Alphabet Google Spells Misunderstanding with a You

February 17, 2021

Stadia Leadership Praised Development Studios For ‘Great Progress’ Just One Week Before Laying Them All Off” reports:

Developers at Google’s recently formed game studios were shocked February 1 when they were notified that the studios would be shut down, according to four sources with knowledge of what transpired. Just the week prior, Google Stadia vice president and general manager Phil Harrison sent an email to staff lauding the “great progress” its studios had made so far. Mass layoffs were announced a few days later, part of an apparent pattern of Stadia leadership not being honest and upfront with the company’s developers, many of which had upended their lives and careers to join the team.

The Stadia Xooglers-to-be tried to get more information from Alphabet Google. According to the article:

One source described the Q&A as an ultimately unsuccessful attempt at extracting some kind of accountability from Stadia management. “I think people really just wanted the truth of what happened,” said the source. “They just want an explanation from leadership. If you started this studio and hired a hundred or so of these people, no one starts that just for it to go away in a year or so, right? You can’t make a game in that amount of time…We had multi-year reassurance, and now we don’t.” The source added that the Q&A “wasn’t pretty.”

The management finesse is notable. If the information in the article is accurate, the consistency of Alphabet Google’s management methods is evident. I have labeled the approach “the high school science club management method” or HSSCMM. With the challenges many business schools face, the technique is not explored with the rigor of other approaches. Nevertheless, several characteristics of this Stadia motif are worth noting:

  • Misinformation
  • Awkward communications
  • Insensitivity to the needs of Googlers on the express bus to Xooglerdom
  • A certain blindness toward strategic and tactical planning.

Online games are bigger than many other forms of entertainment. I recall learning that in the mid 2000s, Google probed Yahoo about online games if I recall the presentation I heard 15 years ago.

Taking the article at face value, it appears that Alphabet Google spells misunderstanding with a you. There is no letter “we” in Alphabet I conclude. High school science club members struggle with the pronoun and spelling thing I conclude.

What’s the outlook for Alphabet Google in the burgeoning online game sector? Options include:

  1. Acquiring a company and integrating it into the Google
  2. Cleaning the high school and leaving the Science Club leadership intact
  3. Creating a duplicate service with activity centered in another country which is a variation on Google’s approach to messaging
  4. Going into a holding pattern and making a fresh start once the news cycle forgets that Alphabet Google failed on the well publicized game initiative.
  5. Teaming with Microsoft to create the bestest online game service ever.

Stephen E Arnold, February 17, 2021


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