Google and Facebook are two significantly different tech companies with divergent visions and contrasting methods of doing business. Even if the overall differences are already known by the public, numerous tech enthusiasts and aspiring employees for both enterprises, have wondered just how dissimilar Google and Facebook are. Fortunately, the answer to this question can be answered by Lars Rasmussen, a former Google employee that migrated into Facebook back in December 2010. Since his change of company, Rasmussen was highly questioned by all of his coworkers and acquaintances, all wanting to know the various differentiation points between the two internet-based companies. Today, Rasmussen no longer works for neither Facebook or Google, so he feels no remorse about answering any question posed to him.
Google was the victim of a mass migration of employees in two years before Lars Rasmussen decided to switch companies too, most of which moved to work with the company that owns the world's most popular social network. Even if most Googlers were ultimately choosing Facebook over Google, engineers were still uncertain about which company was a better employer. After six years at Google since the year 2004, Rasmussen moved into Facebook, where he worked for five years before leaving the company to work on an interactive music startup called Weav.
Lars Rasmussen stated that the most notorious difference between Google and Facebook is the importance given to designers and engineers. At Google, engineers have the most influence, whereas Facebook considers designers to be the most influential employees. Another big difference is how decisions are taken inside both companies. Facebook is not as data-driven as Google is; in fact, the internet giant takes pride in how well-informed its decisions are when talking about the data collected prior to any changes to its products. Google doesn't base its business strategy in what looks best design-wise, the company analyzes all of the compiled data and opts for the most convenient. But for Rasmussen, the most important difference between Facebook and Google "isn't about their DNA, but about what point in their history they are in". Both companies are two of the biggest and most important tech companies of the decade, but each has been appointed to a different decade. Google reached its prime in the 2000's, while Facebook is still dominating since the year 2010.
Lars Rasmussen also noted that even if both Google and Facebook are still noticeably different companies, both are moving into the direction of the other. After an announcement made in 2011 by Google's CEO, Larry Page, the company began focusing its design to improve the overall user experience; hence the relatively new Material Design which is now implemented across most of Google's products. On the other hand, Facebook is working hard on improving the social network's overall intelligence with a relatively new dedicated research team for AI, opened in December 2013.