Monday, December 17, 2007

Breaking up with Google: a difficult, highly personal decision and a very fond farewell

I feel like I'm breaking up with Google. Can we still be friends?

I've decided that it is time for me to move on from Google, and have resigned effective at the end of 2007. I made this decision after very careful consideration, checking my logic with many mentors and overcoming my sadness at leaving so many friends. I leave with an enormous amount of fondness and gratitude, and wish everyone the very best.

Google has been like a family, one of the most significant shaping influences in my life -- so significant that I'm certain I'll be expounding further in future posts. :) For now: I'm grateful for the fortuitous opportunities I was gifted with during the past five years, the phenomenal people I've had a chance to work with, and the knowledge and experience I have gained that I'll carry through my career and life.

This decision has been quite difficult but ends with positive feelings. I've felt in the past months as if I was breaking up with Google, and I don't think that to be a stretched analogue. I have countless close friends who I've been through the eye of the storm with to see clear sky, and we have history that is hard to think past. So, for all of my friends still in the 'plex, know that "it's not you (Google), it's me," and I hope that we can still stay close after we take some time apart.

I've been comforted by the realization that Google benefits by my departure to tackle new endeavors. Great companies like Goldman Sachs, McKinsey & Company, Procter & Gamble, and GE all consistently turn out leaders in their fields; their employee departures complement the mother ship by spreading the culture and working ethos. Google has many more fine minds joining than it has leaving, and is training them to be technology-focused leaders with a passion for building great consumer focused services.

I'm very lucky to be in a position to make this choice. I leave with certainty that Google will continue its success, and I'll enjoy following from outside as much as I have from inside. I was a Googler long ago, and I'm sure I will be for a long time to come along with millions of others. Keep in touch Google!

Update 1/4/08: My departure from Google has caused general interest with articles in TechCrunch and Mashable that wondered what my plans were for the future. In my email to friends and colleagues, I explained that I'm going to be working hard on a venture of my own in San Francisco. I'll write more in future posts.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

*sniff* we'll miss you!

December 21, 2007 at 2:03 PM  
Blogger Bob Ryskamp said...

Congrats Nate, we'll miss you but can't wait to see what you do next!

p.s. Ryan, nice OpenID =)

December 21, 2007 at 4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nathan, what are you going to do next? We'll miss you.

December 21, 2007 at 7:15 PM  
Blogger Divya said...

Best wishes for the future. Whats next?

January 3, 2008 at 2:10 PM  
Blogger Raanan Bar-Cohen said...

congrats nathan. best of luck on your next gig.

January 4, 2008 at 1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome to the Google Alumni Club.
Franck Poisson

January 5, 2008 at 12:08 AM  
Blogger Greg Linden said...

Hi, Nathan. Congrats on moving on! I look forward to hearing what you will be doing next!

January 6, 2008 at 2:44 PM  
Blogger Dave Naffziger said...

Welcome simultaneously with your first blog post and of course to the world outside Google.

January 7, 2008 at 9:12 PM  
Blogger MikeH said...

My lasting memory of you will always be Jonathan summoning you with a "Nathan" yell from his office several times a day ;-)

Best of luck and stay in touch!

January 9, 2008 at 1:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bonne chance Nathan!
Please keep in touch.
eric scherer

January 9, 2008 at 6:40 AM  
Blogger Sherif Iskander said...

Sorry to hear you leave. You were really a core asset. It was a pleasure and an honor working with you. I sincerely hope we get the chance to do something together in the future.

Sherif Iskander

January 15, 2008 at 4:37 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Was looking for your email to tell you I was joining and saw you were leaving. It was really great to work with you and thanks for helping bootstrap me. Good luck for the future ventures!

January 24, 2008 at 1:54 AM  

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