John Carmack Is Leaving Facebook

Ryan Mac and David McCabe, reporting for The New York Times:

John Carmack, a pioneer of virtual reality technology, is leaving Meta after more than eight years at the company, according to an internal post reviewed by The New York Times.

When I linked to Carmack’s self-described “grumpy” keynote talk at the virtual Meta Connect conference two months ago, I thought to myself that he didn’t sound like a guy who was happy where he was or felt like he had much influence.

Update: Carmack, on Twitter:

I resigned from Meta, and my internal post got leaked to the press, resulting in some fragmented quotes. Here is the full thing:

“The full thing”, alas, requires a Facebook account to see. But I’ve put a copy here for posterity. Carmack writes:

We have a ridiculous amount of people and resources, but we constantly self-sabotage and squander effort. There is no way to sugar coat this; I think our organization is operating at half the effectiveness that would make me happy. Some may scoff and contend we are doing just fine, but others will laugh and say “Half? Ha! I’m at quarter efficiency!”

It has been a struggle for me. I have a voice at the highest levels here, so it feels like I should be able to move things, but I’m evidently not persuasive enough. A good fraction of the things I complain about eventually turn my way after a year or two passes and evidence piles up, but I have never been able to kill stupid things before they cause damage, or set a direction and have a team actually stick to it. I think my influence at the margins has been positive, but it has never been a prime mover.

Mark Zuckerberg should be embarassed that Carmack is this frustrated and disappointed, and prepared for Facebook to get its ass handed to it in this market, probably next year.

Friday, 16 December 2022