DodgeBall founder quits Google


Dennis Crowley, founder of DodgeBall, a hipster SMS-social networking service that Google bought back in May 2005 has quit Google, reports Young Manhattanite. Alex Rainert, employee #2 for DodgeBall has also left the company. They both resigned on April 13th, 2007.

DodgeBall suffered from apathy and not much happened with the service that once was a coast-to-coast rage. DodgeBall has been replaced by Twitter and Jaiku, the new shiny things amongst those who love such services. Here is their announcement on Flickr!

It’s no real secret that Google wasn’t supporting dodgeball the way we expected. The whole experience was incredibly frustrating for us – especially as we couldn’t convince them that dodgeball was worth engineering resources, leaving us to watch as other startups got to innovate in the mobile + social space. And while it was a tough decision (and really disappointing) to walk away from dodgeball, I’m actually looking forward to getting to work on other projects again.

Like DodgeBall, Blogger team members and dMarc founders left GooglePlex, preferring to follow their own internal algorithm instead of working for Google. It seems like a trend: for entrepreneurs who sellout to Google, Google money is good, but working for Google, not so good!

Photo via Flickr


Fred Savage

“coast to coast rage”? That service had a couple thousand people max. Google is into successful stuff, not press hype.


I can’t help but wonder what this says about G’s acquistion strategies- it seems to me like Google is not interested in buying any sort of idea/work structure, but just raw market share and then incorporating it into their own models.


Correction: Alex and Dennis were co-founders of the service, as well as business partners. Alex was more than just a “#2 employee.”


i didn’t realize dodgeball was ever a success beyond being acquired.

can i get a check in?

Jeremy Pepper

Okay, so they were unhappy. Is this the way to announce it, though? The business world is small, tech is even smaller.

Just seems more short-sighted. Keep such things private, if that’s even possible anymore.

Steve Morsa

…another example that demonstrates that if you sell out to Google…be sure to get all your $$$ upfront…

Om…posts late at night…and (very) early in the morning…when do you sleep? :-)

Sam Sethi

Is this any different for any entrepreneur bought by a larger company. YouTube is imploding, Flickr is stagnating, delicious is losing ground to magnolia etc.

Once you’ve taken the money and gone inside the corporate towers, it is often the lack of nimbleness that frustrates the entrepreneurs.

The best option is bank the money, serve out your notice period and go do it again.

Daniel Nicolas

:D Must not have had my GigaTranslator glasses on correctly. Everything seems to be reading properly now.

Also: it’s interesting that they used Flickr as their tool of departure notification to the rest of the world, rather than some other means (blogs, twitter, press release, video, etc.).

Daniel Nicolas

“Google’s money good, working for Google, not so good!”

I think it’s this:

Working for Google, good for most.

Startup entrepreneurs working for Google (or whoever becomes their overlords), not so good.

I mean, look how many happy employees there are at Google?

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