It was killed by “conservative managers” says an ex-Googler in this Chronicle article from earlier in the week.
The piece tracks familiar territory of rich early employees getting the itch to go do something else.
Extremely wealthy from stock options that soared in value, 100 of Google’s first 300 workers have quietly resigned to go to law school, help poor shopkeepers get loans or simply to live the good life. Although hardly a mass exodus, the numbers are adding up, scattering what some employees considered their second families.
For Google, the departures present a new hurdle. Enticing as many old-timers to stay as possible is a priority because, with each farewell party, a piece of the company’s institutional knowledge and culture is lost.
Or, perhaps, the Google culture was changing and the newly rich old timers were unhappy about it, the piece intones. Will Whitted, an engineer who worked on the much-rumored server cargo boxes, said this of Google:
“I loved it and hated it,” Whitted said of his time there.
Whitted, who helped design several generations of Google’s servers, said the company was increasingly bogged down by its size. Conservatism was creeping in.
One of the ideas he championed was to build portable data centers in cargo containers, a project Google tested in its headquarters parking lot. But managers were too timid to pack in enough servers, so the experiment was not cost-effective and was ultimately canceled, he said.
“Instead of inspiration-based design, it became fear-based design,” Whitted said.