The Noisy Channel


Going (to) Google

November 6th, 2009 · 65 Comments · Uncategorized


This is my last week at Endeca. The decision to leave has been a heart-wrenching one: not only have the past ten years been the best of my life, but my experiences at Endeca have defined me professionally. Moreover, Endeca is riding a wave of success with recent advances in our products, new relationships with key partners, and fascinating new deployments.  (You can read Endeca’s latest announcements in our newsroom).

Ironically, it is this very success that compels me to move on. In the past several years, I have developed an increasing passion for search on the open web–an interest only furthered by the explosion of social media.

That is why I’ve decided to accept an opportunity at Google’s New York office. Readers here know that I’ve been a very public critic of Google’s simplistic approach to user interaction on the open web. I’m being offered an opportunity to help fix that approach–and it is an offer I can’t refuse. My mission is to apply my passion for human-computer information retrieval (HCIR), an approach that Endeca has pioneered in the enterprise, to the world’s largest information problems–and where better to do that than at the company that aspires to organize the world’s information.

This moment is bittersweet: I am excited about the new experiences that await me, but I have a heavy heart as I turn in my badge and part with a world-class team that has succeeded against incredible odds.

Given my role and tenure at Endeca, I want to say explicitly that this move is about my personal ambition. My passion for web search and social media, which have grown exponentially over the past couple of years, simply doesn’t align with Endeca’s focus in the enterprise.

Also, I want to make clear: Google hired me because of my values, and not in spite of them. I know that some folks will find it difficult to reconcile my criticisms of Google with my decision to join. That’s why there’s an opt-out village! Seriously, though, I take my values with me. Google is offering me the opportunity to channel my passion for HCIR into action, on the world’s largest stage. I’m well aware of the magnitude of the challenge, but hey, I’m feeling lucky.

65 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jonathan Shewchuk // Nov 10, 2009 at 2:34 am

    Sweet! It really sounds perfectly right for you.

    Will there be any business trips to the Bay Area?

  • 2 Adam Bossy // Nov 10, 2009 at 5:42 am

    Wow! I thought my eyes were deceiving me when I saw this post linked from your LinkedIn status. Congratulations!

  • 3 Daniel Tunkelang // Nov 10, 2009 at 9:28 am

    Thanks all. And yes, definitely planning to visit the mother ship one of these days. Will let you left coasters know when I’m in town.

  • 4 Ravi Bhavnani // Nov 10, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Congratulations, Daniel!

  • 5 Steve Gurney // Nov 10, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Hi Daniel

    Just saw the pending move via Linkedin update. Congratulations. Must have been a huge decision!!

    Personally, in addition to web search, one area I would like to see HCIR make an impact is the future merge between web search and personal communication. As google Wave develops, HCIR could provide a good integration between Wave and web search for discovery/research. The ability to instantly feed that information to all particpants of a wave for open discussion/collaboration would be very beneficial.



  • 6 jeremy // Nov 10, 2009 at 12:46 pm


    Personally, in addition to web search, one area I would like to see HCIR make an impact is the future merge between web search and personal communication. As google Wave develops, HCIR could provide a good integration between Wave and web search for discovery/research.

    Have you seen our upcoming workshop announcement? I would invite you to submit a paper and/or attend and take part!

    See also our previous workshop:

  • 7 Rick Umali // Nov 13, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Daniel, you will be missed at Endeca! But as a frequent (and somewhat grudging) user of many Google products, I’m excited at what you will bring to their table. Peace, and well wishes.

  • 8 sri krishnamurthy // Nov 13, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Congrats Daniel! Good luck with your new venture!

  • 9 Stefano Mizzaro // Nov 13, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    HEY, Great news!!! Congrats!!! And tons of good luck!

  • 10 Peter Kim // Nov 13, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Hey, you left your Nespresso machine! Didn’t get a chance to say goodbye in person but I wish you the best at Google.

    Seriously, if you want the Nespresso back, let me know. 🙂

  • 11 Daniel Tunkelang // Nov 13, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Peter, you guys get full custody of the Nespresso machine. I’m not even sure I get visitation rights! 🙂

    And thanks again to all for the well wishes. My first week has been humbling–so much to learn that I’m still learning how much there is to learn!

  • 12 Hal // Nov 24, 2009 at 10:54 am


    Best of luck to you on this new challenge. I’m sure you’ll be successful as always! And thank you for all of your help and insightful conversation through the years.


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