZINE

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for Thomas hawk

Maps application ‘acquired by Google in 2013WazeNome Birdin, who was the CEO of the developer, retired from Google in 2021. Birdin recalls his seven years working at Google, answering the most frequently asked question “Why did you leave Google?”

Why did I quit Google or why did I stay so long? | Paygo
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Waze CEO Birdin, who was the CEO of Waze at the time of the Google acquisition in 2013, has given up much of the stake in the company due to a series of failures, and the relationship with company executives as well. it is confusing. It was a situation. That’s why Birdin said, “I’m more of a Google creator than my current executive.Larry PageShould I work for him? I came to think.


Partly because Google had promised independence from Waze, Birdin decided to sell the company to Google to continue Waze development without suffering a cash flow. As a result, the Waze members led by Birdin became Google employees by title, but were able to continue to develop Waze as a team independent of Google.

However, as it was taken over by Google, it faced the following unexpected obstacles.

◆ Employees who think of the app as a springboard
In a startup like Waze, there is consistency between a company’s brand and its products and services, and employees, management, and investors share the same purpose. However, for employees who work at large companies like Google, individual products are just a tool for career advancement, not something exciting or a sense of mission. As a result, the Waze development team had to hire employees who thought that “Waze is not a place to bury bones, but just a stepping stone,” recalls Birdin.

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◆ Work-life balance
There was also a huge gap in the way of thinking about work-life balance. When Waze started their business in the first place, there was no idea of ​​work-life balance at the software development site, and the Waze development team took it for granted that they would be engaged in app development. However, Google took it for granted that he would prioritize personal life, so Birdin was fed up with rescheduling the meeting because “he was going home early today” and “yoga classes were prioritized.” It will be done.


Political correctness (political correctness)Problem of
There was also a problem due to the personality of Mr. Birdin. Because Mr. Birdin was a simple person on Google, he often slipped. As a result, I inadvertently used inappropriate language at Google meetings and events, and I was surprised by Google’s Human Resources department. According to Mr. Birdin, “Political correctness is a gold standard at Google, and copywriting is more important than what you say. If you use even one wrong word, the Human Resources Department will tell you. The thunder is falling.” .

◆ High desire for the work environment
The Waze development team has also become obsessed with Google’s corporate culture.Google serves meals in the employee cafeteriaYou can eat healthy and delicious meals for free. Shortly after Google acquired Waze, when the Waze development team was having lunch in the cafeteria, I heard Google employees complain, “Is it sushi again?” However, within a few months, Birdin began hearing Waze members complain about the menu.

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Furthermore, becoming a member of Google has restricted cooperation with other companies, and the amount of work that does not directly contribute to users, such as legal matters and privacy policy, has increased rapidly, which has affected Mr. Birdin.

On these issues, Birdin said: “I was going crazy from all the mischief. At the end of each day, I would ask myself: ‘What did I do for my users today?’ But when I realized that I was ashamed of what I was doing and that habit was overwhelmed, I realized that it was over. “

“I am proud of what I have accomplished within Google and I am confident that the sale of Waze was a success. The problem was me,” Birdin said of the sale of Waze to Google. And comment. He revealed that the reason for his retirement was that he was exhausted after seven years of minor misunderstandings.

Also, as a piece of advice to me in 2013, when I decided to sell, I recommend that you don’t rush to innovate within Google, but simply leave the company and focus on building a team that can achieve innovation. That said, it’s easy to say, but difficult for someone who loves their company and their mission. Still, when you decide to sell your company, you honestly admit that your time is up. He shouldn’t have thought he could throw the company away. “

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