For any technology nerd, a full-time job at Google sounds like the perfect position. The ability to be at the heart of the world’s most popular search engine, Android statues shaped as an assortment of desserts and being able to work on the latest Google projects before they’re announced sounds like a dream. About one year ago this month, Michael Brandt found himself in this exact position. He had completed Google’s rigorous APM program and was looking at one of the best possible jobs in the industry. He took the position, but soon left to start his own company.
Google’s APM (associate product manager) program is tailored to pick out the best of the best when it comes to full-time employees who show tried and true leadership qualities for various departments of the company. When selecting candidates during the APM program, Google looks for individuals that show a sparkling entrepreneurial glisten. These are the types of people that make the best fits for positions as associate product managers. There’s one slight problem to this selection process though. Individuals that show a strong sense and ideology of entrepreneurship often want to do just that: Be entrepreneurs. This happened to be the case of Michael Brandt.
Michael Brandt said that “Larry and Sergey were doing crazy stuff when they started Google—they were making server racks out of Legos because it was the cheapest thing they could build with. That was in the back of my mind: What is it like to start from nothing and build it all up yourself?” These thoughts soon added up in Michael’s mind, and quickly led him to the decision to leave his position at Google. Since his departure, Brandt has actually tinkered with multiple startups. His first startup was a music-based one, but he is currently putting most of his time into one single idea. That idea is a brain-enhancing drug currently known as RISE.
Brandt is teaming up with Geoffrey Woo, his partner and friend, to develop this drug that supposedly enhances our brains. What kind of enhancements are we talking about here? So far, Brandt has said that they include generous enhancements and boosts to one’s energy, focus and memory. While you won’t be levitating cars with your mind, this still sounds like a pretty ingenious product idea. Brandt reported that “I’m very much enjoying what I do now. Google offered an incredible amount of structure. Right now, I’m thriving from the lack of structure.”
While leaving a job at Google may sound insane to a lot of you, stories to the like of Brandt’s aren’t entirely uncommon. And Why you also may think that this would be bad for Google, the company can always benefit from this by potentially buying out the startups of past employees. Even if they aren’t always getting the employees that they train, it is very cool to see Google grooming these young business men and women to go out on their own and try to leave their own mark on the world that we live in.