No, Searching for a New Job Is Not an Appropriate Use of Your '20% Time'
Google’s mission–to organize the world’s information-technology workers and make them financially successful–is growing more difficult these days as key employees exercise their options, stuff their pockets to bursting with the proceeds and move on. And who could blame them when options granted in 2003 with an average strike price of 49 cents are trading well north of $500, and upstart ventures like Facebook offer an opportunity to hit that sort of Google-sized upside a second time. “There are lot of people [at Google] who are talking about leaving now and what they want to do next,” Facebook co-founder and Engineering Vice President Dustin Moskovitz told The Wall Street Journal.
Comments like Moskovitz’s are a far cry from the accusations of talent-hoarding leveled at Google just a few years back. “Google is doing more damage to innovation in the Valley right now than Microsoft ever did,” LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman told the New York Times in 2005. “It’s largely that they’re hiring up so many talented people, and the fact they’re working on so many different things. It’s harder for start-ups to do interesting stuff right now.”
Quite a contrast in perceptions, yeah? Funny, how quickly the hottest-of-hot Valley companies can begin to lose currency in tech’s talent pool. Not that we haven’t seen this sort of thing before. “Twenty years from now, Google … will essentially become the Microsoft of today,” said management consultant David Goodenough. “This is the norm.”