Google Won’t Beat Facebook, Says Ex-Googler Who Coined “Don’t Be Evil”

Paul Buchheit was employee #23 at Google. He left to seek his fortune by starting a social media company, which he sold to Facebook for $50 million, and he’s apparently not under any legal obligation to keep his mouth shut about any of it.

Gawker’s Ryan Tate perked up when he read Buchheit’s frank posts predicting Google will kill its new browser-based operating system Chrome OS within a year.

“Yeah, I was thinking, “is this too obvious to even state?” but then I see people taking ChromeOS seriously, and Google is even shipping devices for some reason,” Buchheit said.

Tate followed up with some more questions about Google’s chances against Facebook, which Buchheit answered just as candidly. “I expect that Google will find greater success with their self-driving car and moon landing initiatives. I think it’s worth noting that the two most successful Facebook competitors, Twitter and Foursquare, were both started by people who were relatively unsuccessful at Google.”

“The only good strategy I can see for Google is to create something fundamentally different from Facebook (like Twitter or Foursquare were), but Google probably doesn’t have the right people doing that because of this problem,” he said, linking to a post by Dennis Crowley on the day he quit Google because the precursor to Foursquare, Dodgeball, hadn’t been getting enough love.

He’s bullish on Google overall. But the company is best at building large scale computer systems, he said, and it tries that approach with everything.

ajeffries [at] observer.com | @adrjeffries Google Won’t Beat Facebook, Says Ex-Googler Who Coined “Don’t Be Evil”