My Last Day at Google

Yesterday was my last day at Google.

It’s hard to believe that when I graduated from Stanford 4 years ago, I had been planning to take a job as a tax software engineer. During my Google interview, Marissa convinced me that this was a bad idea and I decided to join Google’s Associate Product Manager program instead. That turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life! Working at Google has been an amazing, life-changing experience. It’s an incredible company with a unique, quirky culture and tons of passionate, talented people. I feel very lucky to have been able to work with so many brilliant engineers on such fascinating products used by millions of people.

Leaving Google was a tough decision for me. I was very happy working on Google Maps and oftentimes felt like I had the best job in the world. I became the Maps PM at age 22 and was blown away by how much responsibility they were willing to give someone so young. The work was fun, challenging, and very rewarding. I wasn’t looking for a new job, but a great opportunity fell in my lap that I felt I had to take. More on that in a future post.

On my last day at Google, I decided to bake cookies for the Maps team one last time. Since it was Pi Day (3/14), I made Rolo pie cookies and passed them out at 1:59pm. Get it? 3/14 1:59 = 3.14159 = pi.

I also took some photos on my last day, but I wish I had taken more.

A lot of people have been part of my life at Google, but I’d really like to thank John Hanke, Brian McClendon, Prakash Janakiraman, Elizabeth Hamon Reid, Elizabeth Windram and Evan Parker for building and leading a kickass organization that was awesome to work in; the My Maps team for being the best project/team I ever worked on at Google; the whole Maps team for all the launches and lunches; Thai Tran, Chikai Ohazama and Bret Taylor for teaching me how to be a PM; Jonathan Goldman and Kenson Yee for the yogurt and the floaty balls; Nina Kang, Jim Muller, Dan Egnor and the folks in the geo-team chatroom for the daily snark and chitchat; Matthias Ruhl for the 4am craziness of the Movies Onebox launch; the Froogle team for toughening me up; and the APM Class of ’04.

Thanks for a great 4 years, Google!


#1 xorsyst on 03.17.08 at 6:16 am

So what’s on the agenda for you now?

#2 Frank Taylor on 03.18.08 at 5:44 am

Sorry to hear you’ve left Maps…but, best of luck in your new endeavor!

#3 Chinmayz on 03.18.08 at 7:47 am

Hey Jess,

Found ur post while reading about Ex-Google employees. The question I ask myself upon reading this post is “Did GMaps Team transform society / world?” The answer is “Unquestionably Yes”. Nice to learn that @ Google, Decisions get made & Stuff gets done real quick. Wishing u all d very best in all ur endeavors…!

#4 Eric on 03.18.08 at 1:43 pm

Hi Jess,

Looks like you landed on your feet! Congrats on the move and good luck in your new project.

#5 Google Adsense Tips & News » Blog Archive » Ex-Google Employee on Scaling an Organization on 03.18.08 at 7:52 pm

[…] at her blog says that leaving Google after 4 years was a tough decision. “I was very happy working on […]

#6 xorsyst on 03.18.08 at 9:46 pm

After that link above, and checking out Polyvore, I see the potential that site has in the fashion industry. Nothing like that exists as of yet. It’s like bridging the gap between the fashion industry and “web 2.0”. Best of luck, and good move.

#7 pico on 03.20.08 at 11:11 pm

just found out one behind the maps.

I don’t know what Intuit ups to in this mashed computing and I almost convinced that it’s almost the doom of desktop computing.. though I wish you luck on your new job.


#8 kavita on 03.22.08 at 3:22 am

Hey Jess,

Guess now as good a time as any to say this…. I’ve always admired you and considered you to be a rockstar PM at Google. Wish I had spent more time getting to know you personally. Good luck at Polyvore!


#9 jessblog » Blog Archive » Why Polyvore? on 03.23.08 at 11:25 pm

[…] Polyvore? March 23, 2008 11:24 pm Jess Lee Uncategorized Last week I quit my job at Google to join a small startup called Polyvore. A lot of people have asked me how I discovered Polyvore […]

#10 Leaving Google: From Big to Small | Descarga de programas gratis on 11.14.08 at 5:38 am

[…] looking for a new job, but a great opportunity fell in my lap that I felt I had to take.” (Jess Lee, Google Maps Project Manager – March 15, […]

#11 jhon on 06.23.09 at 12:09 am

Interesting expeirence. Here’s my experience of google’s associate product manager. Hope it is useful for others

#12 David Nachum on 09.29.10 at 11:36 pm

My name is David Nachum. I am an Associate Product Manager (APM) at Google, in Mountain View, California.

#13 BruirlSnult on 11.05.10 at 11:30 pm

corneal ulcer

#14 Edwin on 09.09.11 at 11:46 am


#15 GIANMARCO LORENZI on 07.24.13 at 12:18 am Best of luck, and good move.

#16 Leaving Google: From Big to Small | Google Operating System on 12.04.14 at 6:40 am

[…] looking for a new job, but a great opportunity fell in my lap that I felt I had to take.” (Jess Lee, Google Maps Project Manager – March 15, […]

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