The Dangers of Working on a CEO’s Pet Project

The Dangers of Working on a CEO’s Pet Project

The Dangers of Working on a CEO's Pet Project

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“We always said it was like a start-up,” Mr. Anderson wrote, “with zero risk if you failed.”


The layoffs, which totaled about 18,000 people at Amazon, were accompanied by a hiring freeze, limiting options for internal movement. Many company employees have written to Mr. Anderson that his message struck a chord. They told him they hoped to switch roles internally, he said, and that they would “never work on any of those crazy projects again.”

Still, employees remain enthusiastic about working on Amazon’s big bets, including satellite internet, healthcare and driverless taxis, said company spokesman Brad Glasser.

“The opportunity to work on projects that transform customers at scale and to create and use cutting-edge technology is why many employees join the company and grow their careers here,” he said. declared.

Google has long been the standard-bearer for big, quirky ideas. In 2009, Mr. Page convinced Stanford professor Sebastian Thrun that after the company conquered the internet, its next feat would be to transform the real world.

Self-driving vehicles were one of many ideas Google began working on as part of the secretive division Mr Thrun would launch, Google X, dubbed the company’s “Moonshot factory”. Some efforts have succeeded, such as Google Brain, an artificial intelligence lab that is now part of the company’s research division. Others have failed, including Google Glass, augmented reality glasses that have drawn ridicule, and Loon, a plan that aimed to beam the internet from giant balloons but never came to a commercial model.


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