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This is a situation that seems to come up frequently. Starter companies are exciting for employees because they are the ones who are building the foundation. The goal for all starter companies is to truly become a juggernaut in the business and to expand and grow beyond belief. For Google, this was exactly the results. I don’t believe there is a person in this world who has seen a computer and doesn’t know what Google is. Ironically, after the dreams are met and the corporate structure is build, Google is just another big successful company. I guess this where the excitement is drained along with a lot of the talent that got them to where they are today.
The relationship is really similar to some marriages. It’s all exciting at first and once the honeymoons over it can become a bland day to day life. Not to say that all married couples are boring, but there is significant evidence that adultery is commonly committed due to loss of excitement in relationships. In this case Google is old and worn and Facebook is fresh and happening…
The best solution for Google and companies alike is to keep the feeling of a growing and emerging company. Obviously the bigger an organization gets the more rules and regulations are created, but an effort to not completely conform to corporate America could go a long way.


Gore & Associates was profiled in Gladwell's "Tipping Point" as an organization that intentionally keeps plant sizes to 150. It seems like that has been able to restrict the sclerosis as they grow.

William Cunningham

I don't see Google's incentive working for very long without having to apply yet another raise, and another raise, and another raise. If these employees are leaving for the excitement and start-up feel of small companies, which are intrinsic in nature, an inherently extrinsic motivator like money will do little to keep their best talent. If Google really wants to keep its employees, their management needs to start thinking more about their employees' welfare, cut back on growth, and develop some intrinsic motivators, perhaps through some sub-companies or sub-divisions with a start-up atmosphere.

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