Thursday, November 29, 2007

Note to Google: Hold the Evil!

Business is war; I appreciate why that must be and I accept it, but even war has rules: acceptable
treatment of prisoners, limits on certain types of weapon etc... Business has a code of conduct as well, albeit less well defined, but it is important if you wish your business to behave ethically and respectably.

I think Google's recruiters crossed the line recently with respect to my company Keima. In the space of 1 month they offered jobs to half of the company staff including an intern, a senior engineer, and one of our founding directors. The loss of these people would have crippled the company. As it was, nobody took up the offers of employment, proving that either Keima can attract bright people more effectively than Google, or that those people are so stupid they turned down a job at Google ;-)

Seriously though, Google needs to examine it's policy regarding staff poaching from start-ups like ours. A certain amount of staff turnover is inevitable - we want the best for our staff, and sometimes that can even mean changing company or career. So I say this to Google:

1. Remember your roots.
2. If you want to buy the company, buy the company, don't strip-mine it for staff.
3. Co-ordinate your recruitment when dealing with start-ups.

Incidentally, I realise the conceit in telling Google how to run their business, and I wouldn't do it if they weren't commited to "Do No Evil".

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