Google, being a career playground with many extravaganza employee benefits, gives its employees everything and anything you could ever want. Despite so, Viktor Lidholt left Google after working there for a year to create his own startup, newsvoice.
Newsvoice is a mobile application that helps you to… Wait, hold on- He left Google? Why did he do that?
Not surprisingly, that is the most asked question to Viktor if he were ever to let it slip that he stopped working at Google. People feel justified asking why he left, appalled at how he let go of the brilliant working opportunity. However, they should instead be focusing on his new start-up, the supposed limelight of the conversation.
Today at Swedish App Scene, we are determined to show the two sides of the coin, sharing why he left Google for his new project, giving his start-up the deserved recognition as well.
Firstly: The good in Google
Unlike many employees who have left Google, Viktor sings praises of Google. He validated the grand phenomenon of what we all have read online: free shuttle buses, gourmet food, and access to wellness facilities. Google is undoubtedly great in terms of ensuring the welfare of employees is all taken care of.
What about the infamous complaint about being ‘trapped’ in the Google eco-system, where you spend most of your life in the big G, losing sight of what really is out there?
Viktor revealed that in actuality, it depends a lot on the individual. For him, he toggles his time eating with his co-workers, as well as bringing his packed dinner home. A win-win situation. Afterall, these policies are just tools, heavily dependent on how you use them.
Still… we are not convinced. Alright, then why one year? Why not 3, and why not 5?
Viktor smiled abashedly, and said, Well, I figured I should at least stay for a year.
Turns out that Viktor has always been on an entrepreneurial streak, allocating his energy and enthusiasm to leave a positive impact on the world. By doing something that he believes in, he thrives on such projects. His last company got bought over by Google, to which he thought he will give the corporate lifestyle a shot. After all, who could resist Google right?
And resisting he was. Although he was with arguably the world’s smartest, and accomplished individuals, he could not find his calling there. The projects being administered are either too big-scale to impact individuals on a ground level, or they are too futuristic. Google is huge, perhaps too huge for an individual to leave an impact that can be considerable in the business.
Even though Viktor enjoyed working at Google, a small voice inside was calling him towards something more unknown and risky, yet more congruent with his truth.
The voice in newsvoice
At the juncture of 2016 where the US Elections were rampant, Viktor was shocked to witness how the dissemination of news is only controlled in the hands of a few.
This was an incredibly worrying trend for Viktor as he realised that the amount of manipulation in the system can be massive. Although these are only theories, he feels the need to create your own news source that is controlled by real and ordinary people.
Therefore, newsvoice was created to battle filter bubbles, democratise the news and to show readers the different sides to the stories. Not to be confused with Newsvoice.se, Viktor wants to ripple a movement that will change the world.
It is with this determination that is not just authentic and inspiring, fuelling Viktor and his team towards the greater vision. As we spend about one-third to half of our lives working, some of us are lucky to be able to pursue what we deem meaningful. And when we are doing what we are supposed to be doing, we feel more connected and synergized. Such energy is unparalleled, even with the allure of the world’s greatest company welfare.