One of Google's "godfathers of AdSense" has left the company to start his own, according to CNN. Gokul Rajaram, 33, is off to start his own venture, but not without praise from Google. Before his departure, he was presented with a plaque signed by a few hundred Googlers at his own farewell party.
Interestingly, there's a lot of good background on AdSense in that article:
“Google had already understood how to match keywords with URLs, so the next step was building a matching algorithm and create an advertising system around it. Sergey had a mandate to launch it in June 2003. So we had less than six months.”... “When we started AdSense, it was just me and four engineers,” Rajaram says. “The night before we launched, Sergey spent five hours with me testing the system and pointing out bugs.”
A forum member wonders why nobody else is even close to Google in terms of a decent AdSense competitor:
Given that information (four engineers & one product manager & six months), HOW is it possible that Microsoft, Yahoo! and others (yes that means you Ask.com) find it so hard to launch a copycat system to Adsense?
And others want to follow him wherever he goes. This guy's story is rather inspirational:
Whatever he does, have him call me and I'll sign up.
Forum discussion continues at WebmasterWorld.