Morning Coffee Apr 23 2012

Google, Facebook Employees Too Fat and Happy

By joseph walker

They say necessity is the mother of invention, but what if you never need anything? That's the dilemma facing Facebook and Google as they struggle to adapt to the Internet's shift toward mobile devices, writes Nick Bilton in Bits.

Employees at these two firms have every single one of their wants and needs provided by their employers, which means they hardly ever have to leave the office. And because they never leave the office, they're not experiencing what it's like to go through life dependent on a smartphone. Luxury coach buses shuttle employees to and from the office. Free breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided so that they never have to walk outside.

If employees at these companies weren't so pampered, Bilton writes, they might be able to empathize better with user needs. Seeing what's outside can give you a heads-up on your next competitor. A recent Business Insider post reported the rumor that Larry Page doesn't leave the office very often to meet with start-up chiefs like Pinterest's Ben Silbermann or Path's Dave Morin. If he did, he might see the next Instagram-type acquisition. (Bits)

Related: Silicon Valley's Shuttle Bus Phenomenon

Reality (WSJ)

Here's what your co-workers are saying behind your back. You're messy, you smell, you suck up to the boss and you're always being negative.

Teaching (Fortune)

If you work for Microsoft after years working elsewhere you may be asked to mentor other senior leaders. It's one way the company is turning mentorship on its head.

Just Business (AllThingsD)

Venture capitalist and entrepreneur Ben Horowitz writes about the uncomfortable mission of demoting a friend. He also revealed that his VC firm made $78 million from its $250,000 investment into Instagram.

Job Opening (IGN)

Skype's London office is looking for a software engineer to help it integrate the service with parent company Microsoft's Xbox.

Balancing Act (NYT)

As they face criticism over privacy, the Googles and Facebooks of the world have to figure out how to remain beloved by consumers without missing the innovation gravy train.

R.I.P. (NYT)

Hillman Curtis, the inventor of the Flash Player, died at the age of 51. Curtis was an early Web design visionary and helped fuel the leap from a text-based to image-based Web.

Get Your Learn On (Venture Beat)

June is around the corner, and you'll need some interesting books to read on vacation. Here are the top 25 technology books of all time, including those from Intel's Andy Grove and "Moneyball" author Michael Lewis.

Buzz Around the Office

A Grown Man's Treehouse (You Tube)

Sadly, he might lose it.

List of the Day: Attitude Check

Even if you are the best at your job, your attitude can go a long way.

1. Avoid showing signs of desperation

2. Try to stay confident and conversational, but not cocky

3. Don't forget to keep smiling


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