Google engineer calls Google+ a "pathetic afterthought" is he right?

A Google software engineer who accidentally broadcast a 4,578-word rant about the company’s failings saved his toughest criticism for the Google+ service.

Google software engineer Steve Yegge, wrote a 4,578-word rant about the failings of Google as a company, intended as a no-holds-barred internal critique, and then inadvertently published it to the entire world.

Yegge saved some of his harshest criticism for Google+, which Google has poured seemingly bottomless development resources into.

Here are some samples:

Google+ is a prime example of our complete failure to understand platforms from the very highest levels of executive leadership (hi Larry, Sergey, Eric, Vic, howdy howdy) down to the very lowest leaf workers (hey yo). We all don’t get it. The Golden Rule of platforms is that you Eat Your Own Dogfood. The Google+ platform is a pathetic afterthought. We had no API at all at launch, and last I checked, we had one measly API call. One of the team members marched in and told me about it when they launched, and I asked: “So is it the Stalker API?” She got all glum and said “Yeah.” I mean, I was joking, but no… the only API call we offer is to get someone’s stream. So I guess the joke was on me.

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.

“…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.”

I have said on this blog that Google Plus is scheduled to fail and I have a $1000 bet with a friend that it will end in less than 12 months.

I have a Google Plus account but here’s a dirty little open secret: I don’t know why.

The truth is I got it just in case it does someday have some value but I can tell you that I have checked in to my account once or twice since I got it.

Now I am also a bit of an anomaly since I am not on FaceBook as well but I can absolutely see the value of Facebook if that’s your thing.

My question of the day for you guys is below.

 

  • BigJohn

    I think it will take off big time after more people join.

  • http://www.undeadmil.com Aaron

    I myself and few people I know have google+. I like you do not know why I have one, and I hardly ever use it. It is a waste of internet space and should be outlawed lol.

  • DazMan

    It’s a failure in that people like me, who use Google Apps, are denied access. Why Google didn’t offer a beta test to paying users is beyond me. In June 2011 they promised Google Apps users would have access, but as of today that hasn’t happened. I don’t use Facebook and was only curious in Google+ because I am an App user. But now have lost all interest in using Google+.

  • AZ-J

    I think it is just as good or bad as Facebook, but I use both, and both are useless.

  • http://danin.dk nina

    I agree, but right now nothing happens, people are reluctant to join in.

  • peter bunce

    Anything must be better than microsoft!!!

    I used to use os2!!!

    and wish I still could

  • Paul

    I invited about 100 people that are friends on Facebook and only1 had joined in the3 months since. It will fail cause there is no real advantage over Facebook and almost everyone is on Facebook. Plus when Jane you seen a commercial company say to “follow us on Google+”?

  • Blake

    I don’t trust Google! I will never give them any personal information.

  • Ben

    Maybe it’s just me but I don’t understand why people are so fascinated with things like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Google+, etc. (Especially anything from Google. They’ve proven on several occasions they can’t be trusted.) Do people really give a rodent’s rectum what I’m doing at any given moment of the day or night? Am I so lonely and deperate I have to TELL people what I’m doing just to have someone communicate with me? Jeez.

  • Dinukadamsith

    google mail is greater than others.but 1+ got nothing to say great.

  • JOHN NOEL

    people had some thoughts that internet giant google is going on social networking as a reply for facebook, and we people thought that it would be a new change in the social networking field but it was a complete failure ever since it started i was a member (thought that it might be the new reply for facebookaholic peoples) but till now i had opened it only twice for its begining because none of them like it. so Rest In Peace Google+

  • http://www.thewebonwheels.com.au viv Mcdonald

    I got my Google + to see what the fuss was about. In the months I’ve had it I’ve only checked it twice. I think there are a lot of people who are starting to realise that time is better spent on real things, not getting conned into more ‘social networking’ . I think Google will desperately try and revamp it a few times and one of the incarnations will probably work… in a long time from now.

  • Hethy Laszlo

    Én nem használom a Google + ! Sok hülyeséget csinál.Én az IE 9- et használom miota kijött,elötte a 8-ast.Nagyon jó és csak pozitiv véleményem van róla.

  • owais

    i hate google plus. 1st of all it doesnt allow me to use it. 2nd there alot of other reason i hate.

  • Julius Malco

    For me, Facebook was a way for me to stay in touch with friends and family across the country. It was a whole lot nicer in terms of the UI than MySpace.

    This attracted a lot of users from the highly technical to the not so technical. Add advertising and games and you had a hub for a lot of people to interact with others around the world. Over the years, I’ve grown tired of Facebook making changes to the UI and the privacy policy issues. When Google+ went beta, I joined and I loved the simplicity of it. It was clean and I had control over my data. It still is clean and I have a number of people on my Facebook friends list who have converted. I split my time between Google+ and Facebook around 60/40 at the moment.

    I think people need to give it a chance. I could care less about the games. Just give me an uncluttered place for me to share thoughts, jokes, and updates to my personal life with my friends and family.