FriendFeed has been hiring Google’s superstars. This has got to be worrying for Google.
Who is the latest to get hired? Gary Burd (that’s him wearing the FriendFeed shirt in the photo above). What did he do before joining FriendFeed? Oh, just some little things. He was the guy who opened Google’s Kirkland Office. He ran the Google Talk team. Before Google he worked on several key things at Microsoft, including developing the Trident HTML rendering engine, the core rendering component of Internet Explorer 4.
Over on FriendFeed we discussed some of the other team members (they only have eight employees so far, so haven’t made a major dent into Google, but they are definitely getting some superstars). Here are the ones I remember:
Bret Taylor. During his four years at Google, he led more than 25 successful product launches, including Google Maps, Google Local, Google Web Toolkit, the Google Maps API, and Google’s Developer product group.
Paul Buchheit? He was the creator and lead developer of Gmail, which anticipated many aspects of Web 2.0, including the idea of Ajax, long before that term was coined. He developed the original prototype of Google AdSense as part of his work on Gmail. He also suggested the company’s now-famous motto “Don’t be evil” in a 2001 meeting on company values.
Sanjeev Singh is a former Google engineer, playing a role in both Google Mail and Google Search Appliance. Prior to Google Sanjeev worked at social annotations site Third Voice and a government research lab.
Kevin Fox: from 2003 to January 2008, Kevin Fox worked as a user experience designer at Google, designing such products as Gmail, Google Calendar, and the second version of Google Reader.
Tudor Bosman is another. Is a great developer from Google, and was principal member of technical staff at Oracle.
Back at the end of March (shortly after joining FriendFeed) I interviewed Bret Taylor and Paul Buchheit on my cell phone and later I interviewed Kevin Fox, designer, who told me a bit about his design philosophy.
This is a superstar team and is the most interesting startup I follow. Do you have any who have more interesting teams than this?