Nelson Minar’s thoughts on the recent Google issues succinctly capture what many other Googlers (both past and present) have been expressing privately in recent weeks.
His main point:
I imagine half of my readers are smugly thinking “See, I told you Google was evil all along”. I don’t think that’s right. In particular I refuse to give in to a cynical view of Google’s “Don’t be evil” motto; that ethos was very real, a sincere and important guiding principle. And if a big company like Google can’t avoid being evil, then what world-changing enterprise can? But I think Google as an organization has moved on; they’re focussed now on market position, not making the world better. Which makes me sad.
It’s not that Google has turned from good to “evil”, it’s that they’ve faded to gray.
And that’s disappointing to everyone, but undoubtedly to many Googlers most of all.