Goodbye Google, Hello World!

I’ve been getting enough inquires about my current employment status that it seems a blog post is in order.  Yes, it’s true:  after 6 years at Google, I have decided to leave and move on.  I turned in my badge yesterday!  Reflecting on my time spent there, it has been an incredible journey. Google’s relationship with design has evolved in ways that seemed unimaginable six years ago. I’m extremely proud of the team I built there, and Google UX is in great hands with the next generation of leaders. I’m excited for its future and look forward to seeing what comes next!

One of my main intentions behind leaving Google was to pursue a different path from what I was doing before. Having run not just one but two of the largest, most prominent UX teams in the Internet industry and in Silicon Valley, the impact I was having was at a large scale, but in a very indirect way. Going through the yoga teacher training last year taught me a lot about myself. First, I loved being in the beginner’s seat again and learning something entirely new and different. Second, in contrast to the work I’ve done for the past sixteen years, the impact I’ve had in teaching yoga is very direct and hands-on, albeit at a small scale relative to what I did before. Reflecting on this, I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes from Albert Einstein: “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

What’s next for me remains to be seen. For now, I am potting plants, literally and figuratively. (As it turns out, potting plants is another activity that puts me in the beginner’s seat, as my children have pointed out to me that I know nothing about gardening.) I’ll continue to teach yoga, but not too much, to give myself the time and headspace I need now. An avid advocate of Montessori education, I’ve joined the Board of Trustees for my children’s school. As I’ve already begun to advise and consult with startups, next month I will join Trinity Ventures as an EIR. I’m extremely excited to join a team comprised of genuinely good people in the venture community. I’ll save details on that for another post. In the meantime, Namaste!

13 thoughts on “Goodbye Google, Hello World!

  1. And just as I thought yesterday – I should email her today…

    Congrats on your bold move, and best luck on your gardening!

    Brent Rish


  2. The greatest gift we can give to our children is to teach them to be kind to themselves… by modeling it for them.

    Get your hands dirty with real dirt, enjoy the politics of snails, and the user experience of growing things.

    The next thing will make itself known to you when it's time.



  3. Exciting, Irene! I have been waiting to see if you had time for lunch with me … so hopefully that opportunity will open up soon.


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