Google Employees Weigh In On The Alphabet Restructuring

Vox populi

A screenshot of abc.xyz, the site for Alphabet, which now owns Google.Google/ Screenshot

As the dust settles around Google's Alphabet announcement yesterday, the company has been eerily quiet. Google+ pages haven't been updated, there's no movement on official blogs, and a blanket press statement is issued to any email queries. But there are a small handful of Google employees who are giving their opinions, on Quora, the question-answering website.

One question posed towards current and former employees asks "What do Google employees think of the creation of Alphabet Inc?" Another user wants to know what it's like to work with Sundar Pichai. So far responders include an engineer at DeepMind (Google's artificial intelligence arm) to an intern.

All in all, the responses are positive—but also confused about where each department stands. From these answers, it seems as if the employees are still unsure who will sign their paychecks come December.

DeepMind engineer Jack Rae, who used to work at Quora, wrote that this was his first year at Google, and his initial experience felt more like working within a cluster of startups joined by a common set of values rather than a company. Without being distracted by the mission of Google search, the other ventures within Google will be able to flourish, Rae writes.

Another employee, Jeremy Hoffman, who works in search quality, sees it the same way: making room for all the things that aren't explicitly Web-related.

He wrote he was initially surprised by the move, but it started to make sense the more he thought about it. Under Alphabet, Google is free to pursue its original mission of organizing the world’s knowledge, without having to add exceptions for every new entity it wants to create. In this view, it’s not only freeing for the other Alphabet subsidiaries, but also for Google.

In another thread asking about new Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Google search engineer Robert Love wrote about Pichai's idea for a file-less future.

Sundar thinks and talks fast. Sundar gets and passionately pursues a vision of the future that is cloud-based, mobile, multi-device, and infinitely connected. A great example is that, for years he didn't want to go a cloud storage system for generic storage (e.g. Google Drive) because there wouldn't be "files" in the future.

And then there was the software engineering intern, Shine Wang, who gave the insider-but-not-yet-inside perspective on Alphabet:

Our intern Hangouts chat exploded - everyone wondered if their conversion offers would indicate which PA-turned-company they would be placed under, whether it might affect the placement of new employees, and so on. We laughed at the SV Easter egg in the website's source code. But for me, an intern ineligible for conversion (yet) and without stock in the company, I just coded away, listening to music on my headphones.

Just Monday as usual.

Updated August 12 in accordance with Quora's quotation policy.