To make a long story short – during my short period there, I came to the conclusion that I really prefer working in a startup over being at a large company, at least in this stage of my life and career. The reason I joined Google was to learn how a good big company works – and Google is the best company to do this at. It has really excellent people to learn from, a good culture of moving fast, iterating, dogfooding, and fixing things that are broken. The one thing I was missing there was … they are not a startup, with all that implies. Although Google preserves a lot of startup elements in its culture, and has “startup like” projects started all the time, from above and bottom, including the famous 20% time, what I was missing the thrill and focus of being able to start a new project from absolute scratch, being in charge of major technological decisions, choosing the tooling and technology, and getting the chance to “make it or break it” on my own.
In Google, I knew that even if a project I started would fail, my job would be safe. There are a lot of advantages to this kind of stability, but the advantage of being totally on your own is that it hones the senses, simply because you and your team have so much riding on the success of your project. In a startup, I know that a lot of decisions I make will have major impact on my success, and this is much less apparent in any medium-large company.
I really intended to give it a go and learn all that I could from a large company, but then came Aviv and Eyal, both of which I knew from my army days, and slowly convinced me that their startup was the next best thing on the planet.
It took an agonizing few weeks to decide, and it was a really tough choice (thanks to my wife Aya for her support in these weeks. She heard my endless deliberations and took it really well, and recommended me the wonderful book How We Decide). Eventually, I decided that at this stage of my life, joining a promising startup, especially with such very high caliber people, beats the promise of staying at Google and trying to make things work for me. I can’t be sure this is “the one and only right choice” (there is never “one right choice”), but I know I have to try this, at least for the education I’ll get by doing this.
Fellow Googlers (especially the Trends/Insights team, where I spent the last five months) – I hope to work with you in the future, either in Google or outside. I’ll miss you all, and of course the salad bar in the 26th floor :). You’re welcome to visit me in Hertzelia Pituah, and I’ll still drop by every now and then. So long, and thanks for all the fish.