Drinking, gambling and… searching?
It seems the list of proscribed activities for the younger set is longer than you thought. A sharp-eyed blogger at CNET spotted last week that Google’s official terms of service explicitly bar anyone under the age of 18 from using any of its services. That’s right: no hanging out on Orkut, no peeping at YouTube, and definitely no searching for someone else’s homework to cut and paste.
Googlers are in high demand. Doug Merrill, head of internal systems, has just moved over to EMI (while it’s tempting, after a recent senior departure or two, to start talking about a brain drain, the Google talent-magnet is still exerting Silicon Valley’s strongest pull.)
But how hard should other companies try to lure away Google talent? A prominent Silicon Valley headhunter I spoke to this week offered a contrarian view: that Google is like Microsoft in the 1990s, or IBM in the 1980s. It is so dominant in a particular market that it can’t help making money. That has created what this headhunter describes as a “Google bubble.”