It’s nearly as predictable as rain in November (at least, in Marin…): the Backlash story. It’s my sense that the Google backlash had its peak strength back in 2004, after Google hired its first 1000 new folks and everyone who did not get hired, or who did not get in on the IPO in some way, or did not see any viable competitors on the horizon, or never got a freaking phone call back from the Adsense group, started grousing about how Google was getting too big for its britches.
Now, Google has serious competition, can’t hire whoever they want, and its founders have learned to say the right things in public about past practices (Sergey, for example, told me he regrets the seemingly haphazard way his company hired in the past few years, and Omid told me he is 100% focused on Adsense service issues).
But this is Gary Rivlin’s story, so he got some interesting folks to talk on the record, including Joe Kraus, Reid Hoffman, and Craig Donato. To wit:
Google, Mr. Hoffman said, has caused “across the board a 25 to 50 percent salary inflation for engineers in Silicon Valley” – or at least those in a position to weigh competing offers. A sought-after computer programmer can now expect to make more than $150,000 a year.
“When I meet with venture capitalists, or if I’m engaged in a conversation about going into partnership with someone, inevitably the question is, ‘Why couldn’t Google do what you’re doing?’ ” said Craig Donato, the founder and chief executive of Oodle, a site for searching online classified listings more quickly.
In any case, the Times piece marks the top of a sine wave of coverage, in my estimation. It’ll get worse from here, then get better again. The cycle of spin….