Last year, Paul Adams rose to prominence as the Google designer who detailed an idea for grouping social contacts that's now the core "circles" feature of Google+.
Since January, though, Adams has been working for Google's social-network rival Facebook, and he's not happy that Google blocked a book called Social Circles he'd written on the subject.
Yesterday--two weeks after Google+ launched--Adams described why he left Google for Facebook. It wasn't because of the book, though.
The main reason I left was that there was an opportunity at Facebook that I felt I couldn't turn down...Having said that, there were other factors that made my decision to leave for a competitor easier. Google is an engineering company, and as a researcher or designer, it's very difficult to have your voice heard at a strategic level. Ultimately I felt that although my research formed a cornerstone of the Google social strategy, and I had correctly predicted how other products in the market would play out, I wasn't being listened to when it came to executing that strategy. My peers listened intently, but persuading the leadership was a losing battle. Google values technology, not social science. I also moved because the culture had changed dramatically in the few years I was at Google. It became much more bureaucratic and political.
But the book clearly is a sore point. "Google blocked me from publishing my book," Adams said flatly. … Read more