Should Google Abandon “Do No Evil”?

Speaking to Brett Crosby last week, I know that “Don’t be evil” is something Google really does consider when making any business decision. That being said when Eric Schmidt makes comments like this, should they just go ahead and abandon it altogether?

“We concluded that although we weren’t wild about the restrictions, it was even worse to not try to serve those users at all,� Schmidt said. “We actually did an evil scale and decided not to serve at all was worse evil,� he said, referring to the company’s famous “don’t be evil� creed.

C’mon, since when does one wrong make a right? How large is this “evil scale” and how subjective is it?

Guys, I want to believe that you’re out to do what is right, but statements like this just add fuel to the “mockery-fire” you’re facing right now.

UPDATE: Nathan points out that Google’s motto is actually “Don’t Be Evil”. Which clearly allows them to “do evil” things, as long as they aren’t actually evil themselves. That clears that up! ;-)

  • Anonymous

    Google says:

    I. Serving Our Users back to top

    Google has always flourished by serving the interests of our users first and foremost. Our goal is to build products that organize the world’s information and make it accessible to our users. Here are several principles that all Googlers should keep in mind as we work toward that goal.

    a. Usefulness
    Our products, features and services should make Google more useful for our users, whether they’re simple search users or advertisers, large or small companies. We have many different types of users, but one primary goal for serving them all. “Is this useful?” is the one question every Googler should keep in mind during any task, every day.

    b. Honesty
    Our communications with our users should be appropriately clear and truthful. Our reputation as a company our users can trust is among our most valuable assets, and it is up to all of us to make sure that we nourish that reputation.

    c. Responsiveness
    Part of being useful and honest is being appropriately responsive: recognizing relevant user feedback when we see it, and doing something about it. We take pride in responding to communications from our users, whether in the form of comments or questions, problems or compliments.

    d. Taking Action
    Saying that Google, and the products and services we produce, should be useful, honest and responsive is one thing; achieving that goal 100 percent of the time is, of course, quite another. That means that improving our work over time is largely contingent on the vigilance of our staff. Any time you feel our users aren’t being well served, don’t hesitate to bring it to the attention of the appropriate person. Googlers don’t sit back and say nothing when the interests of the user are at stake. When you feel it’s warranted, we encourage you to take a stand.