Ex Googler: Google Became More Bureaucratic and Political, Blocking His "Social Circles" Book

Paul Adams, a former googler who used to work at Google on user experience has now jumped ship to, Facebook. After the recent launch of G+, he stated that seeing it was a bit like "bumping into an ex-girlfriend".Adams in a recent blog post sum up plenty of speculation: - Why I left Google - […]

Paul Adams, a former googler who used to work at Google on user experience has now jumped ship to, Facebook. After the recent launch of G+, he stated that seeing it was a bit like "bumping into an ex-girlfriend".

Adams in a recent blog post sum up plenty of speculation: - Why I left Google - What happened to my book "Social Circles" - What I'm working on at Facebook. "I never intended to write publicly about why I left Google, but it seems necessary to give people some facts that they can refer to, and not have people speculating and making stuff up," noted Adams.

Adams said "The main reason I left was that there was an opportunity at Facebook that I felt I couldn't turn down. Having said that, there were other factors that made my decision to leave for a competitor easier. "Google is an engineering company, and as a researcher or designer, it's very difficult to have your voice heard at a strategic level. Ultimately I felt that although my research formed a cornerstone of the Google social strategy, and I had correctly predicted how other products in the market would play out, I wasn't being listened to when it came to executing that strategy. My peers listened intently, but persuading the leadership was a losing battle. Google values technology, not social science.""

"I also moved because the culture had changed dramatically in the few years I was at Google. It became much more bureaucratic and political. I don't think it's appropriate to get into it here, and other ex-Googlers have written about this more eloquently than I could."

But the real meat is one little nugget of information he drops: Google is blocking him from releasing a book he wrote about his social research called, what else, Social Circles. And Adams is not happy about this at all.

Specifically, Adams says he received permission in June 2010 from Google to publish Social Circles. As he notes the content, title, and cover (circles!) all existed before the Emerald Sea project (Google+). But after word of the project started leaking out that summer, Google rescinded their permission and asked Adams to wait to publish until Google+ launched. Adams understood, and was perfectly fine with that. But now that G+ is out there, he says Google is still blocking him from publishing the book, and he doesn't know why.

To make matters worse, Google won't even respond to his emails on the topic. "The book contains no proprietary information, it is based almost entirely on research from 3rd parties (mostly universities) and any Google research referenced is already in the public domain," he writes.

He then shot: "The industry needed this book. You might say I'm trying to organize some of the worlds information and make it universally accessible 🙂 The irony that Google is blocking this endeavor is not lost on me."

To sum up, Adams joined as a researcher, but is now a product manager working on Facebook's advertising products. " I love my new job, love Facebook, and have absolutely no regrets about moving. It has been the best career decision I've made," he says.

[Sourdce: Paul Adams, TechCrunch]