What kind of a sweatshop are they running over there at Google? Just this week, the elves in the trenches have made Google Gadgets available for addition to any site, launched its Literacy Project in conjunction with LitCam and UNESCO, were apparently caught teaming up with Apple on a possible hookup of Google Maps with iPhoto, added another new batch of imagery to Google Earth, and now have released Code Search, a tool for programmers to dig through publicly available source code. (From the Unintended Consequences Department, the search engine also lets you find things like serial number generating algorithms.) That’s just this week, and it still has a day to go. Gee, I hope they’re paying those folks enough.
But, later, there’s this
The L.A. Times reports company execs have launched an initiative called “Features, Not Products,” telling engineers to stop launching so many services and focus on making the existing ones work together better. Co-founder Sergey Brin said it occurred to him this summer as he scanned the 50 or so products available across the company’s Web sites that users were probably getting overwhelmed. “It’s worse than that,” he said. “It’s that I was getting lost in the sheer volume of the products that we were releasing.” Simplicity was among the things that made Google so popular, and its success led it to snap up hundreds of smart, ambitious software engineers. “The result occurred precisely because we told these incredible engineering teams to run as fast as possible to solve new problems,” said Chief Executive Eric Schmidt. “But then that created this other problem.” Analyst Rob Enderle puts it another way: “They created a bunch of crap that they have no idea what to do with. What a huge waste of resources.” Schmidt says the plan is to make Google products easier to use by packaging services, citing plans to combine the company’s spreadsheet, calendar and word-processing programs into one suite of Web-based applications. “That is a big change in the way we run the company,” Schmidt said, describing Google’s previous attitude as, “Just get this stuff built and get it out — don’t worry about the integration.”