According to eyewitnesses, Google product strategist Scott Jenson angrily stormed out of a conference in San Francisco Tuesday, 30 minutes before he was scheduled to deliver a keynote address—a week after inviting himself onto the program via Twitter.
“I am Google,” he told a woman working at the registration desk of the IoT Expo. “I do not speak to small groups.”
And then he left.
Failure To Connect
Chelsea Montgomery, the conference manager, told ReadWrite that “about 50” people attended the event, devoted to exploring the implications of connected computing devices in our homes, cars, workplaces, and elsewhere. Speakers from Cisco and other large tech companies participated in IoT Expo, an event devoted to the concept of the Internet of Things.
There’s such strong interest because the Internet of Things, a broad term embracing such devices and all of the software and services that will support them, could grow to become a multi-trillion-dollar market in the future, analysts believe. Google recently entered the Internet of Things market in grand style by acquiring Nest, the maker of networked thermostats and smoke alarms, for $3.2 billion in January.
Jenson is an industry veteran who did product work for Apple and Netscape before joining Google—he’s now on his second stint at the company, according to his LinkedIn profile. He writes thoughtful pieces about issues like home automation on his website. And he was apparently interested enough in establishing himself as an authority on the topic that he tweeted a request to be added to the event’s agenda.
“To be honest, I have no difficulty with a Googler, like the employee of any other hugely successful company, having, shall we say, a highly developed sense of self,” said Jeremy Geelan, chief marketing officer of Kaazing, a software company that backed the event. “But in the last 15 years of chairing technology conferences I never have heard, let alone experienced, of a Googler being so discourteous as to renege, in more or less real time, on a pre-agreed speaking gig of which he had himself been the sole instigator. That’s just plain not cool.”
Google’s published Code of Conduct tells employees that the company’s “don’t be evil” motto is “about doing the right thing more generally—following the law, acting honorably and treating each other with respect.”
Google and Jenson—who are, in Jenson’s mind, apparently the same entity—did not respond to requests for comment.
Photo via Scott Jenson’s Twitter