Friday, February 11, 2005

the official story, straight from the source

i know it's been quite a while since anything substantial was posted on my blog, but thanks for bearing with me. as i said in my previous post, it's been a hectic two weeks. i've finally finished thinking through a few things so here it is...

on january 28th, 2005, i was terminated from google. either directly or indirectly, my blog was the reason. this came as a great shock to me because two days ago we had looked at my blog and removed all inappropriate content - the comments on financial performance and future products. for my next entries, i was very cognizant of my blogging content, making sure to stay away from these topics. i mean, as much as i like to be open and honest about communicating to users and customers, i'm not insubordinate. if i was told to shut down this blog, i would have.

as scoble says, i should've waited a little longer and felt the company out a bit more before i started blogging at length. in retrospect, that is good advice and a lesson learned. i was just too excited. i felt like i was joining a small start-up family; i thought i was going to start new initiatives and improve existing ones; i thought i could jump in the deep end and immerse myself in the revolutionary development environment; i thought i could make connections to real people in the outside world and get first hand feedback; i thought google would love it. i thought wrong.

i've actually viewed this as a great learning experience. obviously, i've gotten a first-hand chance to learn about the power of blogging. i've also learned to be a little more analytical about situations, a lot more cautious and a lot less assuming. however, i've also confirmed that i'm willing to take a stand for what i believe in. i've confirmed what i'm looking for in a career and i know what i love to do - by the way, it's not blogging, it's creating revolutionary solutions :). some people live a lifetime without getting a chance to learn these things about themselves; i'm grateful i've gotten that chance.

people ask me if i'm bitter. funny thing is, despite all this, at the end of the day, i can see where google is coming from - but i don't agree with their stances and i wish they had executed a little differently. i think blogging is the next big thing on the internet. the web gave people revolutionary access to information; email and instant messaging disrupted the way people communicate with each other; blogging empowers everyone to create new information and connect in a community. it’s the culmination of lots of the progress that has happened on the internet rolled into one huge, powerful, killer app. corporations should embrace this technology just like the ones before it. companies that are confident in their offerings should let employees spread the word. in today's age of information overload, blogging is quickly emerging as the fastest and most cost-effective method of marketing.

finally, for all those in the evil/not evil argument, realize that google is a public, for-profit company. i do not believe google is either evil or good. companies take what they feel are logical steps in doing business, and business isn't always fair.

thanks for reading! oh, and if you’re looking for a talented technical project/product/program manager, i guess i’m on the market now. if you have a corporate blogging policy, i promise i’ll follow it. i’ll use proper capitalization in my specs too :).


Blogger MfD said...

Good Luck. Your story - good and bad - is a great example of a powerful new technology making an impact in corporate america.

2/11/2005 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger JDizzle said...

you are the man.

2/11/2005 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger Slackdaddy said...

did you notice you made the washington post today too?

2/11/2005 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger f said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/11/2005 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger John Lewis said...

If only elected officials, CEOs, and others could exhibit the same introspection and attendant humility as Jen when they make mistakes, the world would be a smarter and better place. Happy landing, Mark.

2/11/2005 10:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You also made it all the way across the ocean to ComputerWorld in Denmark. Google
Fyrer Blogger
Wish you all the best in the future

2/11/2005 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Alex said...


Please to see you're able to take this philosophically.

Good luck on you new andventure!


2/11/2005 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

You've lost your credibility. You might find it hard now to find a similar position in a corporation.
You better find yourself a good PR rep.

Good Luck!

2/11/2005 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger thomasyung said...

Mark, I think all the negative comments in the past blog entries that have been directed at you were unfair. I have the utmost respect for you as a person. I agree with you that under the circumstances, your mistakes in the blog was borderline, and Google could've handled it better. You handled it the best that you could've and that's all you can ask for. You just need to move on and accept the cards that you were dealt. I'm sure that you'll find a better and more rewarding job elsewhere. Good luck!

2/11/2005 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Tom said...

what exactly are revolutionary solutions?

2/11/2005 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger chunkybacon said...

good luck with your job search Mark! hope it works out.

2/11/2005 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger Careermetasearch said...

I believe that this new technology is making it's way into corporate america and they should know how to understand it. Your not the first to be fired and probably not the last and it's a shame.

Jason Gorham

2/11/2005 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger -- said...

You could argue endlessly whether they were right or wrong in sacking you, but I still don't think they'd done this had they not felt something 'bad' being done against their philosophy on what goes out live on the net or not.

I'm not blaming you here or anything, but their 'reply' wasn't totally unexpected, I must say..

2/11/2005 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger nick said...

Have you tried Yahoo? or Sun? They are investing very much into the blogging world.

2/11/2005 12:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck!

The question I have is whether or not you'll keep a blog on Google-owned Blogger or move to a different blog company.

2/11/2005 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger TuckerMax said...

You still havent told us the STORY. We know you got shit canned. Why? What did they say?
What were the specifics. CUT OUT THE SHIT AND GET TO IT.

BTW I am looking for a secratery to catch my spelling errers? you interested?

2/11/2005 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger nicholas said...

so many people are scared to talk about how they feel so that they can make some huge bonus.Listen scour the internet and start your own business or something, link to amazon associates or something i will click on your links get it.. this is a chance for you to say to hell with being employed and time to start something new.

2/11/2005 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger El Salvador said...


2/11/2005 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

"blogging is quickly emerging as the fastest and most cost-effective method of marketing."

cost-effective? definitely. effective? don't fool yourself, this is still a microcorner we're communicating in.

2/11/2005 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger karizma23 said...

Hi Mark,

I just have to say that I really feel for you and it's certainly a crappy situation that you found yourself in. I'm sure you feel an immense amount of regret but I hope that this dark cloud will move on and you will find a new challenge. I think Google used you as an example and I think that is unfortunate considering you were doing exactly what Google strives to do - provide information. You may have gone to far but I think you took sincere steps to resolve the issues with your blog and you should have been shown some leniency. In any event I wish you luck in the future and don't let this deter you from blogging! You are a person first, employee second. Thanks.

2/11/2005 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger El Salvador said...

Man, i am a software Engineer in El Salvador, Why do you complaint about everything? you had everything man!!, it is true life is not only money, but you should see how the conditions are for a lot of engineers here in Latin America , World Class Engineers earning $400 USD per month, What happened with you man? you need to travel and see how a lot of good engineers live.
A lot of people would wish the opportunity you had.
if you want to discuss about it you can write me to:

2/11/2005 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger siva said...

Now that you are no longer with that soon-to-be-hated-like-MS company, will it be possible to put the original content or you are not allowed to do that either?

2/11/2005 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger Fred Kuu said...

Best of luck. I think you may have served as a guinea pig for Google as they iron out the kinks in their blogging policy. Ever thought of going into the whistle-blower business? Just kiddin.

2/11/2005 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger paparatti said...

Good luck Mark. You'll stay on my RSS feed for a while yet, so keep us updated as to what's going on.

2/11/2005 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger hey OK said...

google can claim to be happy, energetic, and innovative in their cute little minimal page design and controlled press releases and PR junk they schill out; but at the end of the day they are just like any big, heartless, greedy, despondent Fortune 500 company. They don't give a fuck, money is the bottom line. You are just a tool like the rest of them. To believe otherwise is foolish.

2/11/2005 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger alekkomar said...

Great followup post Mark - I agree with JL that good introspection and humility - corporate chief's could learn from you on that.

Someone above mentioned Washington Post and other media outlets - looks like you are in quite a few places according to Google News.Keep us posted on what you end up doing and hang in there! ;-)

2/11/2005 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger hotsnot said...

What none of you seem to get is that he wasn't fired for the content of what he said, he was fired for being a dunce. Google has a clearly stated policy about only hiring the brightest minds and this guys is obviously in violation of that.
He's given the opportunity of a lifetime to work in one of the coolest companies on the planet and here he is bitching and whining about the salary and benefits on a public forum. If you don't like the pay, don't take the job.
What topped it for me was the comment trying to pull some cynical meaning about the free lunch and shuttle service being more for the company's benefit than for his. It's lunch. It's free. If you don't like it order pizza.
He's dissing the party they threw, he's laming about the snowboarding trip (yeah ... snowboarding trip ... in his first week), he's whining about free lunch ... I bet it was the staff that wanted him fired more than the bosses.

2/11/2005 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger transitionary said...

hang in there mark =)

2/11/2005 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger Goatse Man said...

ah. more ignorance in this thread. I suspect that many of the people who are screaming "free speech" are in high school and have never held a real job. Pure ignorance. Good luck in the real world, kiddies!

2/11/2005 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Peter said...

you da man ! you had the courage to express yourself and the strength to take the outcomings, Wish you all the best in your job search....

but remember one thing, you are no more just "Mark" but who had made a mark in this blogging world -- CNET, Wahsington Post and tones of other sites are talking about you -- CONGRATS

2/11/2005 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger Jeremy C. Wright said...

Mark, I was fired last month for blogging. My situation was different (isn't everyone's?), but I know how it feels. I'm not sure which Google office you're at, but if you're at the Seattle area one, I'll be down there next week, maybe we can hook up and laugh about the past.

2/11/2005 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger leknows said...

At least they let you keep your blogger address.....

2/11/2005 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Dimitar Vesselinov said...

The Wisdom of Warren Buffett
What should we learn from Warren Buffett?

1. Be Grateful
2. Be Ethical & Fair
3. Be Trustworthy
4. Invest in Your Cirle of Competence
5. Do What You Love

The Wisdom of Warren Buffett

2/11/2005 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger jdragon said...

What a demented lunatic...

2/11/2005 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger Mike Steinbaugh said...

Just remember, Mark, don't be evil.

2/11/2005 03:55:00 PM  
Blogger Dirty Jase said...

I have been dicked out of 1 or 2 "dream" positions before as well.By "dream" I mean that 1.)it was a job I wanted forever & 2.)I deserved it After getting shafted & released I was pretty bitter.Fuck,I still am.
I don't really know what else to say to you except that "I feel for you" & good luck.
I'll keep reading...

2/11/2005 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger decheung said...

Thanks for the expired business card. Good meeting you!

2/11/2005 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Man, all I have to say is keep your head up. I think you deserve blog of the day today too. I think all of your supporters should click on your adsense ads everyday. Of course, we'd be giving google more money, but we'd be giving charity money too. Well anyway, you can see your blog of the day post at

2/11/2005 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger Halram said...


Welcome to the real world. If it even vaguely looks like it might get you in trouble, then it is time to go anonymous. This is very easy to do these days. Sign up for a whole succession of free accounts, using the email from the last one acquired for the next one.



2/11/2005 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

I've been following your blog for awhile, and even though I feel sorry for you, I think you were too ungrateful.

Of course a company wants to keep you happy so you can be more productive. Of course a company gives free lunch to save the employees time, and benefit from that. Why else would they do that? Did you expect a company to feed you and let you lie around? Google admitted in 60 Minutes that the free lunch makes employees more productive because they usually go back to their desk after eating. So we have it. It is a great thing for both sides, how could you possibly whine about that?

All that "analyzing" makes me feel that you are very ungrateful. No company is perfect, but Google is pretty darn good.

2/11/2005 06:57:00 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

so, when do we get to hear the dirty about what really happened... like tmax mentioned, we want the STORY!!

heh... good luck for the future bro


2/11/2005 07:15:00 PM  
Blogger Prince Roy said...

of course the most ironic thing of all is that google bought blogger a while back...

2/11/2005 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I am surprised that Google did this. If some airline fires an employee for blogging that would be understandable. But when a company that has a blogging tool as one of its products fires an employee for blogging that's a little surprising. Google could have and should have handled this better. Especially given their "do no evil" motto. The contents of the blogs themselves were not all that wrong -- most google employees are probably discussing such matters with friends. The difference here was that this was public. That's the only difference. And by firing someone for that Google is telling us that blogging is dangerous. If so Google should add a warning to that effect on blogspot's homepage. Blogging is new, and people are still getting used to it and experimenting with it. People make mistakes. The company behind blogspot shouldn't have fired an employee for one of those mistakes.

I don't trust Google to do no evil any more.

2/11/2005 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger Todd said...

yeah!!!! i got my name on this blog!

2/11/2005 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

I'm sorry but I'm not buying into this worship you stuff.

If you had any amount of common sense you'd probably realise that blogging negative comments for the world to see about your very famous company is not a wise things to do.

Especially when you have only been there 5 minutes.

How you passed the interview and got the job with common sense like this is beyond belief.

Ironically you really have shown the negligence & stupidity of Google's HR department. They hired you.

2/11/2005 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger Becca said...

How unfair, now i want to boycott Google.

2/11/2005 10:02:00 PM  
Blogger Michele said...

Sorry but I'm not real sympathetic.

You had a great Job, and you screwed up. There comes a point in blogging when you need to keep things to yourself, you need to think—if someone saw this would this be deemed offensive, or in your case breaking company policy? Hopefully you'll do a better job of keeping your lips sealed than dooce. Have some dignity man—don't burn any more bridges than you already have.

2/11/2005 10:18:00 PM  
Blogger AmadeuZ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/11/2005 10:21:00 PM  
Blogger jdragon said...

Let's face it, lock-up expiration is coming up. Insiders who haven't sold wasn't about to let this loose lips ruin their chance at selling above $190!!! Ergo, the 400 complaints...hey, it's worth atleast a cool million smacker.

2/11/2005 10:44:00 PM  
Blogger David Rodecker said...

Mark; after my last post my email box filled up -- take it easy guys; I'm not openly recruiting!

Mr. Jen, I'd like to discuss bringing your talent into a ground-breaking opportunity in the high-tech online industry.

Like I said before, persons of your talent, creativity, through-provoking, disruptive, yet ingenious wit would be significantly better utilized in a aggresive, fresh environment. Hopefully the spam won't overwhelm the account this time!

2/11/2005 11:08:00 PM  
Blogger MAS said...

good stuff have a very powerful message and to CORPORATE AMERICA...f*ck them see the reason Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and the likes dont have blogs and tell it like it is to the "real people" is because of their GREED and robotic ways of feeding the wall st community..afterall, its all about the bottomline and making money right? and getting deals and continued growth?? HAHA..what a joke these fools are..after spending 8 yrs on wall street in NYC, I'll never trust another IVY league wanna be with no "common" sense again..but here here to capitalism its the best thing that drives the world...I enjoy taking their out CHINA...those 1.3 billion strong have something up their sleeves...always a buyer and a seller for that is what makes markets...on the flip side also a right and a wrong?? you were NOT dealt with in a tactful and respectful manner...IMHO..but then again these crooks are selling stock @ $200 per share that they own at a buck while poor mom and pop in the midwest are buying into their BS stories...although I am a a loyal user of FIREFOX and kudos to those guys but now they will be corrupted and promised a gazillion shares of stock for their brilliant technology just to put ole billy and the boys on their stools...its a never ending game...good luck and thanks for sharing..take care man and drive on...GOD BLESS AMERICA and our TROOPS!

2/11/2005 11:37:00 PM  
Blogger MAS said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/11/2005 11:45:00 PM  
Blogger Mark Lucovsky, Software Engineer said...

Good luck mark. Sorry to see you leave us.


2/12/2005 12:28:00 AM  
Blogger reason_able said...

This scene is so amusing to me (I'm not a blogger, but just created this account for my one post here). Here you have a bunch of people who have deluded themselves into thinking that this decision by management was somehow an us-vs-them statement about bloggers and self-expression. That is not the case. Google is selective within engineering, and even more selective with PMs, and my guess is that they realized they'd hired someone who was still immature and had bad judgement. It's not like anything you did was flagrantly grounds for firing, but your posts (which you've since deleted) were painfully naive.

Basically, I don't think you got fired because of your postings directly... I think you got fired as a second-order effect, as people probably realized that you're immature. I couldn't believe the things you were complaining about, as they were all variables that were within your scope of knowledge when you accepted the position; if you don't like the salary or the options, don't sign on the dotted line! If you think the free meals are a cynical ploy, then bring your own lunch and eat dinner at home!

Your current post is drenched in self-righteousness (e.g., "i thought i could jump in the deep end and immerse myself in the revolutionary development environment; i thought i could make connections to real people in the outside world and get first hand feedback; i thought google would love it. i thought wrong.") that steps cleanly around the point of contention: not that you're a blogger or that you have good ideas, but that you're immature and lack adequate judgement. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I would expect that google doesn't have a clearly stated black/white policy about what's acceptable blogging and what's not, and I'm sure what you've got is within the gray area.

I'd wager that you weren't fired because you're a blogger, you were fired because Google realized they made a mistake hiring you, and this was a great excuse to correct it. Please don't try to characterize it as anything else.

2/12/2005 12:42:00 AM  
Blogger Magi said...

Hey Mark,

This old revolutionary new to the blogosphere salutes you. Success is the best revenge and you now have a reputation. Don't listen to all these people who think you should be good, do as you're told, and kowtow to the boss. I need some work done to set up a corporate blog, and although I was given two offers of free help yesterday, I think you are the man! Can you give me a quote please? (just some pocketmoney while you reassess your priorities). And while your at my fledgeling blog you may want to join the opposition for free. We have google in our sights all lined up, the fastest growing team in the org, and I'll shout you a months pro membership just to check it out as a welcome to the revolution gift. I'm no anarchist, just a geriatric mum with grown up kids all over the world. Join my team and you soon won't need a job. It doesnt matter what they are saying about you so long as they are talking. So told me Robert Kiyosaki many yrs ago before his richdad conglomerate days. Maybe you just came to google a little late? You're right on time for searchestate, and you are a marketers dream come true right now. Even if you dont join, I'd still like some basic assistance if it's not to far below your experience, and I wish you all the success in any future career you chooze to follow.


2/12/2005 01:40:00 AM  
Blogger Massimo said...

good luck! nice to see how cool you are about all this story. I hope they're as cool as you are about it at mountain view :-)

2/12/2005 02:16:00 AM  
Blogger Pyramis said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/12/2005 02:30:00 AM  
Blogger Martin Fabian Hohenberg said...

What I think about this

2/12/2005 03:24:00 AM  
Blogger Pyramis said...

Hey Mark, I wrote you a letter over at Mind Mob about how to turn your recent experience into a little revolution of its own.

2/12/2005 03:42:00 AM  
Blogger Sunil said...

I think it won't take long time for Google to steal some hatred from web users that they have for Microsoft.

Btw now where are you planning to? Yahoo?

2/12/2005 04:36:00 AM  
Blogger Porcine Pig said...

I think that you'd better start being careful, and get your name out of the press as soon as you can.

You've had too short stays at IBM, Microsoft and Google: makes you look incredibly unstable, despite the "rebel" attitude. You come off sounding like a whiney kid who is going to spend all of his time on the internet instead of working. An unstable, short-timer troublemaker.

If I was you, I'd stop with the blogs for a while and let the whole thing die down and just try to get a job that you don't get chased out of. After a while, people will stop hiring you. And it looks like it may happen sooner than later to someone with the kind of exposure you're getting.

Good luck,


2/12/2005 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger DCG said...

Very immature indeed. This is not at all about blogging policy or rights or even you revealing sensitive information. I, too would not pass up the opportunity to rid my company culture of someone who so quickly and obviously displayed their retard credentials for all to see.

Enjoy your 15 minutes of fame !

2/12/2005 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger Andy Bartholomaus said...

What were you thinking when you made up that title
"NinetyNineZeros". Do you really think your ex-coworkers were a bunch of losers, or were you just counting the number of zeros after the one in a google.
You must have been born into a well-to-do family or something. All in all it was very amusing reading your whiny rants. Best of luck to you. If you can't find a J.O.B. in the info systems industry after this you can always try Uncle Sam. I'm sure he would straighten you out.

2/12/2005 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger Reta said...

sorry to hear what happened but nowdays you hear stories here even in Malaysia that employees getting sacked for blogging bout their company..scary! anonymous may be more safer?

2/12/2005 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger kk+ said...

I'm not sure what the big story here is. It was clear to me since the first day you posted that talking about working at Google seemed to distract you from preparing for and actually 'working' at Google. I'm sorry it went down the way it did, but not at all suprised!

2/12/2005 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger Retaliation d*Amore said...

I'd like to say we (from are on your side (-; Take care.

2/12/2005 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger Austin Sloan said...

That's too bad Google took this path. They have lost some credibility and homor in my view. They can resolve this issue by rehiring you but any other path will leave them with pie ono their face. They are promoting bloggin but yet when one of their own does it, they fire them. They should be trying to protect the rights of everyone to blog. I can see that who ever gave the order to fire Mark must be an idiot and doesn't have any idea about blogging. Google would do better to fire that person and rehire Mark. Google you were a company we all looked up to until now. Resolve the situation, don't make us have to boycott you.


2/12/2005 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger Erwyn said...

Of course the free lunches are a cynical ploy! A company's main goal is to make money. Increased productivity makes money, and free lunches increase productivity. I would take advantage of free lunches, but I would probably end up unhappy working for Google or any other company because being around people for 8+ hours a day is just way too much.

2/12/2005 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Cedric Satterfield said...

Many of these posts demonstrate the painful naivete of people who think that just because they have a somewhat anonymous communication tool that its some sort of new revolution. I can't believe that anyone with a 1/2 cent of reality would look at this with anything less than pity. Youve 'worked' in the tech industry long enough to know what an NDA is. How could you not think that Google wouldnt trow their own blog system for words like "google", " microsoft", " Adsense fraud" whatever?

For the rest of you Che Guevera types, grow up. This has nothing to do with corportate greed. This is the way REAL jobs expect you to act and to be accountable. You bit the hand that feeds you youre going to be eating TV dinners by yourself. If you don't like it, be the next startup and change things. But don't whine when someone gets canned for being stupid-I wouldnt want him working for me either.

I guarantee Uncle Sam would teach him a few things about loyalty, duty, following the rules.

2/12/2005 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger reason_able said...

People! I don't see how we're allowed to infer that this firing is a commentary about blogging in general. Here's a list of google (and yahoo) employee blogs:

As I said before, Google has the luxury of being selective about who works for them. They have little incentive to pay someone 6 figures to complain publicly about things they agreed to when they signed up to work. Working somewhere is a *choice*, and successful companies should be able to employ people who want to be there. I doubt that this was about blogging as a phenomenon: it was about hiring the right people.

Somehow this situation has been characterized as a David and Goliath story, with little justification. Let's look at this for what it is, and not map it onto fantastic romantic plotlines!

2/12/2005 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger frisky said...

good luck in the future... youre a star now! i know you will be alright.

2/12/2005 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Me said...

I see where your coming from. Google denied my application to run there ads on my pages. It's probably a good thing, since they take away a lot from the experience of web-browsing. You can't go around kissing ass all the time either, Screw them and do what's right for you.

2/12/2005 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger goodgulf2 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/12/2005 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger goodgulf2 said...

Quite frankly, when you get to a mid or high-level technical job, or even a low-level line job (sales, marking, product management, etc.), YOU ARE REQUIRED AND EXPECTED TO BECOME A CHEERLEADER FOR YOUR COMPANY!!!

This means getting out the Pom-Poms and putting on the Dress !! Give me a "G" ! Give me an "O" ! Give me an "O" ! Give me a "G", and all that !!

Clearly, this guy was not able to shut his mouth. He got terminated for not "putting on the dress!" Well, that's tough. Maybe its hard to learn, but if you don't like the job you have, SHUT UP and look for a new job.

This is how the corporate money machine works. If you don't like how a company makes money, fuck you, you're fired !! I know because I've been there...

2/12/2005 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger David said...

I'll tell you what. Since reading your blog....and then you getting fired because of it, I no longer will use Google anything.

I think Google is too powerful and is getting too big. They should have never fired you for your blog. What tools.

No more Blogging for me at I'll use MSN spaces instead. No more Gmail account (just closed it). No more Google Search. Back to Yahoo!.

Later Greedy Google!
Thanks for opening my eyes to how Google really is.

And they say, "don't do evil". What a front. Google is the devil.

2/12/2005 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Why didn't you mention in your blog post that you used your position in the AdSense division to use the keyword "google" in the ad for your blog when that was against the rules?

2/12/2005 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger zoointhesky said...

Bummer dude. I enjoyed reading what you had to say in your posts - it's interesting to hear how people get on in these "high-profile" companies such as Google. I've had a few opportunities to join a high-profile company, but each one got the axe for some reason or another.

But let's face it, you got burnt playing with the big boys. As for free speech, open discussion, and information for all - I say bollocks to that - you knew the rules. If it's in the public interest (i.e. it affects one's way of living) then, yes, argue away. If it's intellectual property, trade secrets, etc. keep it to yourself.

That said, I'm surprised Google gave you the axe first time round. I figured they would have at least sent you to the headmaster's office for an official warning, or sent you to your room without any supper/free lunch, before wielding the axe. Think of it this way: They must have felt threatened... Doesn't that just make your heart pump lumpy custartd?

Google. Goggle. Gurgle. Hang in there.

2/12/2005 02:11:00 PM  
Blogger Ryan said...

I just have to say after reading about this story my opinion of Google took a nosedive. Whether or not they were legally "in the right," their actions were heavy-handed and, in my opinion, just a little bit "evil." I'm not going to be very cavalier about

2/12/2005 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger Ryan said...

Didn't finish that last comment...should have read...I'm not going to be very cavalier about using Google in the future.

2/12/2005 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Mark Jen has yet to clarify the story. He has yet to admit that he was fired because of breaking the AdSense rules.

2/12/2005 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger pankcake bunny said...

Some posters don't like to read, so I'll keep it short and bolded. If what peter says is correct then all the readers and news media that have been so sympathetic to Mark are getting played for chumps. Sympathize away, Mark is smart enough to know that it'd reflect very badly on himself if he were to rail against Google when he was the one that abused proprietary knowledge out of greed for fame and money. On the other hand, what if Mark is truly the martyr here? Then there's no time to waste! We gotta start boycotting the devil's own poster child (which for some inexplicable reason happens to be a search engine) pronto!

Regardless, I agree with the first comment on this thread: Mark's story is one everyone can learn from or be brainwashed by... take your pick ;)

2/12/2005 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Just because they gave him a reason unrelated to his blog doesn't mean his blog wasn't the real reason.

2/12/2005 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger dandan said...

I would like to know, since you complained about Google's pay policy compared to MS... how much is an aspm make at google? since you no longer work there, it is not confidencial info...
if you do not want to post it, can you email me?

2/12/2005 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger alias420 said...

Well, congratulations on losing a dream job... Or maybe 2, since you worked on microsoft before.

There should be plenty of people who will gladly fill your position, while not being ungrateful at the same time :)

2/12/2005 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger Dongming Lu said...

At least you are smart enough to feed some 'Google Ads' on your blog, and hope these exposures (I saw this on will be some good consolation.

Good luck.

2/12/2005 08:38:00 PM  
Blogger Somebodi said...

Can you tell us if you did actually run an adwords ad for your blog is that a fake screenshot that is floating around?

2/12/2005 10:45:00 PM  
Blogger Eric said...


Good luck, man!

2/13/2005 01:23:00 AM  
Blogger Dennis Ruigrok said...


This is so much as the cluetrain manifest predicted. Did you read the cluetrain manifest? (

Good luck in finding a new job!

ps. you're known in the netherlands now too :P (

2/13/2005 03:02:00 AM  
Blogger mattybinks said...

Mark, sorry to hear you got let go. I'm not surprised due to the blabbing about sensitve material (financials and especially future products). I agree with Sarah about the creditibility thing too. Also, since when did a project/program/project manager ever have anything to do with "creating revolutionary solutions"? lol! My experience has shown that all project managers have very little to do with any creative execution or ideation. They really only manage to piss everyone off by crying about deadlines and overly sensitive customer communication issues.

Good luck!

2/13/2005 03:47:00 AM  
Blogger jdragon said...

I thought engineers at Google create the products and then idiot product managers get to pick and choose. From what I'm hearing, product managers are easily expendable at doogle.

2/13/2005 03:55:00 AM  
Blogger UPA said...

How many of the people criticizing above actually know what Inside Google really is all about, how many of you worked there ? As an ex-Googler myself I'll say you were right on mark on all of your comments. The never stopping energy can be tiresome at times for the people who work there to the point of forgetting there is a life outside too. Although if you did reveal financial figures on your previous posts I understand why they ditched you. But don't forget, there are plenty of other nice companies out there ! With the international coverage your story had I'm confident you'll find a new & much better job very soon. Take care and good luck.

2/13/2005 04:11:00 AM  
Blogger thecod said...

Hey, you're story also made it into the German media.

2/13/2005 04:42:00 AM  
Blogger postedthis said...

hmm... as far as I understand what a blog is supposed to be - communicating freely - this seems not to apply to companies esp. google!

sorry for you and bad for google

2/13/2005 07:18:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Mark,

I must say I understand googles reasons for getting you fired. If I were google I would be soryy to get you the job in the first place. Posting something on the net is not just talking to someone in private. What about loyalty to a company. Strange that I say something like that. Cause I believe in ethical behavior. And if a company does not behave like it, than we should speek out, or we have to. But to round it up, it seems you are very self oriented. Good luck anyway.

2/13/2005 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

Hey Mark, look ahead ,dont look back

Whats done is done !

Im sure you will land on your feet

Good Luck

JP in Canada

2/13/2005 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

Hey Mark, look ahead ,dont look back

Whats done is done !

Im sure you will land on your feet

Good Luck

JP in Canada

2/13/2005 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Harjot said...

Seems too naive to be true.

2/13/2005 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Alan H. said...

Your blog has been great. I'm wondering what post got you in trouble. For me, this brings up an interesting point about blogs. It's supposed to be a somewhat private forum for people to express their thoughts. Given that, it's also a public forum accessible to anyone, made more public by powerful search engines such as Google. What degree of freedom do you have to say what you want without worrying about repurcussions (given that the posts are not offering competitive/secret information)?

A project manager that I've worked with shared her lessons learned with me about corporate e-mails: keep them bland and non-offensive -- you never who your e-mails will be forwarded to. How much does this advice apply to blogging about one's job? You're applying your thoughts to text, so they leave an incriminating trail, unlike blowing off steam at the watercooler. I'd love to start a blog about my job and my industry, but I'm still thinking about lessons learned from your experiences.

In any case, I enjoyed the read.

2/13/2005 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Mark, I really want to know why you are not clarifying your story regarding the AdSense ad you put up for your blog which used the keyword "google" in the description, when that was clearly against the rules?

I think you owe everyone an explanation for this. If this is indeed true, and that you are still not willing to admit that you got terminated for circumventing Google corporate policy regarding AdSense, it shows that you have poor character.

Please explain this the AdSense questions.

2/13/2005 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger Quinnie said...

Sorry but I think that what they have done is rediculous.

Oh well I'm sure you will find a good enough employer soon enough, just make sure you dont let them find out you "blog" even though bloggers are the best people on earth, maybe start your own blogging service as a rival.

Anyway I must go the pressure of being your 100th commenter is over-whelming.

2/13/2005 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger rydel23 said...

That's a lesson for all of us. No matter how cool, "progressive" or "family-like" the company looks, it is still a company running business, a company run by managers. Such blogs can cause trouble for them. It's much easier for them simply to discharge the potential trouble-maker rather than take the risks of him staying aboard.

2/13/2005 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger rydel23 said...

PS. But one good thing is that you have your hands free now. Do you want to share the whole story? There is no reason now to keep the stuff confendiatal. Not after they axed you.


2/13/2005 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger alekkomar said...

I noticed a couple of comments have asked/challenged Mark about him running Adsense on his web page - I'm not an expert on this (just a (very) small-time publisher), but it all looks on the up-and-up to me ... heck, what's wrong with him running this, and he was upfront when he turned it on - see his Feb 9th post.

Speaking of which, I Emailed Mark shortly after that posting where he says "I've added adsense to my website on the sidebar. don't worry, all proceeds will be going to charity :)." and among other things, I mentioned that if he didn't have a "good" charity, please consider celiac disease (my kids have this) ... and he responded fairly promptly saying that since I was the first to ask, he'd send some $$$ that way ... which I thought was very, very cool.

2/13/2005 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger Bindu Reddy said...

Good luck. Mark. I hope you get a job shortly!

2/13/2005 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

If Mark was fired because his Adsense ad broke some rule then that would be not much different than if he got fired for parking his car illegally. That's a silly reason, and if true it indicates ingeniousness (or evilness) on the part of google. Chances are, the real reason is the one in plain view (occam's razor etc)!

2/13/2005 11:03:00 PM  
Blogger The One Moving said...

You made it in an article overhere too... (

Often you have to sign contracts here stating you will not publicizes about the company without written permission.

Good luck with the jobhunting!

2/13/2005 11:11:00 PM  
Blogger sachin said...

So...did they pay your relocation costs?

2/13/2005 11:40:00 PM  
Blogger TuckerMax said...

Hey dicklicker, You may want to take those ads off now, your 15 minutes were over 5 minutes ago.

I see you have updated this to a "regular" blog. HAHHAHAHHAHAHHAHAAA

Guess what no one cares.

2/14/2005 05:58:00 AM  
Blogger Todd said...

yeah!!!! i got my name on this blog again!

2/14/2005 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger naitsirhC said...

Muchas Suerte. El poder de la informacion y creo que algunos miedos estupidos de parte de Google.

The Power of the information and some fear of Google. Fear about???

2/14/2005 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Creditate said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/14/2005 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Creditate said...

The folks here at wish you the best.

Although we're all Google fanactics, we also understand the need for expression. Google has a very strong image to maintain, and it seems that your sort of post has threatened that image. I don't think you should have been fired, but I do think your blog should have been removed.

Good luck trying out new things, keep us up-to-date


2/14/2005 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

it seems like there are a lot of bitter, angry, jealous people posting comments. so what if no one reads your blog but you? don't take it out on mark.

i don't understand all the comments about "whining". he posted some comments comparing google to microsoft. he mentioned how the lunches and shuttles are more for the company's benefit. that makes him a whiner? funny, i thought he was just making some observations. i don't recall him saying "my benefits really suck! can you believe they force us to eat this free lunch?". he also made a post about how he made his decision, what he compared between companies and such. so, if you post anything negative, you are whining? hypocrite says "what?"

its equally amazing how many people provided the keen insight after google took action. i believe that is technically called hindsight. nice job!

oh well. you know the saying: opinions are like...

good luck for the future.

2/14/2005 03:46:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Algunas veces conviene mantener la boca cerrada----

2/14/2005 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger John Blue said...

Hummm, What did your NDA actually say and compare that to your actions and information posted to your blog.... You might find that there was something there about revealing company sensitive information is against a company policy. While many would say that what you released would not hurt Google, it is a legal document and is enforceable. Hope you do better next time. Good luck.

2/14/2005 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger Liora said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/14/2005 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger SMagnus said...

Funny how there's always people never too busy to offer a harsh word. Fucking grippers.

Anyway, dude, while you may have used poor judgement, seems to me that barring some truly horrific violations of policy the decent thing would have been to give you a stern talking-to.

Google's coming out with guns blazing is classless and retarded. Add me to the list who hope you turn the noteriety to your advantage.

(BTW, maybe it's wrong to describe your actions as "poor judgement." All the people who post shit like "welcome to the real world" or [and these are my favorites] "working for the US. Govt would straighten this guy out!" [these last comments doubtlessly coming from our nation's wealth of phy ed teachers] miss the point: regardless of how the "real world" is, maybe it should be different. A way in which, for instance, you could speak your bloody mind during your leisure hours without worrying about getting fired.

Maybe a savvier person wouldn't have said what you said, but then, maybe what the world needs isn't savvier people.

Good luck again.)

2/15/2005 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger SMagnus said...

Funny how there's always people never too busy to offer a harsh word. Fucking grippers.

Anyway, dude, while you may have used poor judgement, seems to me that barring some truly horrific violations of policy the decent thing would have been to give you a stern talking-to.

Google's coming out with guns blazing is classless and retarded. Add me to the list who hope you turn the noteriety to your advantage.

(BTW, maybe it's wrong to describe your actions as "poor judgement." All the people who post shit like "welcome to the real world" or [and these are my favorites] "working for the US. Govt would straighten this guy out!" [these last comments doubtlessly coming from our nation's wealth of phy ed teachers] miss the point: regardless of how the "real world" is, maybe it should be different. A way in which, for instance, you could speak your bloody mind during your leisure hours without worrying about getting fired.

Maybe a savvier person wouldn't have said what you said, but then, maybe what the world needs isn't savvier people.

Good luck again.)

2/15/2005 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger stone_cold said...

u deserved it jackass
working for a true company like google and blowing it for blogging?

What's up your head? your butt.

2/15/2005 11:57:00 PM  
Blogger Syngin said...

Hey, I came across your story on CNN's Money site:

2/16/2005 04:13:00 AM  
Blogger An Investor said...

Wow! It seems to me that everyone has missed the point completely. Or, maybe it's just me. :)

What specific content did GOOG make Mr. Jen take down? The financial information he got at the internal sales meeting. Not the complaints about what team he did or didn't make, compensation/benefit discussions, or stories about blowing off HR. It was the "inside" information he was privy to as an employee of GOOG -- that he then posted on his blog.

I guess not everyone is aware that there are federal regulations that govern what people can and can't say
publicly about "material, on-public" information. It has nothing to do with being able to freely express
oneself in a personal blog. It's about the law -- and the law says, "Don't do it." Saying what he said on his blog a week before GOOG was to release earnings...I can only imagine the reaction of GOOG's
senior management and lawyers when they saw it -- especially given the problems they had with improper
disclosures prior to the GOOG IPO.

Of course, I could be wrong and he really may have been let go because of all of the other things he posted in his blog. But, those things are still in his blog -- they didn't make him remove them. The "inside"
information is not -- they made him remove that.

2/16/2005 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger RNS said...

Wow. The ironies of your situation are many. Sorry to hear you learned this particular lesson about the realities of working for mulibillion dollar, publicly owned companies - the hard way.

But it sounds like you did indeed learn the lesson and your career should continue to progress just fine. After all, you lived to tell about it and as a bonus have practically become a folk hero in the process. And it sounds like you've made no enemies in the process, a major plus. And you seem to be treating this as merely something that happened, not as a badge you wear on your sleeve.

Google's loss, though clearly understandably from their perspective, will no doubt become another company's gain. I believe you will land on your feet within the next couple of weeks and won't miss a beat.

2/17/2005 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

I'm suprised they let you go even though you removed the objectionable material.

Keep your chin up, Jen. It sounds like you're going to land on your feet. In the end, this will be Google's loss.


2/18/2005 07:36:00 AM  
Blogger hindu uprise said...

I feel BAD for you, But still I beliebe that Google is the best search engine, YAhoo and MSN are suceptible to Keyword linking SPAM.

Also If I were you, I would have first asked google for permission, And in India we have a saying literally meaning that worship the place / person for whom you work for.

Anyways best regards, and dont worry your destiny will deliver.

Take Care

2/24/2005 03:44:00 AM  
Blogger Ronald Allan said...

Ey. Assuming that what you posted was unconfidential or unproprietary, you should be admired for your willingness to express yourself. For what it's worth, blogging and the internet are very powerful tools...I'm sure you agree...that have to be used responsibly. If in case you did something improper...I guess that's something we all can learn from. You may have gotten a bum deal from Google, but you probably got more in return...Good luck man.

2/26/2005 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/06/2005 10:43:00 PM  
Blogger SerumT said...

Google is starting to sound more like big brother everyday. I would hate to work for this company. If you ever write anything disparaging, disclose priveledged information however inadvertent, or say anything about your co-workers you will be fired without ever being reprimanded. Good luck using them as a reference or ever getting another job in that field. Another motivation to start my own shit. Wasn't this supposed to be the new mecca for tech geeks? For everyone looking for the new cool place to work. Sounds more like a cult. Meet the new boss. If google thinks they can stop blogs they will just be pushed underground and penned by anonymous sources.

You say you're not bitter but wait until you see how these pricks mercilessly fucked up your career. Everyone potential employer who doesn't know already is going to want to know why you left Google. I hope you take this and turn it around into something great, I'm rooting for you.

3/07/2005 12:29:00 AM  
Blogger the truthseeker said...

Well, back before the new century, I worked for a call center company outsourcing to a giant client.

Let's call them Hellatech and the client BU&U.
Fits the company to a T, and the client name each just one letter ahead.

We had employees who made comments on a private message board about how the pretty people seemed to get special treatment, and the work enviroment on BU&U's was so bad, their symbol was the death star (and if you can't figure out who the client is now, no more hints) and the staff were like stormtroopers.

When somebody accessed this at work, the client AND my company traced both home and work internet accounts owned by the client to find out who was accessing the site for ALL people who looked at the site or had client accounts and worked with my company and were SUSPECTED of looking.

When they could prove somebody looked at the site at work, they then threatened to fire all employees accessing the site unless they would name names of those responsible of the site.

Many were fired for simply not talking.

I was even asked once to "trace" people to see if the site still existed after it disappeared.

Gee, I never found any other site, even though I knew where it was hidden underground for years after that.

This in 1999 opened my eyes to what a company can do to its employees, especially in an "at will" state.

Consider yourself warned.

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Blogger 40something said...

bored at work, I typed in 'What the f*** have Google done to their logo?' and hit I'm feeling lucky. It bought me to this page: and the amazing thing is, I use exactly the same template and colour scheme for my blog!

Anyway, I work in a place where we're told from the outset not to write about the organisation in our blogs - and we have an internal blogging system if anyone feels the desperate need to blog about the organisation.

Funnily enough, my university tried to bring disciplinary charges against me for writing about them online when I was a student, back in 1995... I seem to remember I was charged £25 for bringing the university reputation into question. I'm amazed you're not bitter, Professor Michael Wright is forever a marked man in my eyes now...

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Congratulations - your on the Sydney Morning Herald Website in Australia!
It is a good lesson to learn - everybody's watching!

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