The NYTimes has an article (registration required) about howGoogle has become like Microsoft.
“Google is doing more damage to innovation in the Valley right now than Microsoft ever did,” said Reid Hoffman, the founder of two Internet ventures, including LinkedIn, a business networking Web site popular among Silicon Valley’s digerati. “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.”
Google, Mr. Hoffman said, has caused “across the board a 25 to 50 percent salary inflation for engineers in Silicon Valley” - or at least those in a position to weigh competing offers. A sought-after computer programmer can now expect to make more than $150,000 a year.
That seems like a high number but they definitely helped create a vacuum of talent (along with the other big ones such as Yahoo and MSN).
“When I meet with venture capitalists, or if I’m engaged in a conversation about going into partnership with someone, inevitably the question is, ‘Why couldn’t Google do what you’re doing?’ ” said Craig Donato, the founder and chief executive of Oodle, a site for searching online classified listings more quickly.
“The answer is, ‘They could, and they’re probably thinking about it, but they can’t do everything and do it well,’ ” Mr. Donato said. “Or at least I’m hoping they can’t.”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that ones…and not just for startups!
Mr. Lent, who worked closely with Google’s founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, when all three were Ph.D. students at Stanford University, helped introduce Mr. Brin and Mr. Page to one of the company’s earliest investors.
“I like and respect the Google guys,” Mr. Lent said, “but let’s just say that their ultimate aim seems to me to be, ‘One Google under Google, for which it stands.’ ”
There are also references in the article about being arrogant….but, in my opinion, there are 2 sides to this. Many technical persons that are good, know it, and tend to be arrogant about it. Additionally, breeding a sense of superiority/elitism amongst technical staff tends to keep them there…talent breeds talent and technical people want to work where the talent is and where they will learn and improve their own talents. Unfortunately, arrogance can be a side effect of this. However, there is a different sort of arrogance others point to (not necessarily in the article) and that is basically throwing their weight around in negotiations to get the deals they want. However, I don’t know any business that doesn’t try these types of things to maximize the benfits for their own companies, small or large.