Longtime Google engineer quits, saying the company is ‘100% competitor-focused’ and ‘can no longer innovate’

“A Google engineer who just left the company after nearly 13 years criticized it Wednesday for becoming ‘100% competitor-focused’ and said the company ‘can no longer innovate,'” Jillian D’Onfro reports for CNBC.

“Steve Yegge, who joined Google from Amazon in 2005, wrote a blog post about his decision to quit the company, saying it has become too focused on competitors instead of customers,” D’Onfro reports. “He said product launches such as its smart speaker, Home, its chat app Allo and its Android Instant Apps copy Amazon Echo, Facebook-owned WhatsApp and WeChat, respectively.”

“He said employees don’t set aside enough time to regularly interact with customers, instead relying on competitor activity to guide decisions about what people want,” D’Onfro reports. “The competition playing out most obviously in recent months has been between Amazon and Google. The two companies have had a race to the bottom on cloud pricing, and spats around their respective smart speakers, with Google blocking YouTube from working on Amazon’s FireTV and Amazon refusing to sell Google’s products. Google also just launchedits own audiobook service instead of integrating its smart speaker with Amazon’s offering.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: They haven’t innovated since they piggybacked an ad network onto a search engine. Now they just abuse that monopoly for as long as they can finance candidates who’ll help them avoid antitrust proceedings. And, no, hastily rejiggering a Blackberry clone into a bad iPhone knockoff isn’t innovation.

The main reason I left Google is that they can no longer innovate. They’ve pretty much lost that ability. — Steve Yegge

‘Tis always nice to see some honestly from the Do Know Evil contingent, ex- as it were.

Read Yegge’s post here.

Former Android head Andy Rubin leaving Google – October 31, 2014
Why Google really, truly, deeply hates Apple – May 30, 2014
Prior to Steve Jobs unveiling of Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android didn’t support touchscreen input – April 14, 2014
Before iPhone, Google’s plan was a Java button phone, Android docs reveal – April 14, 2014
How Google reacted when Steve Jobs revealed the revolutionary iPhone – December 19, 2013
Apple to ITC: Android started at Apple while Andy Rubin worked for us – September 2, 2011


      1. As we explained back in July 2016:

        Imagine if your livelihood depended on one company that had not only monopolized web search (and, thereby, basically controlled how new customers find you), but also controlled the bulk of online advertising dollars which funded your business and which they could pull, simply threaten to pull, or reduce rates at any time? Now also imagine if you believe this monopolist basically stole the product of another company that is the very subject of your business? How much would you criticize the monopolist thief’s business practices?

        You might guess that it would be a tough road to walk. (We’re only imagining, of course!)

        That would be a good example of why monopolies are bad for everyone.

        The U.S. government has utterly failed to police Google. Because the people with the power to do so currently are corrupt. Follow the money. Hopefully, the European Union will help to correct the situation.

        In the meantime, stop using Google search and Google products wherever possible. Monopolies are bad for everyone.

        If you haven’t already, give DuckDuckGo a try! https://duckduckgo.com

        1. Yes, MDN, hopefully the EU will help do what your nation can’t.

          Now imagine a company that came up with a business plan that involves charging those that use the site. I belong to one such site, have for years. Not a single ad.

          Now imagine a company that censors someone who tries to share a way for those using their site to make the vast majority of those ads vanish. Actually you don’t have to imagine, that’s what you have done to me time and time again. So much for freedom of speech.

          As an added bonus MDN imagine the greatest threat Apple’s Home Nation. If you came up with peace, congratulations you win.

        2. The question here is why should Government control a monopoly formed by market forces where consumers have equally easy access to any other competing company’s product. Government has made monopoly laws to protect the consumer from having large companies shut out smaller ones in markets where the smaller company has no opportunities for equally easy access by the consumer (looking at you, Cable companies.)

          You have provided a viable alternative with DuckDuckGo. The work ahead is to convince the consumers which have created Google’s monopoly by their patronage to change. Government should have no need to step in for policing.

      2. You should be lauding MDN for calling out Google as a monopoly abuser even as Google controls the bulk of online advertising dollars upon which the site’s operation depends.

        MDN has BIG BRASS BALLS.

        You’re a dipshit.

    1. The way I see it, Google and Apple may be after the same customers, but they have different business models. Google as well as Apple have a lot of brilliant people working on new inventions all the time, but Google’s business model funnels all their ideas through a filter that asks how consumer data can be extracted from their innovations, the better to be auctioned at premium prices in the ad marketplace. Apple’s inventions seek to cement customer loyalty through the user experience. The critical difference in the two companies’ approaches lies in privacy— also known as consumer security. Google’s business model dictates an invasion of privacy, whilst Apple’s dictates a protection of privacy.

    2. Why does Tim need an excuse? The Apple Watch is a more innovative product than anything Google has produced other than the search engine. The iPhone X is an innovative marvel. And none of these products were responses to things competitors created—they were wholly the result of Apple taking initiative to create something new.

      1. Haven’t seen an Apple Watch in my neck of the woods. It’s Apple’s version of Big Foot.

        iPhone X’s notch is ghastly and obtrusive, and iPhone X price doesn’t match its performance.

        HomePod late, over priced.

        No Mac Pro.

        Removal of MagSafe.

        Horrendously buggy software releases.

        Litany of excuses.

        Tim Cook receives $250,000 a day as CEO, can’t say that he’s earned it.

  1. Goog seems to be following Msft.s path.

    Msft had a hit MS DOS .
    then copied Apple to get Windows (like Android copied iOS)

    This was the M.O that Msft then continued with competitors copying and undercutting them using sheer cash and scale to crush sometimes better products. ( IE vs Netscape, MS Word vs WordPerfect , Excel vs Lotus, Xbox vs Playstation, Windows vs OS/2 etc).

    Bill Gates made all those billions without needing to innovate much, can’t think of a Msft. ‘innovation’ that changed the landscape like Mac’s GUI, iTunes, iPhone etc. Unlike Apple they often didn’t even improve products much but simply used monopoly strength to bully their way in. (example of monopoly bullying was OEMS couldn’t load was thought by many as superior OS/2 or other OS without being punished by Msft. — they would have pay penalties or jeopardize their Windows licenses).

    1. I want to illustrate what I’m saying above a bit more to answer the question ” doesn’t Apple also copy and follow others?”

      what’s the difference?


      before the iPhone there were other phones, even smart phones like the Palm, Blackberries. True.

      BUT the iPhone, even Apple critics have to agree, was a RADICAL CHANGE, a true revolution. Phones became way more powerful and EASY to USE computing devices. It killed off industry design standards like chiclet Keyboards etc. Basically every smartphone today looks like an iPhone. It changed the world.

      Then take Microsoft WINDOWS.

      when Windows came out was it a REVOLUTION ?
      nope. Actually the first Windows sucked and only with Win 3 was it usable and up to today it still lags Mac OS in many ways. Windows was copied down to RE CYCLE bin icon from Mac’s TRASH CAN . (remember before copying Msft’s champion was Command Line Ms Dos — you didn’t even need a mouse) . the iPhone leapt way over Blackberry but Windows didn’t leap over Mac OS. If Apple used Msft.s M.O (like Google often does) the iPhone (like the original Google phone) would be a Blackberry Clone.

      .Yes Windows changed the world because it became widespread — as a limp, malware vulnerable Mac OS clone — but it didn’t really push forward TECHNOLOGY , it didn’t really INNOVATE . It was just a weak copy they could sell to OEMS. It’s hard to imagine they needed any kind of ‘genius’ or innovating mental giant to create Win One while looking at the original Mac.

  2. Google (alphabet) is basically an Advertising company. 90% of revenues is from Advertising based businesses.

    Everything they do is affected by their advertising lens: from Google, Gmail, Youtube to Goog Glass to home speakers: All to get user data and then position ads.

    when you have such a ‘narrow’ focus it’s hard to really innovate.

    Consider this ‘we have to make the best advertising platform’ corporate M.O/DNA vs. Jobs : “Make products to change the world”.

    1. Unfortunately, since Jobs passing Apple’s M.O. for all appearances points to “iPhone is central to all”. They are making attempts to separate from that focus but like their addiction to Samsung as a supplier it may be an impossible task.

    1. Chromebooks probably top the list as a Google innovation. No one else came out with a completely browser based HW/SW solution. The strengths of creating such an affordable (both at purchase and TCO) and effective platform is evident in how quickly it has spread. Startup time, ease and quick proliferation of updates, a range of price points, and interface available on other HW platforms allowing users to have very low learning curves make a hard combination to beat.

      1. Chromebooks are not an innovation- remember NetBooks? They died because they didn’t have a behemoth like Google behind them, out of the dust, rises the DroneBook. And they killed their own Pixel @~$1000 cause nobody wanted it. Now they make disposable devices that have everyone cranking them out to make a quick buck. They also require you to have a “G” acct so they can track everything you do. I’d give everyone in the Marketing Dept huge arse raises, because they’ve got everyone saying “G**gle” all the time. It’s a search engine company that tracks everything, data=analytics=$$$. And don’t forget their big innovations, buying YouTube to bombard you with more ads etc and give you idiots like Logan Paul. Thanks, but no. Not playing that game.

        1. If I followed your reasoning for Chromebooks not being an innovation but a netbook with an OS replacement, I would have to counter that the iPhone is also not since it is just a minor change to a Handspring Visor PDA with a phone Springboard module and replacing a resistive touch display with a capacitive one.

          The Pixel Chromebook I can agree was expensive and sold very little but as a released product served one of its two main purposes. To provide a physical example to OEMs of what Google intends the ‘high-end’ of Chromebooks to look like.

  3. It’s always hard to say who copies who. Apple copies others (Google, Amazon, Netflix, Spotify…) as well. Apple has lost quite some of its innovative mojo as well, unfortunately. Apple is great with inventing totally new products but Apple pretty much sucks at keeping there products up to date (Mac Pro, Mac mini, Apple TV). Apple often seems to come too late to the party. Sometimes they make an impressive impact by showing up late but not that often. (And animated emojis don’t count!). Now about Google: Google Maps are great and still so much better than anything Apple has to show for in this category. But there is one thing: If you want to do business with Google, it’s awfully complicated. My company licensed Google Maps for our costumers. The license conditions are never clear and they change every year. It’s so bad that we switched to HERE (former Navteq) which makes it so much easier to deal with. And personally, I don’t like Google’s business model: collecting data.

    1. “(And animated emojis don’t count!)”

      Can you imagine how hard we would be laughing if Microsoft had come out with animated emojies as a major feature?

      No, it’s just a marketing gimmick for those with way too much free time.

  4. “He said employees don’t set aside enough time to regularly interact with customers, instead relying on competitor activity to guide decisions about what people want,”

    What I want is for Google to be a lot less involved with our lives. So the guy’s argument is silly. Just be less involved with us and your problem will diminish. Of course, you might not have a job, but……..

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