The founder of Waze now publicly notes that mergers are inefficient.
Matt Stoller, you are quick to blame Google for everything here but isn't the real idiot Noam for selling Waze in the first place? And now he's complaining about it! Oh, except I forgot, he made a shit tonne of money selling his company in the first place. So he can't really complain can he...
It is completely delusional to think that this acquisition would have lead to a different outcome.
Next time, he may want to think things a bit more and calm down his inner greed, because, let's be clear, this was nothing more than good ol' greed.
Anyone who didn't see this coming when Google bought Waze is an idiot. Google has no use for two competing maps apps, with two different UIs, feature sets and basemaps. Give your head a shake Noam.
Maps is an engineering marvel, without a doubt, but Waze is better for driving. Sometimes the app that does only one thing but does it very well will trump a super app that does everything.
I am disappointed in Google. Gone are the days when they supposedly baked in ethical engineering in their products.
What they are ignorant about is that there is a huge chunk of the 200 million waze users that are in the logistics and delivery sector of poorer countries and this would hurt if not cripple their operations.
Many drivers in developing countries that have chaotic traffic situations also need the superior rerouting and real time traffic assessment and crowd sourced road condition up updates the Waze provides.
Let's not forget they also took away Cookie Monster as navigator. That significantly lowered my fahrvergnügen!
1. pre-installation is a lesser evil. The Google Mobile Services is the real problem that lock up the phone vendors and users into Google infrastructure
2. Noam sold the company to Google because of the bad relationships with his board: "Due to a bunch of mistakes early on, we did not own substantial amounts of equity and had a pretty bad relationship with some of our board members. I remember the bottom line: “wouldn't you rather work for Larry Page than our current board”? https://paygo.media/p/25171
3. His major complain against Google is his inability to fire people at his will and govern Waze as a sole authority. Not sure Google ruined Waze, it is still quite popular in many places and improving.
Although i definitely agree that monopolies are bad, in this specific case , i wouldn't fully rely on Noam that "could have probably grown faster and much more efficiently had we stayed independent."
My assumption was always that they bought Waze simply to keep it out of Apple's hands. If there was ever a company in desperate need of a better mapping app it's Apple.
I anticipated Waze was going to go downhill right away, just because Google has a tendency to ruin everything it touches. And it wasn't long before I was proven right. As soon as Google bought it, I started noticing changes: development became stagnant, issues complained about by tons of users were ignored (in typical Google/MS/standard large corporation fashion), many of the things that were changed were changed for the worse, the app became less stable, etc, etc, not to mention it just seemed like the dev team was suddenly in an impenetrable bubble and there was zero real communication anymore. I still use Waze for longer drives, because even with all its problems I prefer it over Google Maps for the alerts and just how it functions overall, but I primarily use Maps for local drives. And of course, since those are the two big map programs, and Google owns both of them, they have no incentive to really work on either, so neither one is nearly as good as it could/should be.
I have noticed in the last few months waze has gone to shit. Such as when you think you're making a turn at the next road and right before the turn it says "just kidding" and zooms in with the next turn 2 streets away. Other times it does the opposite and you think it'll zoom in again but it actually is zoomed in and you have to slam the brakes and make the turn you nearly passed. That never used to do that I've tried several settings options including dont allow zoom to no prevail.
Last night I sat in front of a gated community for 5 minutes trying to get the code from the customer and even backed up and let the map take me to another entrance which also was locked. I put the address in Google maps and the customer wasn't even in that neighborhood but the one next to it. I can go on and on but in the last yr id say the app has fallen down majorly
I still use Waze; it does what I need in the way I need to do it.
This is so true. I hate waze now every time I use it , it feels useless.