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Going (to) Google

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McGoogle

This is my last week at Endeca. The decision to leave has been a heart-wrenching one: not only have the past ten years been the best of my life, but my experiences at Endeca have defined me professionally. Moreover, Endeca is riding a wave of success with recent advances in our products, new relationships with key partners, and fascinating new deployments.  (You can read Endeca’s latest announcements in our newsroom).

Ironically, it is this very success that compels me to move on. In the past several years, I have developed an increasing passion for search on the open web–an interest only furthered by the explosion of social media.

That is why I’ve decided to accept an opportunity at Google’s New York office. Readers here know that I’ve been a very public critic of Google’s simplistic approach to user interaction on the open web. I’m being offered an opportunity to help fix that approach–and it is an offer I can’t refuse. My mission is to apply my passion for human-computer information retrieval (HCIR), an approach that Endeca has pioneered in the enterprise, to the world’s largest information problems–and where better to do that than at the company that aspires to organize the world’s information.

This moment is bittersweet: I am excited about the new experiences that await me, but I have a heavy heart as I turn in my badge and part with a world-class team that has succeeded against incredible odds.

Given my role and tenure at Endeca, I want to say explicitly that this move is about my personal ambition. My passion for web search and social media, which have grown exponentially over the past couple of years, simply doesn’t align with Endeca’s focus in the enterprise.

Also, I want to make clear: Google hired me because of my values, and not in spite of them. I know that some folks will find it difficult to reconcile my criticisms of Google with my decision to join. That’s why there’s an opt-out village! Seriously, though, I take my values with me. Google is offering me the opportunity to channel my passion for HCIR into action, on the world’s largest stage. I’m well aware of the magnitude of the challenge, but hey, I’m feeling lucky.

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