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Google+ VP Calls Recent Diss From Fellow Googler, “Disheartening”

Also says that Googler was "in the dark"

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Google+ VP Calls Recent Diss From Fellow Googler, “Disheartening”
[ Social Media]

You may recall recently when a Google employee wrote a lengthy Google+ post about where he feels Google is screwing up (and to be fair, also where it is doing well). A good portion of this, and the part that drew the most attention was his criticism of Google+ and the Google+ platform.

Bradley Horowitz, VP Product of Google+, was asked about the infamous memo on stage by AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka at the AsiaD event. The publication recaps his response:

“I think the tone of the post mostly was disheartening.”

There were elements of validity, he said. But there were also areas where that Google employee, who doesn’t work on Google+, was in the dark, he said.

“We’re moving at light speed. We’ve been in market for 120 days.”

That said, Google is in no rush to build its user base, Horowitz said.

In his only public post since explaining what happened with the memo, Yegge wrote (on October 15), “As you can imagine this has been a pretty stressful week for me. But it hasn’t been all bad. On Thursday I was given an honorary Darwin Award, and on Friday they crowned me Miss South Carolina.”

In a comment on that post, he explained to another user, “I was not criticizing the G+ product. I was criticizing Google’s cultural inattention to developer platforms, and I used G+’s external APIs as just one example. I could have chosen a completely different Google product as my example. In fact I probably should have, given the confusion my criticism of the G+ APIs has caused.”

While he may also be critical of other Google products, I’m not sure that I’m buying that bit about not criticizing the G+ product, given that the post said:

Google+ is a knee-jerk reaction, a study in short-term thinking, predicated on the incorrect notion that Facebook is successful because they built a great product. But that’s not why they are successful. Facebook is successful because they built an entire constellation of products by allowing other people to do the work. So Facebook is different for everyone. Some people spend all their time on Mafia Wars. Some spend all their time on Farmville. There are hundreds or maybe thousands of different high-quality time sinks available, so there’s something there for everyone.”

“Our Google+ team took a look at the aftermarket and said: “Gosh, it looks like we need some games. Let’s go contract someone to, um, write some games for us.” Do you begin to see how incredibly wrong that thinking is now? The problem is that we are trying to predict what people want and deliver it for them.”

Yegge was widely commended by outsiders for having the balls to write the post, which was directed inward towards Google employees, though accidentally posted publicly for an amount of time long enough for others to capture it before it was deleted. A lot of people seem to agree with much of what Yegge said in the post, but Horowitz also makes good point about just how young Google+ actually is. Besides, Google+ is bigger than just being a Google social network. It’s being integrated into pretty much everything Google does (including new Google Apps support).

Google+ VP Calls Recent Diss From Fellow Googler, “Disheartening”
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  • http://www.PlacesToEatOkay.com Steven

    I agree with the assessment of that employee. To be honest I would have liked to see Google+ go in a different direction. Why fight the social networks when you can simply create a portal site that brings all that information into one cohesive and easy to use single site and lets you also use those social networks from a portal site? Twitter and Facebook have API’s and so do a lot of the smaller social networking sites that are also popular. Why not just create a better way to get through all the information by using their API’s to do so? I hate using Facebook chat on Facebook pages, and so what I do is turn off the web based chatting and use Yahoo messenger to chat through Facebook. I also hate the new news feed timeline that Facebook came up with and find it harder to find the things I’m looking for that were so easy before Facebook changed things. While many sites are integrating social networking content into their sites and applications, Google is trying to alienate themselves and leverage it’s search engine to scare everybody into thinking they must use Google+, especially when Google says it wants to use the +1 button as a ranking signal (it’s currently testing that signal to see if it’s a good or bad thing to use). If it’s really the goal of Google to be a repository (or gateway) to the world’s content, they need to create a platform to which that information can be displayed and organized much better than what the social networking sites are currently doing. They did that with search, tho I’d argue that Panda was a major step backwards for them. Google+ really needs to focus on what they do best which is organize information already out there into a cohesive platform. I think that would benefit the user experience more than the next Myspace of the world trying to climb over Facebook.

  • Tony

    Sounds like somebody is trying to keep his job… Sweet sweet! Wake up. G+ is the biggest failure ever in Google’s history. Somebody put G+ out of their misery… please… or Yegge for G+ VP Product already!