Why the Creator of Google Maps is Headed for Facebook

When Lars Rasmussen announced on Friday that it was his last day at work at Google, he joined the ranks of a number of prominent Googlers who have recently announced they’re switching teams and heading to Facebook.

Rasmussen is probably best known as one of the creators of Google Maps, the success of which arguably led Google to support him in another engineering endeavor, the now defunct Google Wave.

And in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Rasmussen reveals his reasons for leaving company, just two months after that pet project was scrapped. “We were not quite the success that Google was hoping for, and trying to persuade them not to pull the plug and ultimately failing was obviously a little stressful.” He describes Google as impatient and unable to wait for Wave to gain traction.

Getting Things Done – or Not – at Google

Rasmussen describes Google as “unwieldy.” And while the energy at Google is “just amazing,” that the size of the company makes it difficult to get things done.

In part, Rasmussen describes his decision to leave Google in terms of the opportunities elsewhere. The offer – one that came in the form of a personal pitch from Mark Zuckerberg himself – was “too good to refuse.” And Rasmussen says that he feels as though Facebook has more to offer, not just financially but in terms of the work to be done.

“It feels to me that Facebook may be a sort of once-in-a-decade type of company,” says Rasmussen. It may be, that a decade ago, that is how we would have described his former employer.

Photo credits: Andrew Quilty

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