What are ex-Googlers good for?

At first glance, Miguel Helft's New York Times profile of Chris Sacca, Google's former "head of special initiatives," reads like a puff piece. But then I realized how cutting it was. Scrounging for an actual accomplishment by Sacca, Helft can only point to Google's piddling Wi-Fi network in Mountain View. Sacca, who plans to become an investor in startups, then downplays the one advantage he has: connections to Google. "My actual preference was to not take too much money from Googlers, as it could prevent selling some companies into Google," says Sacca. Right. Like that's ever stopped any Googlers before.

Paul Kedrosky, the venture capitalist, is uncharacteristically polite on the matter: "The challenge for the Google guys is to demonstrate what value they can bring, beyond making introductions to someone at Google." That's the only reason why any entrepreneur should want to talk to an ex-Googler. That, and the money they got from being in the right place at the right time. What else are they going to do? Give them tips on how to game AdSense?

(Photo by Librado Romero/The New York Times)