|Subject:||Google and Carly.|
I had a nice lunch at Google today with wealhtheow and npcomplete and others. The conversation was quickly dominated by recruiting-type questions (as in, "Why don't you work here?"). I do understand that it's a cool company; it's great to work at a place you're excited about. It does puzzle me how employees turn into recruiting-bots, though. I've liked many of the companies i've worked for, but that didn't make me want to encourage my friends to join them. Anyway, the food was yummy and we went on a nice little tour afterwards, during which i discovered that there are little stuffed Cheats all over the place, and they go through a predictable cycle of four noises when you bonk them.
I returned for an intern gathering with Carly Fiorina. She spoke about her experiences getting started in her career, talked about how every individual can make a different, and made a passionate case for character and leadership. Her one-sentence summary was "Never sell your soul." My attention was divided between her motivational speech and the cute sign-language interpreter at the front.
When she was done, Carly asked for questions. There was a pause, and then i put my hand up. She asked the audience to give me a round of applause for asking the first question. Then someone handed me the microphone and i said, "Regarding today's copyright and patent laws, how can HP take a leading role in giving people the freedom to express themselves creatively, share what they create, and choose what tools they will use to create?" Before answering the question she drew out my own opinion on the topic, so i told her i supported the Free Software Foundation and the Creative Commons project and that i wanted to know if she was interested in using HP's leverage to widen the marketplace of ideas. She made some supportive statements about Linux and agreed that intellectual property laws are out of date, since they were written for physical goods and not digital goods. She also said it was a good thing that HP was getting 11 patents a day and that it was important to protect them.