Dorothy McGivney joined Google in 2003, before the company went public, when employees could make fortunes, quite possibly in the millions, for tweaking the text of search ads. And now she's writing a travel newsletter.
The New York Observer treats her 1,000-person email subscriber list as if it amounted to a brilliant new startup. It isn't, of course. Daily Candy, the urban fashion email list, had 2.5 million subscribers when Comcast bought it. McGivney's Jauntsetter is as much a business venture as it is an outgrowth of the dilettantish hobby of travel.
The colleagues who joined Google at the same time as McGivney were worth an average of $7.8 million as of November 2007; even with the drop in Google's shares, their typical personal fortune would still exceed $3 million — and more if they sold at the peak. They may be about the only people who have enough money to set out on such jaunts. It's a perfectly fine venture for McGivney to write up trip tips for her ex-colleagues. There's just not 2.5 million of them.