TechCrunch has a bunch of emails (with identifying information pulled out) from people explaining why they left Google. There's nothing telling in there, but I did find this interesting - from one of the emails:
One last thing: Google also thinks inside a box (the browser). I felt this a lot, and was another reason I left. (too constrained) It's no surprise that they push to extend what the browser can do. (Gears, Earth plugin)
I think every large company (and many smaller ones, for that matter) end up engaging in "in the box" thinking. It might start as outside thinking, but in the end, it results in a new box inside of which company culture lives. That's not necessarily a bad thing until the company gets so big that the box actively prevents new ideas (Microsoft may have reached this point, and the IBM of the early 80's was deeply in that state).
Short of a corporate crisis, this just seems to be the norm. Apple managed to escape that - the question being, was that a function of Steve Jobs alone? We'll find out over the next few months.
Technorati Tags: corporate culture