Why Tim Bray Went to Google

The reason I’m here is mostly Android. Which seems to me about as unambiguously a good thing as the tangled wrinkly human texture of the Net can sustain just now. Here’s why:

  • It’s not good to be on the Net at all times, but it’s very good to have the Net available at all times.
  • Google needs, and is committed to, Android; it’s not just a hobby.
  • The Android user experience is very good and, more important, getting better fast.
  • It’s developer-friendly; the barriers to entry are very low for the several million people on the planet who are comfy with the java programming language.
  • The APIs are pretty good in my experience, and even more important, complete. Near as I can tell, there’s nothing interesting the phones can do that’s not exposed through some API or other.
  • Anyone can build any hardware they want around the Android software; no approval required.
  • Anyone can sell any program they write via the Android Market; no approval required.
  • It’s open-source.
  • The smartphone arena where Android plays is extra interesting right now, with space for radical experimentation both on the technology and business fronts.
  • The mobile space has had a huge impact in the emerging economies of the less-developed world and I think that’s just getting started. I want to be part of that story and Android seems like the right software platform for it.
  • I’ll enjoy competing with Apple.

Tim Bray on joining Google

Ben Fry has some related thoughts in his post On needing approval for what we create, and losing control over how it’s distributed.