Culled from Business 2.0, here are the dumbest moves made by the Silicon Valley geniuses.
18. Perhaps they should change the motto to "Don't be stupid."
New Google employee Mark Jen adds a post to his blog in which he says he spent his first day in an HR presentation about "nothing in particular." Apparently, Jen snoozed through the company's strict disclosure rules. In a subsequent post, he reveals that the company expects unprecedented revenues and profit growth in 2005, projections that Google has yet to share with Wall Street. Jen soon receives another presentation from HR: a pink slip.
19. "Don't be stupid" keeps sounding better and better. In July, Google informs CNET that it will prohibit company employees from talking to its reporters for a full year. Why the boycott? In an article about Google's privacy practices, CNET reporter Elinor Mills demonstrated the kind of personal information that can be found online by googling CEO Eric Schmidt, revealing his $1.5 billion net worth, details of his attendance at a $10,000-a-plate fund-raiser for Al Gore, and — gasp! — his passion for flying airplanes. In September, facing criticism for hypocrisy and overreaction, Schmidt cuts short the silent treatment and grants Mills an interview.
26. And maybe the cops come three days later and find you stabbed to death on your kitchen floor.
"If there's a burglar in my home, maybe I send an e-mail or a text message to the police instead of making a call."
— Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom, on his VOIP service's lack of 911 access.
40. Just google him. We hear it really ticks him off.
"F—-ing Eric Schmidt is a f—-ing pussy. I'm going to f—-ing bury that guy, I have done it before and I will do it again. I'm going to f—-ing kill Google."
— Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, in response to the departure of Mark Lucovsky, a former Microsoft "distinguished engineer" who left last year to work at Google....punctuated by the tossing of a chair...
43. Good news, kids: You can flunk out of kindergarten and still grow up to become the CEO of a major tech company!
"We're grabbing that word and saying, of anybody, we own the word 'share.'"
—Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy, discussing his company's open-source strategy.