But there seems to be a fairly common theme that people (even who are happy with their position) don't like it when their companies become too bureaucratic and can't take chances. This is highly dependent on the project one happens to be working on, e.g. I would expect there is a lot more bureaucracy in Google AdWords than there is in Google Desktop, because the former is a primary driver of revenue. But an irony here is that bureaucracy enables risk-taking (on some other project), because it is the revenue from the former that permits the experimentation with the latter. In a startup (or a startup environment), it's implicitly "taking a chance", but OTOH, there is little margin for error. For example, the kinds of outages that have hit amazon.com over the past few days could put a startup out of business.
I guess I am biased (possibly because I know what it is like to see a lack of bureaucracy lead to a failed company), but IMO bureaucracy is needed, at least for those projects upon which the company depends.